In my last post, I left with a teaser about how I would talk about my shiny new goals for CIM.

I chose the “let’s talk about it later” sendoff because I…have…no…plan. 

It’s a tough one, and I don’t feel like making a plan.  If you peek back to this post, I declared a complete release, sadly, of my sub-3:00 hour marathon goal.  The choice was to take a break to let my angry hip area heal rather than suffer through continued training to build up to that goal of 26.2 miles at 6:50 pace.  I let the goal go, I am content knowing there are a billion other marathons per year that I can devote that goal to. 

So now where does that leave me for CIM in 2.5 weeks? Let’s talk it through together.

In many ways, I am in the same shape as I was exactly one year ago, at which time with no gentle exertion, I ran a 3:05:08 at the CIM.  I really don’t think there’s much evidence that I am stronger or faster than I was then.  So that puts me at “aim for a 3:05-ish again” capability.  Again.  Boring.

But there are differences from one year ago.

I had more endurance last year, from weeks and weeks of 20+ mile runs on the regular.  I don’t have that going for me right now as I haven’t run a straight 20 miles or more in something like 5 or 6 weeks (I’ll try for 22 miles this weekend and see how that feels).  Without that endurance, I’m thinking that puts me at 3:05-3:10 territory.

I have more speed-work under my belt this year.  Granted, not much of it has been within the last month, but there is some base there in which I spent many a day at the track this spring and summer.  Do I have this in my favor? Will it make any difference? I don’t know.  So back to 3:05 territory, maybe we can dip into 3:04.

I tapered like a good girl for about a 3-week taper schedule last year.  This year, I'm planning on tapering for about 3 days.  I guess we'll learn if tapering is magic and science, or malarkey.  (Thanks to Joe Biden for reminding the world about the word malarkey). 

This year it could be so wonderful if my butt-crease pain and the leg-lock stays under control, or at least behaves better than it did last year.  That could gain me a minute or three.

Conclusion: I think, although I don’t know for sure, that I am going to go out for a 1:30 first half, and then just see how long I can hang on.  This is admittedly a terrible plan, but I am not one to negative split, probably won’t be smart enough to run a marathon that way for a while (I don’t have that trust in me that I can run fast at mile 25 no matter how conservative I started).  So that’s my plan.  If my second half ends up being 2 hours, too bad so sad at least I tried, and I can sign up for another marathon later.

****Other Running Stuff****

The last two days I’ve been sore in the good old leg muscles, so that left me with swimming (about 90 minutes on Monday a.m. in f-f-f-forty degree c-c-c-cold weather) and dance partying.  Proof of the dance party is presented in exhibit A.

Oh, you didn't know? That dance parties require costumes?

We call this T1, transition into the second stage of dance party

This is what it looks like.  When the doves cry.

Before the half marathon, I squeezed in three “speed work” runs with pretty abysmal results—which is part of why I was nervous and expecting to run slower at the half marathon. 

One workout was 10x400m at the track.  Pre-break, I was hitting 400m at 78-82 seconds.  Last week, I was at 84-86 seconds.  Not a great sign, right?

Another workout was a one-hour treadmill progression run.  I started at around 7.2 mph and worked up to 9.2 mph, totaling about 8.2 miles.  Dude, I was running 9.4 holy moly miles per hour on the treadmill early this year.  (how?!).  So, equally not thrilled to hit 8.2 in one hour.

Last was a hokey plan to run around the lake a few times, alternating 1 mile with effort, 0.5 mile relaxed, for somewhere around 8-10 miles of effort.  I did 6.5 miles of effort (each around 6:45 ish) before my Garmin died and I died with it.

Now we’re all caught up!  I’ve been swimming 2-3x per week, relaxed and fun.  Totally enjoying it, but I would look forward to it so much more if it wasn’t so cold when I head outside nearly naked to throw myself into a bowl of water…

And last, I should mention that I am so happy to be feeling improvements in my chronic butt-crease pain (it has chosen to heal at almost exactly the one year mark!).  I have been doing one simple thing consistently for a month now, and nothing more: hamstring stretch.  Hold it for a long time, at least 3x a day.  I have completely STOPPED foam rolling, and I think this has really helped! I have also slowed down the glute strengthening.  Is less more? I can handle that.

***Deep Thoughts***

You know how we can all agree that there is a comfortable limit to how much one is allowed to publicly announce their mushy love and affection for their significant other on the ‘net?  I’m calling for an equalizing limit to the same vein of announcements of mushy love and affection regarding friend-to-friend and blogger-to-blogger relationships.  

Yeah yeah yeah.  You LOVE that blogger you finally got to meet after months of commenting on each others lives.  You met another reader/blogger at a race and they were SO CUTE and sooooo sweet! Cavities are growing after meeting that sweetie pie!  Relays are the best experience ever, drunk with love for runner friends (or drunk with lack of sleep?)  Just keep it coooool.  

Sometimes I feel like the internet is full of drippy love praise for boyfriends, girlfriends, wives, kids, friends, bffeeee's (that’s best friends forever and ever and ever and ever), and babies.  Of course you love your baby, got it, but I will cringe if you post a "just woke up to this face, so blessed!" status.   I’m only impressed by this baby (arrow pointing downwards).  And even then she’s a booger because she barely likes me.

My niece, who is not naked.  She has a cute diaper on.

Also impressed by this unbelievably awesome little girl 

(how can I make sure that if my birth control fails me that the kid ends up like this one?)

Love and compliments are super duper, but let's keep it mostly between the happy couple.  Instead of splashing it to your unsuspecting facebook friends/blog readers.

Counterpoint (haha, beat you to it): announcing how much love and happiness and fun friendship times is in your life is a beautiful happy thing to spread and share, and RoseRunner, you, are just bitter and no fun at all.

Rebuttal: sharing how awesome your love and social life is does not equate to other people being happier for hearing it.  Possible side effects may include a recipient feeling like their life is lacking, like they are unlucky in love, like they have a deficit of schaudenfraude for the day.  The more “blessed” you claim you are, the more others get to wonder, “so…does that mean if I don’t have an adorable baby…that someone decided not to bless me?  You got the special treatment, huh?”

Speaking of announcements of mushy love, good grief have I been keeping a secret up in here.  It’s been almost a year of sealed lips.  I need to clear a few sources and then fair warning, its mushy time.