1. I had a flash of inspiration in regards to my half marathon training last week. It occurred to be that people frequently set race goals not related to time, and since I feel decently confident that my chances of PRing–particularly, my chances of running the sub-2:00 half marathon I hoped to run–are somewhere between “highly unlikely” and “downright impossible,” I, too, could set a non-time goal! So, I’m happy to announce my new goal for this spring’s half marathon: negative split the race.
I have 14 half marathons under my belt, and thought I certainly don’t remember the specifics of all of them, I can’t remember a time where I ever negative split the race. If I ever did, it was an accident. This time around, I’d like to intentionally negative split the race, running the last seven (and a little change) miles faster than I ran the first six. Assuming the race has timing mats at the same locations this year as they did last year, I’d like my 10 mile split to have a faster pace than my 10K split, and my 12.4-mile split to have a faster pace than my 10 mile and 10K splits (or at least the same pace as my 10 mile split).
I, admittedly, don’t know how exactly to train for this (I’m sure a quick Google search could answer that question, but I haven’t looked into it at all yet), so for the moment, I’m trying to make a point using most of my runs to practice this kind of pacing: going out slow so I still have something left to give at the end. This has never been my strong point in running, and while I haven’t been perfect in the whopping four times I’ve tried this technique thus far, I have finished all my runs faster than I started them. I’ve also finished them much faster than I realized I was capable of finishing a run, which has been a nice ego boost. We’ll see how all of this goes over the next couple of months, particularly as it gets warmer outside, but I’m looking forward to having an A goal–a for-real, A goal, not a I’m-saying-this-on-the-blog-because-it’s-the-right-thing-to-say A goal–that isn’t in any way related to time. (But for the record, my B goal is sub-2:10, my C goal is PR, and my D goal is sub-2:00. I had to have some time related goals, after all 😛 )
2. While we’re on the topic of running, I went to Fleet Feet on Sunday for my annual shoe buying extravaganza. It was PACKED, but fortunately I had a ton of time to kill. When it was finally my turn, I told the saleswoman I’ve been running in Asics Gel-Nimbus 18s (for the past two years – I ran in the 16s before that) and that I wanted to stick within that wheelhouse. To my EXTREME disappointment, she told me they were now on the 20s, and that she’d give me some other shoes to try on as well. Last year, when I went in in late February, Fleet Feet had both the 18s (the 2016 model) and the 19s (the 2017 model). Since they still had the old model in stock, I got them highly discounted. I was really hoping that would happen again this year with the 19s, but no such luck 😦
Meh. I know you can’t choose your running shoes based on color, and I didn’t, but that doesn’t mean that I have to like the color of the running shoes I got stuck with. My options were this or a way-too-Instagram-friendly light grey/Millennial pink combination, which I disliked even more than navy. This is, like, the stupidest thing I’ve ever been annoyed about when it comes to running, because honestly, it just does not matter how pretty or not pretty my shoes are. I loathed the color of my 16s, but I survived that year of running just fine. But I wasn’t crazy about the color of my shoes in 2017, either, so I was hoping this year I’d have shoes that fit my style – which I guess navy does better than Millennial pink, at least. I just got too lucky in 2016 with my pretty light blue/purple shoes, and everything since then has been a disappointment in the color department. Please feel free to deposit all of your deepest condolences over this incredibly huge problem for me, a person who runs almost exclusively (when it’s warm, at least) in old race shirts and the cheapest shorts she could find at Old Navy. My life is horribly difficult 😛
3. I don’t think I have more mixed feelings about any month than I have about March. On the one hand, I spend just about every moment of the beginning of the year waiting with bated breath for Daylight Savings Time to begin, not because I’m so antsy to lose an hour of sleep on a Sunday night, but because I cannot–CAN. NOT.–wait for the sun to come back. Granted, the sun has been coming back for awhile now–I’m no longer commuting in the dark each way–but I am so excited to have sunset happen during the 6:00 hour instead of the 5:00 hour (even though it means sacrificing sunlight in the morning. But that really only lasts for a couple weeks anyway.). I don’t know what my deal has been this winter in particular, but I’ve been down in the dumps more often than not since January, and I’m almost positive it’s all weather/light related. This isn’t a new phenomenon for me–I’ve been aware of this seasonal pattern to my mood since at least 2013, though I also remember similar feelings during at least parts of college–but it’s definitely been more intense this winter than it was last winter, which has not been enjoyable. Going to work on Tuesday in just a fleece, with birds singing in the trees and sunlight streaming from the sky, felt like I was crawling out of a cave of despair for the first time in months. I felt light and happy and hopeful and just generally pleasant, none of which are adjectives I would’ve assigned to my morning commute (my mood is almost always the worst in the morning) up to this point in 2018. It was remarkable how good I felt. I’ve been waiting for this literally all year, and I’m so happy to feel happy again.
On the other hand, there have also been multiple times in my life where the first weekend in March in particular, for whatever reason, has turned out to be spectacularly awful. I legitimately dread this weekend every year, because I just assume something terrible is going to happen since it has so many times. If it were up to me, we would just skip this coming weekend entirely, make the days vanish and go directly to next Monday. I’m sure going into the weekend with this attitude of, “What kind of horror awaits me this year?” doesn’t really do me any favors, but man, when it’s been so consistent, it’s hard to not worry! Because of that, I spend the first two months of the year both desperately longing for March and desperately hoping we can somehow skip right over it, or at least the first part of it. I’m very eager to get to this time next week.
Do you prefer time-based goals or less quantitative goals for running? I think in general I prefer time-based goals, because I like to have something concrete (i.e.: sub-2:00) to work towards. But this is a nice change of pace!