A lot of people run a race to see who is fastest. I run to see who has the most guts, who can punish himself into exhausting pace, and then at the end, punish himself even more. – Steve Prefontaine
On May 23rd, the Manhattan Running Company is hosting their one and only half marathon of the year, the Bill Snyder Highway Half Marathon and 5K. Ever since I found out about it several months ago, I’ve been resisting the itch to sign up. My 2015 training plan does not have me running a half this year. This is a building/growing year.
Part of the reason I don’t want to run the half is because I haven’t been training for it and because I know I wouldn’t finish with a time even comparable to my previous races. I’m too competitive to just jog it and try to “just finish.” But then the other day I had the hair-brained idea that I could Picture Run the half and then I could just take pictures on my walking breaks. I wouldn’t finish in a good time, but I’d be taking pictures in a race. I let the idea simmer for a few days.
I decided I needed some sort of metric to see if I was actually ready for 13 miles. If I was going to do the half, I needed to be able to control my pace and just run at a steady pace so I could finish. I decided to do a 6 mile run and to try to keep my pace at 10 min/mile. I figured if I could run 6 with my pack now then in 5 weeks I could probably push to 13. It seemed like a good plan at the time.
Here’s how I did:
1 – 9:47
2 – 13:15
3 – 9:32
4 – 9:30
5 – 9:46
6 – 8:52
Can you tell when I stopped to take pictures? 🙂
This came in at 10:07/mile which is not too bad. I was kind of trying to make up for the 4 minutes I spent with my camera. My legs were tired during the run, but I forced myself to run up all the hills. (Yes, Kansas has hills.)
I was really pleased with my run. I haven’t run this distance in a while so it was nice to see I was able to do it – in the middle of a humid day even. I was almost completely set on running the half at this point. I still wanted to talk it over with a friend of mine though who is signed up for the race.
I’m so glad I did.
After talking it over with my friend and listening to her tell me about her 9 mile run that same day, I just knew I wasn’t ready. Five weeks out is just not enough time. So instead, I signed up for the 5K. I know, it sounds like a let down when I write it like this, but it really is the smart decision. And one I’m super excited about.
The 5K is right at my level right now distance-wise. With this distance I could actually be proud of my time and possibly work towards a PR. I dug out a 5 Weeks to Your Fastest 5K training plan from an old Runner’s World and I have just enough time to implement it. Will it really be my fastest?? I highly doubt it, but I think it will be faster than if I ran it tomorrow. I officially signed up this evening so I’m committed. Can’t wait! Nothing like a race to motivate training! More to come!