Process Running: Race Week
August 13 2019 // Edmonton, AB
I’m stupid fit right now.
No seriously, I don’t joke around about this stuff. Let’s be honest, I don’t joke around about much. More specifically, my fitness level. I trust the process. Focus only on each workout. And just like that, I am fit.
It is week ten of Jen’s marathon training block, and the final tuneup before the half marathon is a couple hours behind us. I say us because this has truly been a partnership between Jen Elliott and I up to this point, and will be until about 8:00 AM on Sunday morning. Heck, even 10K into the thing we’ll be working together.
Then we race.
I have two years and five months, 7400.5 KMs, five races, and 602 runs on these legs — and this will be my first true test of fitness. I’ve been waiting for this. I’ve been playing the long game. I feel I have my body in a position to handle a massive output, and an aerobic engine ready to be red lined for 21.1 KMs.
There is no arbitrary time to break like my first race which is merely a time trial to crack 20:00 in the 5K.
I’ve got a qualifying time for the 2020 NYC Marathon, which is my only interest at this point in road racing. It will be my first marathon. It will be with my NYC family. It will be amazing.
I have nothing to gain by running the wheels off the thing for a time, nor running conservative. My motivation is to simply run the fastest half marathon I can tactically, physically, and mentally wring out of myself.
On a flat course.
On a start line two city blocks from my apartment.
In potentially perfect conditions.
In mostly perfect health.
Operationally defining “perfect health” for a 100 KM/week runner means nothing that I will have to manage on race day. It’s truly go time.
My only other half marathon effort comes after a three week break from running due to the most demanding three weeks of my professional career leaving me emotionally, mentally, and physically all but broken. It is also a downhill route so the time really isn’t valid. It is merely a data point to confirm that I can run downhill hard for a looooong time on pavement with no physical ill effects. The race ends up being just another long tempo at the front of a solid 12 week training block.
Training the past nine weeks has gone remarkably well with the only hiccups being early on — long tempo runs my weak point. I’ve since remedied the long tempo, and have been in literal lock step with Jen — we run the exact same cadence stride for stride — the last couple of weeks as we crush everything Mile2Marathon founder, and coach, Dylan Wykes can throw at us.
Even when we take things off the rails and onto the trails in the mountains a couple weeks ago turning a light effort long run into a hard effort battle with rising heat and climbing trails. Perhaps one of us gets diarrhea in the bushes at the trailhead immediately after we finish. Perhaps.
Yes, I overdid it coach.
But here we are. The final round of 800’s cut down from HMP to 5K complete this morning with a heart rate that barely cracks 80% at any point shown above. Our highest mileage week behind us with snappy legs. Our longest tempo at race pace of this training block is even a fond memory rather than a nightmare I repress.
All that is left is an easy week, making sure the #LegsAreFeelinGood, copious naps, and keeping the mind sharp rolling through Faubs’ & Coach Ben’s required race week reading; Inside A Marathon. Chapter 12 will be consumed numerous times while on the couch.
Hey coach Jess, I’m ready.
Ready to go all out with the proper training for the distance at hand.
Ready to challenge myself like I never have before.
Ready to race fearlessly.
Ready to race.