The New Year started with a bang which I won't go into right now, but let's just say it's been a rough week.
I have two main focuses right now. First I need to work as many hours as possible to try to pay some bills. Christmas was no surprise, although it always puts a pinch in the wallet. But we had to spend nearly $2000 in unexpected car repairs ($900 to replace a fuel take?! Give me a fucking break GM. You wonder why you're losing money?) and the wife broke a tooth that's going to cost almost $1000. Then we had the lovely annual property tax payment which I'd saved for, but still.
The second focus is staying healthy and finishing the Austin Endurance Challenge. If you've been playing along at home I've finished 4 races: a 10k (6.2 miles), 10 miler, half marathon (13.1 miles), and 20k (12.4 miles). That along with an extra marathon thrown in adds up to 67.9 miles of racing. The remaining races are the ARA 20 Miler tomorrow in San Marcos, the 3M Half Marathon three weeks later, and the AT&T Austin Marathon on February 18.
Since the Dallas Marathon on December 10 I took a week off and then had an easy week of about 10 miles and then I jumped back in with a 41 mile week that included a 20 miler on Christmas Eve. After that my legs had a number of aches and pain and I had a worrisome sore spot in my right foot so I didn't run last Sunday and only did a 10k time trial on Monday and a light run this morning. At this point I've reconciled myself to the fact that I'm not going to improve my conditioning any more this season and that it's just a matter of maintaining my fitness level and avoiding injury. So I'm probably going to focus more on lots of shorter runs and avoid anything over 16 miles after the race tomorrow.
Tomorrow is actually a key race. I don't plan to run it all out, but I need to run it pretty hard to try to dial in my marathon race pace. My plan is to start out at a 10 min/mile pace and then speed up 10 seconds/mile until I get down to a 9 min/mile pace on mile 7. At that point I'm going to try to finish the race at a 9:00 min/mile pace which is what I want to run in the marathon. I'll run at least 10 miles at that pace and if I need to let up the last few miles it will be okay. This is more of a training run than a race. If I can do that then I'll be in good shape for the last two races of the season.
Since the beginning of the season my real target race is the 3M half marathon. I'll be shooting for about an 8:45 min/mile pace which would give me about a 1:55 finishing time. The course is a point to point course that is mostly downhill so I think that I should be able to comfortably meet or beat that goal.
At Austin I'd like to break 4 hours, but the course is a tough loop course with lots of hills so if I can just improve over my Dallas time of 4:17 I'll be happy.
Got to go and do chores now.