Friday, April 30, 2010

Lake Monona 20k Race Preview

Interesting fact: Otis Redding (that guy who sang Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay) died when the plane he was traveling in crashed into Lake Monona.

Here's the race course.

Only 12.44 little miles.  Most of it is on a bike path around the lake, but some is on residential streets.  I've wanted to run this course before (it's one of the most popular in town), but I didn't trust myself to navigate the roads on the east side without guidance.  That's the main reason I signed up for the race.  I figure once I do it with signs and cones, I'll be able to recreate the path myself.

The weather is supposed to be nice.  Not thunder-storming (like today) or windy (like yesterday).  Just cloudy and pleasant.  It's a small race so if we all start at 9am, I should be done in... well... let's get to that part.

Lake Monona 20k Race Goals:
At minimum: Enjoy the scenery and learn how the course meanders through the neighborhoods
C Time Goal: 1:44:00.  Why?  I dunno.  It's a round number.  8:23 min/mile.  Even though 26.2 miles is >>> than 12.44, this is the pace I'd need to qualify for Boston in the fall.  It would be a confidence boost to know I could hold it for almost half the distance.
B Time Goal: 1:43:36.  8:21 min/mile.  This is my predicted time based on the 8k last week.
A Time Goal:  1:42:20.  8:15 min/mile.  This is my goal pace for the 1/2 marathon I'm planning to run at the end of May.  Hitting that goal now would hopefully mean I could beat it later in May.

I'll be honest, though.  Mentally I'm not super pumped up for the race.  My A time goal pace sounds really really fast right now.  Not that I'm not recovered.  I'm actually feeling really good physically going into the race.  Only a short 4 miler plus some yoga today should have me ready as I'll ever be.

I think the thing I'm struggling with is that I still remember how hard my last race was.  Normally I let months go by between races, and I get amnesia about how uncomfortable racing is.  Not this time.  That battle between your body wanting to quit and your mind wanting to continue is fresh.  This race is different because it's not "fly and die" like a 5 mile race, but it's challenging because you have to sustain focus on pushing yourself just the right amount over a long period of time.  I haven't done a long race since fall of 2008, and I'm not sure I feel prepared.  I've done a number of 12.5 milers, but nothing longer, and I haven't done many mid-week 8+ mile runs either.

Well, we'll see...

On another note, I went out for "girls night" for Indian food and ice cream last night with two co-workers.  The food was delicious and the conversation was fun as always.  No pictures sadly because one of my co-workers is both camera shy and would kill me if I put anything descriptive about her on the Internet.

Guess I need to get ready to run here.  Off for another day at work.  TGIF!