Welcome back spring. I've missed you. Mostly your sun-bathed warmth. I'd also like to take a moment to thank George Bush - The younger one - for moving daylight savings from May to March and allowing me to actually do something after work without the use of a headlamp.
Saturday will mark the official start of my 2010 race season also. Wifey and I are soon on our way to Moab for the Canyonlands Half Marathon. I'll admit I am not as prepared as I'd like to be, not even as prepared as I was last year. The whole upper and lower respiratory infection for three weeks in February thing sorta hit my training at a crucial time. But I am optimistic I can make it under two hours, heck that's only a 9 minute/mile average. Because my training schedule was dealt a blow, I've also decided to train the last two weeks as usual, rather than taper, and just use the half as additional training for events that may crop up later in the year. I am also going to play with pre race nutrition a little bit. I am going to minimize fiber and gluten intake - and even fluid intake a little - in an effort to avoid the digestive problems I had last year at the Ogden Half. I'm also having some shin and knee issues this year...
So the morning should go like this. Wake up about 6. Have some coffee, electrolyte water and a light, low gluten and fiber breakfast with a calorie count I haven't decided upon. Leave about 7:45 for the buses and take one of the last buses to the start. Start at 10. Run at a comfortable pace, keeping the heart rate in the upper aerobic zone - about 140-145 bpm - at least until I exit the Canyon. Hopefully that heart rate zone will coincide with at least a 9 min/mile pace. Then, if I am feeling randy, I'll step it up into the finish, hopefully under 2 hours.
I guess I am maturing. I am starting to think more about pacing and nutrition more than ever before. In the past, I've been careful to get plenty of calories and hydration before the race, but I think I might have overdone it, and had the wrong kinds of foods, leading to bodily issues. My pacing has also been poor. Run just within the limits as long as I can and then suffer like a dog the last couple of miles. I am hoping a calmer start and the right nutrition will not only lead to a time I am happy with, but also to no digestive issues during or after the run.
Because there will be good food and beer to be enjoyed. And a bike ride on the day after. Here's to 2010 and personal success for all three of you, as well!