Training is over and race day is on the horizon!
We're leaving this afternoon for Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky. I'll run the 10k on Saturday morning, Eleanor will run the Kids' Fun Run (25 yards) on Saturday afternoon, and Keith and my mother-in-law Karen will run the entire Flying Pig Marathon on Sunday morning.
Last year, the Flying Pig 10k was my first race since having Eleanor. I was woefully out of shape. I finished in just over 70 minutes, which is a pace of 11:20 minutes/mile. That's slow, even for me. The good news is that I ran the half-marathon the following fall in just over 11 minutes/mile. Still not fast, but faster, and over double the distance.
I was disappointed with how crappy and slow I felt during the half-marathon. Plus, I ran the half-marathon on Sunday and we left for Costa Rica on Wednesday. Then Winter happened. So, without realizing it, I just stopped running.
On the plus side, however, since mid-January I've been working out 5 times a week. I've had a few off weeks, but only a few. My eating has been good and bad, but the workouts have been remarkably consistent. Since mid-March, those workouts have included 3 days of running per week: 1 tempo run (slightly faster than normal), 1 speedwork session (running short distance repeats much faster than normal), and 1 long run (plodding pace). I've done everything I can, training wise, to prepare for the race.
So now I'm to the point where I try to predict the outcome. I've adopted Keith's method of coming up with three different goal times. The first is the baseline level—the very worst time that you could still be okay with, even without severe food poisoning/cramping/other extenuating circumstances. The next is your real goal, which you think is feasible even if it's a bit challenging. The third is your wildest dreams goal: the one where all of the conditions would have to be perfect to achieve it.
For me, for this race, the lowest goal is merely to finish faster than last year. If I finish the race in 1:10:21 (a second faster than last year), this goal will be met. This is really shooting low, however, because last year's race was one of the slowest paces of ANY race, 5k to half-marathon, that I've had in the past 6 years. I've only run one race slower, and that one did involve extenuating circumstances, primarily insane heat and humidity.
My real goal is to run a 10:15 or 10:20 pace, which would mean finishing in about 64 minutes. I would be incredibly pleased with this result. It would mean that I've made huge strides since last year, and it would be in line with many of my other races. In actuality, my best 10k result ever was a 10:21 pace, so beating that would be very exciting. Based on my tempo runs and speedwork, I think this is a possibility.
My crazy goal would be to finish in under an hour. This would be a huge long shot, because that would mean a 9:39 pace. I've only run less than a 10:00 pace a handful of times, and they all happened the summer before I got pregnant, when I was training really hard for my first half-marathon. The stars really would have to align perfectly, the course would need to be straight downhill (it's not), and I would also require a formidable wind at my back to make this happen. So I'm not planning on anything close to this ... but I can dream.
Wish us all luck!