It's that time again. When I set a grand vision of prioritizing training and utilizing an upcoming race as motivation to keep running even through the busy times of the last month of tax season.
I finally registered the other day for the Hippie Chick Half, coming up in 8 weeks. It's a mere month after tax day, so it's tough to get in the long runs needed to really be prepared. This was my very first half marathon two years ago, for which my longest training run was a 8-mile run/walk. I also did it last year, cutting off 10 minutes from the prior year, but slower than my then-PR from the previous fall. I'm sure I run more during tax season when I have these races on the schedule than I would otherwise - but it still isn't much.
It also doesn't help that mid-May tends to have a brief spurt of summer-like weather - I believe last year it was in the 80s at the end of the race! (This only lasts for about a month in April and May, and then we return to our regularly scheduled rain for a couple more months before summer actually starts.)
But, nonetheless, given that this was my first attempt at exceeding the 5k race distance, it holds a dear place in my heart, and I intend to run it every year possible. I also enjoy that the finisher's medal is a necklace, and it really is a well-run event (though it was apparently sold/transferred - not sure how these types of transactions work - to a different management company for this year, though, so we'll have to see if that holds true going forward).
I ran a mile test on Sunday (10:04), and input that into Running World's SmartCoach program to generate this training plan (there's a paid version that allows you to adapt it as you go along, but the basic version is free). I set the intensity to the lowest option, "maintenance", as I don't really have time to devote to improving my current fitness, I just need to gradually increase my weekly volume and long runs. I have two more half marathons tentatively on my schedule for this summer, so plenty of time to really put the effort in for those! However - this plan is projecting a 2:41 finish - 7 minutes faster than my current official half PR, and a minute faster than my unofficial half PR (from the first half of the Portland marathon). We'll see...