Pacing & Racing…What to Do?
Looks like this year’s Road2Hope race weekend in Hamilton is quickly approaching, and I should probably talk about it since it’s become a yearly tradition for me. To be honest, the race has kind of snuck up on me. My training has been pretty good despite (or maybe “because of”) using a lighter training plan and incorporating more rest & cross training. Regardless, I’m feeling pretty good and looking forward to race day.
For the past two weeks I’ve had a friend of my wife join me for my long runs, she’s in great shape but mostly focuses on short-medium distances. She’s MUCH faster than me but has no experience over the long haul so it’s been mutually beneficial (she pushes me, I keep her even-keeled for the long run). She’s never run anything longer than a 10km race and even our longest training run (12.4km) is well short of a half marathon, but she’s decided that she wants to run the half marathon this weekend with me despite all this. Unfortunately, there’s a problem: I told her that I wanted to run at a steady 5:15/km pace, which I THOUGHT was a 1:45 half marathon…unfortunately it’s not. It’s actually a 1:50 half marathon pace. Not a big deal right? Welllll…after finding my mistake (math was never my strong suit) apparently she’s still married to the idea of a 1:45 race. It’s more aligned with the pace she’s used to training at so I see where she’s coming from, but I’m not so sure. Moreover, I’m not sure if I’m reluctant to jump on the faster pace because I’m scared to push through/hard or because I’m trying to be responsible veteran racer and trying to keep us both from blowing up.
We’ve had some great paces on our training runs and I’m right on the cusp of making the move to the faster race pace in my own right, but right now I’m in limbo. SO: Do I push for the faster pace and hope for the best or hang my hat on the race plan I setup 2 months ago when I didn’t know how I’d feel on race day?
What would you do?