February 14, 2014

First race of 2014: a half

It has been two years since I ran the First Half Marathon, a popular Vancouver race. In 2012, I ran 87:27, my fastest then over the 21.1K distance, and an improvement from my 89:39 in 2009 and 89:46 in 2011 on the same course. Since then, I have run three faster half marathons.

My best, 86:54, came in April 2012, followed by 87:02 in June 2012. Then injury and no training for an entire year. The first half since then, in October 2013, I ran in 87:14.

I am not sure what I will aim for this Sunday -- I am healthy and enjoying my training. My weekly volume has been low, barely half of what I was running in the lead-up to my fastest half in 2012. Partly I have been cautious as I returned to training following a 5-week recovery from the Seattle marathon 2-1/2 months ago. And partly I have been quite busy.

Most of my training so far this year has been focused on endurance, I have done very little speed.

I'd like to improve my time on the First Half course, ie better 87:27. In the 2012 edition I passed the first mile marker in 6:39, and ended up with an average pace of 6:41 mile, or 4:09 per K.

But I am also tempted to use the event as a marathon race pace run, ie 4:15 per K, or 6:52 per mile, as I just this week received confirmation of my spot in the Vancouver marathon on May 4.

I'll see how the legs and lungs feel Sunday morning and take it from there. I am definitely looking forward to the first race of 2014, especially considering that only a year ago I was not able to run at all.