Up to now, I’ve been focused on 5K races. The farthest distance I’ve run on my own is 4 miles. So my running has been concentrated on getting faster with my goal of breaking 30 minutes at a 5K. My PR is 30:44…I’m so close! Now that I’m training for a half-marathon my thinking has to change. Now I’m doing long distance running so I have to think about building my endurance. It’s a whole different mind set. So I’ve got a 5k race coming up in a couple of weeks and I really want to finally break 30, but, I’m in the middle of training for my half marathon and I don’t want to disrupt that. Do I concentrate on my 5K and then when it’s over concentrate on my half-marathon? I already know that answer to that. Somehow I have to reconcile my 5K goal but not sure how.
In my free run days I just run as instructed. I don’t look at my watch or try to keep a pace; I just run for the time I’m told to run. I like the freedom of this. I just go with how I’m feeling and monitor my form and enjoy the run. With a 5K I’m constantly trying to run the 3 miles faster than the last time. Each free run I compare to the last to see if I’ve improved. Now, I just run and I keep in mind that it’s not about going fast, it’s about going the distance.
My break 30 goal has been on my mind for awhile now. I wanted to achieve this goal during the Big 5K this year. It was the one year anniversary of my first 5K. Even though I beat my time by 15 minutes, I did not break 30. I wasn’t too hard on myself though. I forgot how crowded that race is. It was so crowded that I had to walk the first half mile until the crowd started to spread out. The minute I got in my corral, I hit me that this is going to be a slow start. I thought maybe I could make up the time but those hills were just too much. So I set my sites on the Santa Monica Classic which is where I achieved my PR and figured I could certainly PR there again. But then I gave myself a new goal.
So the Santa Monica Classic is in 3 weeks. I haven’t been pushing my time at all. If I were to attempt my PR I would need to make a move now. I would need to change the way I run my free-runs now. I also have to consider the fact that I have my long run scheduled the day before the race for 7 miles. Can I run my 7 miles on a Saturday and PR a 5K on a Sunday? It seems like way too much. I need to focus on what is most important to me and that’s the half-marathon. I’m enjoying the training, my free runs, my group runs and I really just want to enjoy that whole experience. I’ll do the Santa Monica Classic and just enjoy it as another free run day for myself and go at a comfortable pace so as not to risk injury for my bigger race.
I can still think about hitting that PR in the future if I want. It’s still going to be there.