Well what do ya know, this blog title applies not only to my half-marathon conditioning currently, but also my geographical location this morning ... Garden City, Kansas. And as I've said before ... there are no gardens or cities here ... just a dust bowl in the middle of nowhere with the rancid smell of beef processing stock yard hanging in the foggy morning air. My condolences if you live here. It's an arm pit of the Midwest ... that on top of everything else, is a 7 hour drive from my house. But I digress.
The real point of this post is to mark where I'm at 30 days from my half-marathon PR attempt at the Indy 500 Festival Mini Marathon. Basically, I'm okay with my speed right now, but I just can't hold for as long as I need should to run as fast as I want to on race day. Here are the splits from today's Tempo Workout ...
28 Degrees, 95% humidity, foggy, 6mph WSW, very flat course, Garden City, KS
Mile 1 - 8:30 warmup
Mile 2 - 6:55 (came to a full stop & waited about two minutes simulating cold race start)
Mile 3 - 6:49
Mile 4 - 6:45
Mile 5 - 6:38
Mile 6 - 6:39
Mile 7 - 6:54
Mile 8 - 6:53
Mile 9 - 7:57 (cool down)
Mile 10 - 8:49 (cool down)
The Good: Felt really fluid and legs felt healthy and smooth. Didn't fight any nagging stiffness or soreness and seemed to get up to speed really easily. Plus, considering the cool and REAAAALLY humid conditions, I felt like fairly strong and fast.
The Bad: Got a little tired a little too quickly. I probably could have kept up another couple miles at this pace, but not much more at this point. I've really got to begin to stretch myself out at these speeds. Plus, I'm really trying to fix the "slow warm up" in races that has plagued my times by learning to start faster right out of the chute, but when I do that, I just can't hold the faster paces for as long. It's like my lactic acid builds up too quickly and my legs get really heavy. I'll probably try a longer warm up period before the gun goes off, but if I start too fast, even in a half-marathon, I'm cooked.
The Shoes: Wore the Skechers GOrun Rides again. At this point I'm only wearing them for speed and tempo work, and races - basically treating them like racers. I really like them overall, but I notice that my feet get a little sore at the higher speeds. I don't think I could run in them full time. My left arch got a little sore, but that's my weak foot that I sometimes have issues with. But they feel really light and really fast.
Overall, I'm pretty pleased with my overall health, a month out from this race. My core is really solid, and my legs are strong, and I'm fairly fast (for me at least). Plus, I'm getting down to race weight ... about 177 right now (I'll shoot for 172 to be my fastest). I'm just eating really clean everyday without exception. And other than a lingering sore left shoulder I injured in one of the falls at my ultra-marathon, I feel great! The only real issue is increasing my long distance conditioning a little more. Ideally, I would like to have two additional weeks before the race, but I've gotta work with what I've got. At this point, I don't think the race will be a disaster or anything ... but I'm not quite ready to PR. So back to the grind - a little more work to do for this one. Hope your training is going well!
... be great today!