Tomorrow is race day. It's the Royal Parks Half Marathon. The last time I ran that distance was in Windsor Great Park in the run up to the New York Marathon in late 2006. I finished the Windsor run in a relatively poor time for me - 1:58 I think - and went on to run NY in 3:58, which felt pretty good. I didn't run the Great North last week, although I'd half intended to - a friend had some spare tickets but in the end he didn't go and so I didn't either.
I'd be happy with 1:58 for the run tomorrow, or even 2:08. I haven't yet got back into full training and recent pressures mean that there just hasn't been the time to get more than 1 or sometimes 2 runs a week in.
I'm going to go out optimistically though and will even wear my 1:50 pace bracelet. Race days bring out the best in most of us perhaps, so I might as well shoot for a quicker time, knowing that getting round will be pretty good given that I've barely run in the last 2 years.
I'm certainly hoping not to look like the guy at left, who plainly could have done with a little Paula Radcliffe decorum - at least she stopped and went by the side of the road.
The real point of the run tomorrow though is as part of the preparation for the London Marathon on April 24th 2009. That's a good 200 days away so I have plenty of time to get fit, get damaged or get good. Hopefully fit and good.
It will be 10 years next year since I ran my first marathon and I'm hoping to get back to the kind of time I could run then when whilst obviously 10 years younger I was a good few pounds lighter too. 3:45 would be great. I'm hankering after 3:30 but will see how that looks the nearer I get.
In the run up to previous marathons, time pressures have meant that I've run lots of 6.25km loops - 25 or 30 even - and very few long runs, maybe twice over 30km. To get to 3:45 or better, I've resolved I'm going to have to get some longer runs in more regularly - so plenty of 12km and 15km loops and then at least 3, maybe 4 runs over 3 hours. Pressures of work mean that this looks too optimistic right now, but we'll see how things go - if I can get a couple of early morning runs in and then a long one most weekends, that might make the difference.
I'll post here how I get on - a few commenters have expressed interest in how I'm getting on, so apologies for being silent on that.