long runs and short hair

This week officially kicked off my training for the Long Branch 1/2 Marathon on May 6th.  When I ran the course last year, it was my 3rd 1/2 marathon and I was coming off a PR in Huntington Beach about two and a half months earlier, so I was feeling pretty confident.  In fact, it left me feeling over confident and over the next few weeks, I hit a bit of a plateau with regards to my motivation as a runner.  All in all, I still had a good time with the race, despite the fact that it was my slowest 1/2 on the books at the time.  (Impressively, I’ve ran even an even slower half this past September while getting ready for the NYC Marathon.  Like I mentioned earlier this week, marathon training made me slow.)

This time around, I’m taking the training more seriously and hoping to use these nine weeks leading up to this race as an opportunity to work on speed and pacing.  I don’t think May 6 will be the PR I’m looking for in a 1/2 marathon this year, as I’ve spent the past four months as a very casual runner.  While there’s a slight chance I can shape up enough to cross the finish line at 1:54, a more realistic goal is a race where I can comfortably stay at a 9 minutes per mile pace.  Here’s how I’m planning on doing that:

  • A long, slow run a each Sunday, starting with 6 miles this weekend and building up to 12 miles the weekend prior to the race.  I’ll add a mile each week, with the exception of week 6, which will be a 15K race to gauge where I’m at.
  • Two speed work outs a week – tempo or interval runs on Wednesdays, and a pace run on Saturdays.
  • Two relaxed runs (3 to 5 miles depending on the week) on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
  • Strength work outs on Mondays and Thursday.

This week’s long run had to happen on Saturday, since I’m hopping on a plane to Phoenix today for work, followed by a vacation with The Guy.  I hate to admit it, but 6 miles felt looong.  (Which makes sense, since I haven’t run that far in a couple of months.)  It also felt good, though, to dig down for that last mile, which ended up being my best one of the six.

This image is courtesy of my very thoughtful boyfriend, who gave me a fancy Garmin watch for Christmas.

In other news, I already broke my resolution to limit myself to one drink the night before a long run, since I had two very delicious glasses of Nero d’Avola at Porsena on Friday night.  Worth it.

In other other news, I had about a foot of hair chopped off today.  I’ve been in despearte need of a hair cut for quite some time, so I figured I’d donate my hair to Locks of Love and it’d be a win-win.  I can’t say enough good things about Brandy at the Dramatics salon in the west village.  She did an amazing job of turning this:

Before.

into this:

After.

As you can see, Cop is more interested in what’s happening in the courtyard below our window than he is in my new ‘do, but I’m trying not to take it personally.  I’m pretty sure he likes it.  And, without all that hair weighing me down, maybe I’ll shave some time off this weekend’s long run in Arizona?

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