We are just over 3 weeks away from the Rock n Roll half-marathon in Savannah, and I have one thing to say.
The training plan I’m using this year is rather unique because it takes you well past the race distance prior to the race. It’s a Jeff Galloway time goal program, and the logic is that if I run farther than 13.1 miles in my training, then I’m less likely to hit a wall of fatigue on race day.
My longest run during this training will be 17 miles. That’s a whole lotta pavement.
Five weeks ago I hit 12.5 miles. Two weeks later, 14 miles. Last week was my first ever 15-miler, and my longest duration at over 3 hours of running. I’m getting a bit tired.
I’m tired, but I don’t resent the plan. Each long run, I go a little farther before I start struggling. On that 15-miler, I felt pretty solid through 13 miles. Sure, the last two miles were really, really tough, but I ran the half marathon distance without too much difficulty. I think Galloway may know what he’s doing.
I’ve tweaked my official race goal to be simply a personal best. I’d like to beat my 2:43:08 record from last year. When I began the program in the summer, I had a race goal of 2:30, but I’m not sure it’s realistic. I’ve nailed all my targets in training, but when I do my long runs they are significantly slower than 2:30. I imagine race-day adrenaline will give me something of a boost, but it may not boost me an extra minute per mile. But I’ve decided I’m ok with this.
This week I’ve got about an 8 mile long run, but next week is the big, bad 17-miler. I’m hoarding podcasts and refining music playlists in order to keep me sane on the run. I’ve been experimenting with fuel and hydration. I have new shoes and a new fuel belt. I’m nervous about it, but also know that I’ve prepared for it and I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.
And best of all, it’s the last significant long run of the program, so then it’ll be race day and hopefully a chance to see this hard work pay off. And then, a warm bath, a cold beer and some well-earned rest!