On Sunday the 29th, I am running the Nice Half Marathon. It will be my first race in almost 6 months that I have a time goal for. My last real race was the NYC Marathon back in November of 2011. As big of a race as the Atacama was, it was less about time and more about placement / finishing.
The Nice Half Marathon marks the beginning of my 2012 racing season, and I’m a little nervous about it for two reasons:
1. The bike accident. My left hip / knee were hurt pretty badly, and the muscles are still a bit sore. I don’t think there will be any permanent damage of any sort, but in the upcoming week or two there may be some residual discomfort that might affect performance. My left calf is strangely sore, so I’ll be doing nothing but easy runs this week before the race.
2. Lack of racing in 6 months. I feel like I haven’t had the racing mindset that I had before, simply because I’ve spent so much time training and not much time racing. I have to start somewhere, though, so this isn’t much of a problem more than it is an observation. I think racing is a skill that needs to be practiced, and I just have to start racing again.
My “B” goal is to set any form if a PR. My current PR is 1:23:09, set what will be almost exactly a year to the day of the Nice Half Marathon. My “A” goal is a PR in the 1:20 – 1:21 range. I think my legs will be capable of running it if the soreness goes away, and as long as the race day weather is OK. I think the race starts at 11am, and it may be a little warm for me. Also, I need to make sure to get in the competitive start corral, because the narrow streets of Nice will slow a lot of people down who want to run faster than a 1:30. You need to be in the front of the race so you don’t get boxed in during the first 10 kilometers.
After the Nice Half, I’ll be focusing on continuing to get faster for the Massachusetts Reach the Beach in mid-May. Then it’s all about training for the Chicago Marathon in October. I’m nervous, slightly excited about the prospect of running fast again, but most of all happy to be back in training with my friends. As much as I liked the backpack training, it did mean that I did a lot the Atacama training solo.