About a week ago I had a heart-to-heart with myself about running, or I guess I should say a head-to-heart since it was just a bunch of thoughts swirling around my mind during a long run.
Over the last two and a half years I’ve been so focused on the marathon that I haven’t paid much attention at all to the other distances. My last PR was the half marathon (2:57) way back in January 2015 and I haven’t PR’d in the 5K (37:57) since December 2014.
I miss racing.
This is what I messaged Megan after my head-to-heart:
I miss racing. A lot.
Having the goal of running a 5:59 marathon doesn’t feel like racing to me. A lot of stuff can happen during the course of six hours that feels outside of my control. Six hours is a long time. I’m not saying six hours isn’t a respectable goal for someone with my running capabilities, I’m really just saying that it doesn’t excite me.
The last thing I want this year is for February to roll around and for me to feel like I had another bad season. I didn’t run any PRs last year – most of my races were FAR OFF from my PRs – and that just didn’t feel good.
I know that not every season or year will bring around a PR, but I want to feel like I’m at least chasing one, quite literally.
Over the course of the last week I have been going back-and-forth about whether I should just run the Miami Marathon and focus on the half marathon for the 2017 season – or if I should drop to the half at Miami. After seeing everyone run Chicago I felt a bit of a spark for the marathon distance, but that’s waned over the last few days again.
It especially waned after walking into my new house last weekend and realizing that Adam and I have a lot of work ahead of us. We’re tentatively hoping to be done with all renovations by the first or second weekend in December, but we’ll be working on the house every single weekend until then (with the exception of our anniversary weekend).
The cost of renovations is going to be quite high, so we’re trying to do many things ourselves to stay within budget.
Because we’ll need to work on the house every chance possible on Saturdays and Sundays there isn’t going to be a lot of time for 18 and 20 mile runs. At my easy/long run pace an 18 miler would take me 4.5 hours and a 20-miler would take me 5 hours.
Getting up at 3am to be out the door by 4am so I could run for 5 hours before jumping straight into working on the house for 8 hours would kill me. I’d collapse from exhaustion before the race even came around.
All the signs seem to be pointing me towards dropping to the half marathon — and that’s actually what I WANT to do.
So, that’s what I’ve decided to do!
I made the final decision Sunday night and re-tooled my plan so that it’s now a 15 week half marathon training plan. It’s mostly based on the Hal Higdon Intermediate 1 Half Marathon plan.
The plan as originally created tops out at only about 30 miles per week, and I’d like to run closer to 35 to 40 miles per week so I’ve added a mile or two to several of the runs to bring my total weekly mileage up a bit.
I also stretched the plan from 12 weeks to 15 weeks (since that’s what I have to work with) which will allow me to sneak in a 13 and 14 mile training run instead of only doing one 12 miler.
I’m not entirely sure what my goal finish time is yet… that’s TBD soon!
Guys, I’m really happy about this. I am excited about this training cycle, the way it fits into my schedule through the end of the year and the type of goals that I’ll get to set.
If you read through this really long post thank you very much!
What kind of conversations do you have with yourself during long runs?
Are you starting to think about 2017 plans/goals or are you laser focused on 2016?