On adjusting expectations

Um. One week from tomorrow, I am running a half marathon.

If it hasn’t been obvious from my (sporadic) posts – which have been either vaguely mopey or awkwardly lacking on the topic – the “plan” has not transpired. I have not been running 40-50 MPW (more like 20-30). I have not been consistent with my Tuesday track sessions and I certainly have not added a weekly tempo run. With respect to strength training and yoga, I have done okay, but progress on my hack squat and warrior three only go so far when it comes to racing 13.1 miles.

Honestly? I’ve considered giving away my bib. Waking up at the crack of dawn on Thanksgiving Day (a day which happens to involve hosting my husband’s entire family, all of whom are flying in from out of state) to half-ass a half marathon seems stupid.

But I think there is still something I can get out of this race, even if I’m not anywhere close to PR shape.

Namely: that I can use it as a tough-it-out marathon-pace run, giving me a baseline to determine what sort of shape I’m in as I go in to Boston training. I mean…Atlanta is hilly. Boston is hilly. If I can manage an 8:00 (or, if I’m having a good day, 7:45) pace for 13.1 on questionable training, that at least gives me something to go on when planning my Boston workouts.

So, that’s the goal: 1:45.

But truthfully, I won’t even be upset with 1:50. I really haven’t been putting the miles in these last few months, so why would I expect to be in shape? I am not in shape. I may be able to pull a decent 400/800 track workout out of my ass, but that doesn’t mean much when you’re talking about racing for over an hour.

And speaking of track workouts….I have decided to chill out a little bit lately. If I take on Boston training the way that I would like to (a la Pfitzinger), I’ll be doing lots of tough runs over the next few months. Right now should be base building and fun running. There is no reason to kill myself at the track.

So this week, I aimed for 80% performance.

We did 2 X [2X800, 2X400]

Instead of going balls out, I decided to try these at true 5K pace, which would mean 3:20 for the 800s and 1:35 for the 400s. That was tough; I’m used to chasing the 3:00 barrier on 800s and I haven’t run a 400 over 90 in a track workout in months.

800: 3:11, 3:14
400: 1:34, 1:33
800: 3:13, 315
400: 1:34, 1:32
 

That still exhausted me, even if I backed off of my usual pace targets. Also: it was dark and cold (by Atlanta standards) and there was a psycho bird that kept darting across the backstretch of the track as we ran by. (Seriously…I thought it was a rat until it took a brief flight during one lap-crossing.)

I have plenty of time to figuratively kill myself in the future with training and racing. This fall just hasn’t been my time for that. I haven’t put in the miles, and I have no one to blame for that but myself. I can’t expect race results that don’t reflect my training effort.

So: 1:45 (or 1:50) or bust. And a decadent Thanksgiving dinner afterward.

And thank jeebus that all discord has been solved in our house.

My husband recently switched computer/office bags and made the mistake of leaving his old one on the floor. This immediately became the Best Place To Sleep Ever and resulted in a knock-down drag-out fight between our two cats over who would roost there. I took the bag away and they’re fine now. Apparently, as they’re back to their yin-and-yang formation.

And if we are talking about political discord? I realize that my last post may have ruffled some feathers. I’d intended, in that brief post, to communicate my conviction that candidates (especially major party candidates) rarely represent the actual wishes of the voter, but that this isn’t a reason to abstain from the voting process.

Obviously you all know which angle I chose to approach that from when it came to the most recent election’s candidates.

I said this in the comments to that post and will say it again: if there is any political cohort about which it’s fallacious to assume stances or opinions, it’s the libertarians. I didn’t state any specific political/policy opinions in that post and I don’t plan to make that a focus of this blog, but I am happy to answer any questions or discuss via email [eatdrinkrun @ gmail].  Honestly, I expect that we are not as far apart as you think we are, assuming that you are coming at this from the “modern liberal”/Democrat point of view, which I assume most of you are…but I’m happy to chat with anyone of any political stripe.

[Insert analogy about third party candidates giving their all even though they know they will not win, and compare to my earlier statements about being able to gain something out of this half marathon even though I won’t come close to PRing, much less winning. Yes, I’m sure there is a parallel here.]

And with that, it’s bedtime for me.  I promise more beer reviews soon. We’re just about into my favorite beer season, with lots of Winter Warmers. I’m toasted just thinking about it.

12 responses to “On adjusting expectations

  1. Eh whatever, I thought it was really cool that you talked about your political opinions.

    It’s crazy that some people who claim to be so open minded then freak the f out when they realize someone doesn’t subscribe to the exact same belief system they do.

    Good luck on your half. I hope you surprise yourself and kick some ass!

  2. Have a great race. Whatever your time is, you will certainly feel better stuffing yourself at Thanksgiving dinner afterwards…and that’s really what is most important!
    Also, I think that more people are libertarian in their political beliefs than they realize.

  3. I can’t believe people would say hurtful things, if they did, because they think differently! That’s silly. I myself am actually very, very far left, and if I disliked everyone I came across that didn’t think that way, well I wouldn’t have very many friends :) I like that people have different opinions–life would be so boring if we all thought the same!
    Also, I’m jealous you’re doing ANY racing on Thanksgiving–I recently came down with pneumonia, I haven’t even set foot in a gym for almost 3 weeks now. Good luck on the half!!

  4. Cats love computer bags! When I was home I witnessed this :)

    Good luck with your half!!

    • Their obsession with this particular bag is rivaled only by the flurry of excitement that erupts when I put an empty pizza box on the floor.

      Cats are so, so weird.

      And thanks!

  5. Oh man, we have the same issue with cats on bags. Also cats on coats. If we DARE to put a coat away, we are the worst humans in the world.

  6. Who’s cookin’ the turkey while you are off galavanting and “having fun” on the big T-Day??

    • The race starts at 7 AM…so probably, me, after I get back. Although I’m sure I’ll have lots of help!

  7. Winter beers are my favorite, too. :) Good luck on the half!

  8. No matter how unprepared you are for the half marathon it can’t be worse than when we did Akron, I overslept and we ended up starting DEAD LAST. Totally my fault – I felt so bad about that!