We are less than FIVE weeks from race day. This will be the last update I do until the week of the race.

Since my last update four weeks ago I’ve had pretty steady training, running 73, 75, 67, and 69 miles each week. I had a two day head cold where I only ran 1 mile the one day, but my running streak stayed alive. At the moment, my last day off was December 28th, putting the streak at 88 days!

The most notable thing was the Philly Love Half Marathon which I ran yesterday and will recap now.

Going into the race, I wanted to break 71 minutes assuming the conditions were good. However, it was 32 degrees the morning of the race and the wind was noticeable. I didn’t want to worry about time since it didn’t seem like it would be a fast day.

I got out well and felt like I was gauging my effort appropriately, clicking off 5:25 – 5:30 miles for most of the first 8 miles. Miles 9 and 10 were flat and if I was going to scare 71, I needed to speed up. I hoped to see faster splits, but when I saw 5:26 and 5:30 for those two miles, I kind of knew I didn’t have another gear.

I managed to hold on well enough but the hills in the last few miles were tough. I matched my PR exactly: 1:11:52, good for 9th place out of 6,600 in a more competitive field than I expected.

I couldn’t help but feel disappointed at the end. I feel like I’m in great shape and thought a big PR might be possible. That said, the conditions weren’t great and I really didn’t taper at all for this. I have to reframe it. Last year’s half I was fully tapered for and the conditions were great. This half is part of the larger picture, the real goal is Eugene. Plus looking at some of the guys I beat or who were just ahead of me make me feel better as they’re some legit runners who have run fast times recently.

With the half in the rear view, the focus now shifts fully to the marathon. I have a few workouts coming up with the biggest being a 22 mile progression three weeks out. After that, it’s kind of coasting in until the race.

My coach said recent training / that half would suggest 2:30 – 2:33 as a goal. I think that’s pretty reasonable. The end is in sight.