Sunday, October 5, 2014

3 Races in 6 Weeks

I have 3 races in the next 6 weeks. Next weekend, I'll run my first 5K in 7 years! Holy shit. I'm excited, anxious, and a bit hesitant to toe the starting line. Then, the following weekend I'll run my first road half-marathon in 14 years. Again, holy shit! I'm nervous, but getting more confident about this race. Then, 4 weeks later, I'll run a 50 mile trail race. I'm an ultra guy so this one doesn't bother me. In fact, I'm looking forward to this event. I plan on knocking out a personal record.

So, how do I train for these three very different races? Well, I've basically tried to target the half-marathon. I figure whatever speed and stamina I developed in training for the half should carry over to the 5K and 50 miler. And I'll add at least one really long run after the half to help my endurance for the 50 miler. Lots of trade-offs, but I'll give it a go and see what happens. If nothing else, the 5K and half-marathon results should provide a good baseline for predicting next April's marathon time. Plus, those race results will benchmark my winter training for the April marathon. I hope to answer the real I close enough to BQ in April?

Do I have predictions for these three races? Not really, but I do have targets I'm shooting for at each event. For the Illini Mentor Program 5K, I'm hoping to break 20 minutes. Give me a 19:59 finish and I'll be happy. Not a PR, but I'm a lot older than when I last raced this distance. Can I run a 6:26 pace for 3.1 miles? I don't know. We'll see in 6 days.

For the St Louis RNR half-marathon, I have two goals. My "reach" goal is breaking 1:35 (7:15 pace). I don't think I'm ready for this effort, but I can dream. My back-up goal is 1:37 (7:24 pace). This would still be a good race time for me. Not a PR, but again, I haven't run a half-marathon in over a decade!

For the Tunnel Hill 50 mile trail race, I want a new personal record (currently 9:49). I will try for sub-9 hours. If EVERYTHING comes together, I will dream of an 8 hour finish. Unlikely, but possible under ideal conditions. Of course, I need to remain injury-free after the two "short and fast" races. Maybe those short races will make the ultra pace seem super easy. Anyway, I'll be happy if I set a new PR. Happier if I break 9 hours. Party for a week if I break 8 hours!

Wish me well as I race these three different races. I'll need a little luck to achieve my goals. But I've prepared rather well and maybe luck is on my side. May the running gods shine upon me!

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