For the seventh time in my life, I’m spending today preparing for running the Fargo Half Marathon having no real idea what kind of shape I’m in. I think I’m ready to run (moderately, for me) fast.
Last year, I ran a 1:43:16 half marathon. Looking at my training, I ran 127 miles per week in January, 163 in February, 63 in March, 35 in April, and 47 in the half month leading up to the half in May. Good start to the year, but hardly the ideal training if you want to run the half marathon.
This year, I’ve run 161 in January (+34), 146 in February (-17), 139 miles in March (+76), 91 miles in April (+56), and 87 miles in the half month leading up to the half this May (+40) for a total of 189 more miles in the first few months of the year compared to last year.
When comparing my top few runs of the year, I seem to be ahead of the game as well. In January of 2012, my best workout was 5×1 mile at 6:40, 6:35, 6:31, 6:27 and 6:07 (6:28/avg) with 2:30 rest. In January of 2013, my best workout was 8 miles with no rest in 50:30 or 6:18/mile. On February 28th, 2012, I ran 10 miles in 1:11:20 (7:08/mi). Coincidentally, on February 28th, 2012, I ran 10 miles in 1:05:00 (6:30/mi). My best run of March 2012 was a pretty pathetic 6 Miles in 42:38 (7:06/mi). This March, I ran 7.62 Miles in 47:27 (6:13/mi). The difference in my shape wasn’t even close. Then, I had my “medical setback” at the end of the month. Despite being on medications that slowed my heart rate and really affected my body, I was able to run 12 Miles in 1:31:50 (7:39/mile) which was significantly better than my best run of April 2012 (4 miles in 30 minutes – 7:30/mile). My best run of May leading up to the half in 2012 was 6 Miles in 46:30 (7:45/mi) compared to the 7.78 Miles in 56:00 (7:11/mi) I did this year.
Everything in this training cycle hasn’t gone perfect, but I’m certainly in better shape than I was last year. I think running a sub-1:30 (which has been a huge goal of mine since I ran a 1:32 half marathon at the tender age of 23 in 2005) may not quite be in the cards, but I’m hoping to have a positive experience. I’m hoping to continue my motivated training with the goal of maybe one day going under 1:30 with a solid summer/fall of consistent training.