This Saturday is race day! And it will be my first half marathon post-baby at just a few days shy of seven months.
When I first started training for this race, I thought maybe a PR might be possible, but after the past few weeks of Christmas craziness plus ringing in the New Year with a nasty stomach bug (D was spared; Baby B and I were not), I'm thinking that I may need to adjust my expectations.
Part of this is probably also mental, because I logged more miles this past December than any other December since I've been running (so that would be 2012 and 2013). In 2012 I ran 43.78 miles; in December 2013, I ran 39.50 miles; in 2014, I ran 76.41 miles. And I'd say those miles were higher quality miles than the miles in the previous two years and my pace is generally faster than my pace in 2012 (with several faster race times already logged in 2014 than in 2012). And of course, in 2013 I was pregnant, so my pace was well on its way to nosediving by that time last year.
My average weekly mileage for this training cycle hovered around 16 miles, which isn't much, but it's a little more than previous training cycles. I'm just concerned about the lack of long runs I've put in and I definitely didn't do as much speedwork and hill work as I wanted to (four sessions, to be exact). Although, I've also said those things before both the 2013 Charleston Half and the 2013 Charlotte Racefest and I've put about the same amount of long runs in as I did for those and both of those races resulted in PRs, so who really knows.
However...I also hadn't had a baby 6 months prior in either of those years and both times I've raced a new post-baby distance, I've been disappointed with my times (5K and 10K so far). But, I was also still feeling many more residual affects of pregnancy for those races, too.
I think I'm psyching myself out here and I need to knock it off.
This is probably the point in which a coach would say, "Trust your training." And while I haven't trained as hard or as much as I really wanted to for this race, all of my previous similar training got me through each half I've run before. So really, I'm not sure what my problem is. I can say that in the next round of training, I'll have somewhat higher expectations because I do plan to train harder and run more (schedule permitting).
But after all of that babbling - and I hate to say it - but I have no specific time goals for this race. I just don't want to run it slower than I ran it last year at 19 weeks pregnant (2:09:xx) and I would like to come in under two hours because I feel like I pretty much had a sub-two hour half in the bag before I got pregnant. Both half marathons I ran for myself (not pacing someone else), I easily came in under two hours with several minutes to spare and I had a good grip on how that pace felt. I feel like based on my current training paces and race times, this should be feasible.
But whatever happens with this race, I know I'm back on my way to longer running and I'm looking forward to my next training cycle (which starts the Tuesday after the race), so I can start chasing those PRs.