So here I am a week or so out from my next 1/2 marathon, and I've taken a different direction in a sense to training this time. I'm anxious to see how this will affect my race and see if it will result in better times.
To start, after a month off this summer due to a back problem, I learned how to cross-train and discovered swimming. It has been a wonderful cross training tool - I go about once a week after either a long run or speed workout. It really relaxes my legs. I don't know that I get much aerobic benefit from it, but I don't feel bad for not running and sitting at home.
Next, I used a training plan for Runners World that utilized running 3-4 days a week at an easy pace, around 45-60 seconds slower then goal pace (some short runs, some long runs) and one day of speed work of some sort. I've never subscribed to the idea that running at an easy pace for 75-80% of my weekly mileage could equal a faster time, but everyone swears by it so we will see how it works. One thing I can say is that my body is not as exhausted 1 week out from the race like it usually is. I feel stronger at this point, but we will see how that equals out on race day.
One thing I have had to fight is my goal pace/ finish time. At the beginning I really wanted to shoot for a 2:00 time, but as I trained I realized that the month off left me a little short on endurance in speed. I've adjusted my speed workouts over the last 6 weeks to more of a 2:05 time. I will push to get that 2:05, if I can do more I will, but if I don't make it I won't be too disappointed is it is more around 2:07 - i have to accept what my body can do post injury.
So hopefully next Sunday I will have a successful race - I'm working on my mental game: going out slow up the first hill, taking in plenty of carbs and hydration, and not bonking in the final 5K. Here goes nothing! (again)