Heather and I registered for the North Jersey Half Marathon last night. The race is next Saturday, the 19th, and looks super-flat. This is only the third year they have held the event, and last year's winning time was 1:19, so not sure if I'll have company shooting for 5:20's, but that's ok.
Feeling stiff and sore (from last week's mileage?), I headed to the track on a picture-perfect midday. Temps right around 60 degrees, light breeze, crisp and cool.
Decided on tempo miles, with a goal of seven. Instead of trying to run them all at 5:20-5:24, I thought I would increase the pace as I went, starting out a little slower than 5:20 and ending up a little faster. The goal for the half-marathon will be to improve on my pr of 1:12:13, which I ran at New Bedford in 2007 during my Boston build-up. I remember barely being able to walk afterwards (IT band) and still forcing myself to do a 4-mile cooldown with Andy McCarron. I'd love to be near or potentially under 1:10. With that in mind, I want 5:20's to be pretty comfortable.
.25 miles up to the track, then 2 miles on the track for a warmup.
Started the workout with a relaxed 76-second first quarter, then backed it off too much to run the first mile in 5:31. jogged 100m and back to the start. Mile 2 was a 5:27. Kept the recoveries at ~200m/1:00. Mile 3 = 5:22. Mile 4 = 5:18. Mile 5 = 5:14. Mile 6 = 5:18; decided to forego the recovery jog and just stood near the finish for 1:00 to feel more recovered. Finished up with a 5:11.
2 miles on the track for a cooldown, then jogged back down to my office. Feeling good about next weekend.