Marathon-schmarathon: I'm going short this weekend! My eyes are fixed on my 5K this Saturday. I'm on the East Coast visiting relatives (does that qualify as "vacation"!?), and I got in some awesome, focused training runs at my inlaws in upstate New York. A challenging 2.5-mile warm-up run, then I came upon a track I had all to myself for 5 x 800 meters, with first and third 200s at 3K pace, then 2nd and 4th 200s at 10K pace. It was humid and I was drenched by the time I returned, but I felt victorious. As we all know, it's tough to do a track workout solo, and it felt like there wasn't another living soul within shouting distance, let alone trotting around the track.
Then on Sunday morning I did a confidence-boosting tempo run on a delightfully flat rail-trail. I told myself I would do 30 minutes at 8:00 pace, and I ended up averaging 7:55-minute miles for the half-hour. Woo-hoo! I have faith adrenaline and competitive fire can knock at least 25 seconds per mile off when it comes time to run race-pace. My current 5K PR is 23:33, which is a 7:34 pace. I banged that out last June without any specific 5K training, so I feel I've set myself up for an even faster time.
That 23:33 finish would have placed me 21st in last year's version of the race I'm running on Saturday. So my goal is to crack the top 20. At the end of all my recent runs, I've fired myself up to bring it home by envisioning myself dueling with another runner. I tell myself she's the 19th-place finisher and I'm currently in the 20th slot. I turn on the juice to pass her in the final meters of the race. Here's to hoping I do as well in the real race as I do in the imaginary one I keep playing out in my head!
And, hey, if you happen to be at the race in Hartford this weekend, look for me and say hi. I'll be sporting a SkirtSports black running skirt, light green Nike running tank, and brand-new Nike LunarGlide+ kicks.