Tuesday, February 26, 2008


It's got to that stage of the training process now. Having done a race and seen how my legs have responded to training, it's time to start playing with figures. I'm enjoying it, because it's giving me a lot of confidence.
Before Edinburgh I played around with various numbers, and eventually came up with a target of about 3:52. I even printed off a pace band for that time, although I didn't wear it on the day, opting to wear 3:45 and 4:00 ones I picked up at the expo instead. In the end I did 3:52:11. I had too much on to do that before Amsterdam, but this time I'm definitely back to playing with numbers.
When I did it for Edinburgh, I had my "realistic" target of 4:00, and my "on a good day if I have the race of my life" target of 3:45. This time those targets have moved. I feel roughly as confident of breaking 3:45 as I did of breaking 4:00 this time last year, and likewise, would put my chances of 3:30 at around the same level as my chances of 3:45 last year. The numbers say I should be capable of it, but I haven't trained with that target in mind, and it would take an almighty effort.
At the moment, I think my target is an unscientifically chosen 3:36. I've tried to think what pace I realistically feel like I could run at, and am working on the basis of 8:15 minute miles (just under 30 seconds per mile slower than half marathon pace). That is subject to change in the next few weeks, but I want to have an idea of the pace I want to run, so that I can get used to how it feels in training. I have a 20 mile race coming up which I want to try to run at marathon pace, but until I decide what marathon pace is, it's a bit hard.
Officially I'm aiming for 3:45 and that's what I'm telling people at running club. I don't like putting the pressure on myself by going round talking about anything faster than that. But I want to have my own target which I keep to myself, other than revealing it to cyberspace.
Of course, that leads to a whole new idea in my head. For years, the dream has been getting a GFA time, but I seem to have moved the goalposts slightly. I'm aware that my new target also qualifies me for Boston, and that the two races are likely to be too close together to do both. At the moment I feel like if I do manage to get the slightly harder Boston time, I should seize the chance of doing that race instead of FLM again, because it will be a race I haven't done. It's all a bit speculative, trying to decide which of two races I haven't qualified for yet I should do. There are plenty of things that could go wrong between now and the 13th April, but hopefully having that as a goal in my head will help me focus on it.
And while we're on the subject of America, I've started making post FLM plans. You see, something has just come to my attention. I'd love to do New York again someday, but didn't fancy the ballot, or having to pay a premium to get a place through tour companies. And I'm certainly not doing the charity route again for a while. But I've just noticed that unlike London and Boston, you can qualify for New York with a fast enough half marathon. For women my age, that time is 1:37:00 or faster. That looks achievable. In fact, it looks very achievable (certainly more achievable at this stage than the 3:23 you need if you want to use a qualifying marathon time). 3 minutes, 11 seconds. Roughly what I took off my previous PB on Sunday. Hmm....
I don't think I could afford New York and Boston in the same year, and I don't know whether the races I run are "certified courses" for qualification purposes, but it's something to bear in mind for my next target. A girl has to have goals!


Blogger Nisa said...


I found your site from fatfighters.com and I'm so glad I did! You look absolutely fabulous in your wedding photos from your main blog and am totally inspired. I wish I could have more confidence in taking up running, any tips? I usually go to the gym and run 4km for 30 minutes. Any advice on speeding it up without burning myself out early?

7:22 PM  

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