Despite setting PRs in the 5K and 10K, I am disappointed in my performances this summer. Overall, I feel that the progress that I have made since the end of 2009 is minimal. Only in the 10K have I achieved a significant level of progress. As my body chemistry goes, so does my running. I am cautiously hopeful that a complete stop of soda consumption will result in significant gains. I feel dumb that I never really made that connection before but then again, I had a lot of other factors at work (thyroid, tooth, injuries, etc).
Originally, I had planned a build up in mileage up to the 50s in preparation for a full marathon in Arkansas the week before Thanksgiving. After some consideration, I have determined that there is not sufficient time to really give it my best effort plus there are some logistical issues that could complicate things after the race. I have too many races planned and other things that I want to do which will prevent me from focus purely on building mileage. I already had to cut one planned long run short this past weekend.
Here's how it looks:
9/18- I will be in Clemson for a football game and may not be able to do the long run
10/1- Monty half
10/16- Louisville half
11/5- possible 10 K in Mobile
11/20- White River half
December-early January- no races
Jan- 3 M Austin half
Feb- Mercedes full
As you can see, there is no way that I can do enough long runs to come anywhere near my capability if I am to run the full at White River (ARK). Moreover, I still feel that I have unfinished business at the shorter stuff. I'm putting the 400 on the backburner until next Spring because I want to devote more specific attention to it at that time. A fast time is still possible now but as the weather turns cooler, times in the sprints will suffer.
Mile- I want at least 2 more shots at this one. I've improved my PR by a whopping 1.8 seconds since the summer of '09 and I'm just 5 away from my goal. I am currently capable if I have my A+ stuff.
5K- I got a victory with an adult PR last weekend in Pittsburgh but it was not what I ultimately wanted. To beat an all-time PR at a distance that I raced regularly in high school would mean more to me than any other barrier with the exception of a BQ. In the last 2 years, I've gone sub-20 in 4 out of 6 races and have added 3 more under the barrier in solo time trials but I know that I am capable of better. I know my body and I know that despite the good result in Pittsburgh, I did not have my best stuff. A fast 5K will also give me confidence in the longer distances. No more races this year. If I am to get it done, it will have to be in a time trial. I did a 19:31 last year on the edge of a relapse and have run a solo 10K that by some calculators, projects to a 19:13 or below.
10K- This is where I've had the most success. I've lowered my PR by a solid 46 seconds in the last 12 months and could have done even better with fresh legs and competition. No more time trials at this distance for now. We'll see how the training goes. If I feel that I have a better than 50/50 chance of breaking 40, I will go to Mobile. If not, I'll run long.
Half- I've established myself as a consistent sub-1:35 man at this distance with 4 straight races below this barrier. Monty will most likely not be anything special and it's more for fun to see old friends. Louisville should be better since it's flatter and cooler. However, competition may be thin. If nothing else, I want to at least remove the asterisk from my PR that came from an inaccurate course measurement in Idaho. Arkansas will probably be a sub-1:30 attempt but my best chance will come on a blazing fast course in Texas.
Full- This is my softest PR by far. Even with insufficient mileage, I think that on a good day, I could run in the neighborhood of 3:30 right now. The mileage buildup will be gradual and I may not be running in the 50s consistently until November but that will be plenty of time to be ready in February. I've run the Mercedes half twice and had 2 great experiences. Why not try something new for my home race next year? Moreover, all those halves will leave me wanting to spice things up a bit. A BQ is highly unlikely but I should get a significant PR, maybe around 3:20 with steady training.
After Mercedes, I'll take a short break to recover then hit the 400 training hard. Lots of short intervals and very high intensity with mileage back down to the 30s. I'll be 31 next week and if I can't run that 59.9 in another year or two, I don't see it happening.
Edit: My 2nd half of the Fall will likely be in Cincinnati (10/22) instead of Louisville. I want to do another race with Nick and since he is a runnning the 13.1 Atlanta, he wants another week off. Probably a good call there. Cincy is a 7-7.5 hour drive, which is manageable. The course is fast and scenic and will likely be better organized and more competitive and Louisville. The KY Derby and Big Hit Home Run races should be better choices if I am to race in Louisville.