Check out this glorious picture of me
about to PR at the Oak Forest Fleadh 5K.
I don’t know if I’ve ever taken such a nice race photo.
Notice that I’m floating. And I’m wearing a skirt.
I’m practically Super Woman.

So far this year, I haven’t really been following a training plan for my races. Mostly because they have been short races (5K’s and an 8K) and also because I haven’t been planning to go all out and race the one longer race I’m doing (Sunday’s half – even before I decided to pace my friend, I wasn’t planning to run it super hard).

Basically my training for the year has just been “run whatever the group is running.” I think 80 percent of my runs have been group runs. Which has been a lot of fun! And has definitely made me faster. And I have a nice solid base of miles and marathon training draws closer.

Now that the pressure is off for this Sunday’s half (I found out it’s my friend’s first half marathon, so I’m just going to stick with her and have fun), my focus is on PR’ing the pants off of one of my June half marathons. Or both.

I’m going to try to follow a plan based on a personalized plan from the RunnersWorld.com Smart Coach. I know I’m not going to follow it exactly, but I’m going to use it as a starting point.

For now, my plan is:

Easy runs:
 2-3 days per week, 3-6 miles at a pace of 9:32, working down to 9:21.

Tempo or Track workout:
1 day per week
Tempo runs: 6-7 miles, with the tempo miles at a pace of 8:05, working down to 8:02 (which is just a few seconds slower than the HM goal pace)
Track workouts: 1600m repeats at a pace of 7:33 working down to 7:25 (my 5K PR pace is 7:30)

Longs runs: 
Saturdays. The RW plan has me doing 13 miles every weekend, using the same easy pace as my easy weekday runs. That seems excessive. I’ll probably start with 8 and work my way up to 12.

Strength/core work: 
At least once a week. The Pilates and weights classes that I like at my gym conflict with my group runs (of course they do when you go to group runs regularly on four different days of the week). So I will have to skip a group run once per week. I’ll probably rotate which day I skip.

Based on this plan, I should be able to run a half marathon at a 8:00 pace. That seems pretty ambitious to me – honestly I would be happy just to finish in under 2 hours for both races. But aim high (er, low), right? I’ll see how I feel on race days, I’ll probably follow my heart rate more than my pace and see where I end up. Plus it would be fun to PR two weekends in a row (I mean, why not try?) so I’ll probably do the June 2 race a little bit easy to give myself some wiggle room to PR again on June 9. (And also so I have some gas left for June 9.) But I’ll keep an eye on the weather and factor that in as well. (13.1 Chicago, my June 9 half, was cut short last year due to the heat.)

Currently, my half marathon PR is 2:22. SEE YA!

ALSO, speaking of half marathons, if you’re doing the Chi-Town Half & 10K this weekend, meet-up with us before the race!