Tomorrow, I’m running the Kaiser Half Marathon. The last time I ran it, I think in 2010, I had a small complete meltdown in the second half. From mile 7-13 you run three miles straight out along the Great Highway — staring at the mile markers off in the distance with the wind and sand blowing from the ocean — and then turn around and run three miles straight back. It’s terrible.
I was going to post the worst photo of me from that race, but I have like six chins in that picture and am biting my lip, because I’m so focused on running without picking up my feet (a new technique), so here is just one of the not super flattering pictures:
Tomorrow, is going to go better. I am ignoring my hurt ankle/arch/calf/foot/whatever. Running doesn’t seem to make the injury worse, so I have decided I will be fine. And after that works, I’m going to decide to be super rich and famous too.
Barring the whole injury thing, what I’m not totally sure about is how fast to run. (As fast as I can, haha, you’re brilliant, you.) I tend to lean towards the go as hard as you can until you blow up thing. But, that doesn’t really work for races longer than, I dunno, a 5K. For a half-marathon you sort of have to pick a speed to start at. And, I don’t know what that should be.
In the past, I would have aimed to break 1:30 (like 6:52 pace). But, I’ve been running faster than I ever have in training. AND, if I almost never ran fast in training, then isn’t 10 x not that much like a LOT? So, I’d like to think I can break 1:30 by a couple minutes. But, I could be wrong or I could be vastly underestimating myself.
There are two reason I don’t usually like to start out at a conservative pace and then pick it up if I feel good. Because: 1. I have maybe twice in the history of all my races “felt good.” It’s hard in the mix of things to recognize that yes, you hurt, but you could hurt more. 2. It’s a perfectly fine strategy for a race where you have a specific goal or target, because you don’t want to blow up. But, if you just want to see how fast you can go, then how will you know that was your fastest if you hold anything back? What if you could have gone harder?
I’m not saying this like ever works out for me the way I hope it will. But, still, if I have to pick, I’d rather start out too fast than too slow. So, tomorrow, I will try not to blow myself up, but I might. And, I will try to run as fast as I can.