Tomorrow I will race a half marathon in Delaware. I have not attempted an all out running effort in two years. I am anxious to see if I still am capable of maintaining a 6:30 pace. My top end speed has disappeared. Is it the sacrifice I had to make over the last 4 years of long course tri training? Is it because I am about to turn 41? A combination of both seems most likely. All I know is I can't seem to find that top gear when I dig deep. Two weeks ago I was able to hit a 2:49 for 800 meters on my final repeat. That is progress, but the effort was huge. The next week I could not touch a 2:58. Tomorrow will give me some true feedback.
The plan: Take the first 2 miles to decide if the 6:30 can be made to feel comfortable. If so go for it until mile 8, if not readjust my pace and expectations. When the 1.2 mile climb begins focus on breathing and getting stronger with each turn. Down the hill RELAX and let myself go. Finish strong by hitting another 6:30 for mile 13. Realistic goal is 1hour 32 minutes. Ultimate goal is 1:29. Then back to the mileage for another two weeks of Boston marathon training.