“As the only indoor sea-level oval in the U.S. available to our country’s athletes, it is considered “mission critical” when it comes to preparing for the 2014 Olympic Game Sochi, Russia (also a sea level location). All of the U.S. speed skaters who have participated in the last five Winter Olympics have competed or trained at the Pettit Center. That includes the international icons of the sport and hometown heroes – Chris Witty, Dan Jansen and Bonnie Blair – as well as high-profile medal winners Apolo Anton Ohno, Chad Hedrick and Shani Davis.”
Pretty cool if you ask me. On the outside of the oval is a 443 meter running track that is open year round. I have run on the track a few times when the weather was nasty, and it is a nice indoor alternative for the winter. Many people also run there in the summer, as it is kept at a cool 50ish degrees, perfect for some summer speedwork. The half marathon is approximately 48 laps around the track. I ran at the Pettit this past Saturday, and with the perfect temps in there it is hard not to run fast. I am hoping for a huge half-marathon PR, mostly because I haven’t raced one in years.
The tricky part about the race will be pacing. I have figured out my goal “per lap” pace, and that will be what I have to go by. Since the track is longer than a standard track, it is near-impossible to pace by the mile. I am hoping to hold a pace that is somewhere around 2 minutes per lap, give or take, which would put me somewhere in the 1:35 range, my ultimate goal.
I was feeling really good about the race until this morning, when I hopped on Phillip for a pre-race tune-up. (I only got one name suggestion for our treadmill. It was Phillip. I liked it, so it stuck :-)) I planned to run a 2 mile warm up, 3 miles at goal race pace, and a 2 mile cool down. Well, I got about one minute into the race pace miles and knew it wasn’t happening. It felt awful. I tried sticking it out a little longer to see if I could settle in, but I just felt worse. Half a mile in I decided it was stupid to keep going, so I bagged it and ran easy until I hit five miles. Talk about a confidence-killer. I have been running a lot of miles lately, and I think it has finally started to take a toll on my legs. My new plan is to rest tomorrow (Wednesday), do a short easy run with a few pick-ups thrown in on Thursday, rest Friday, and hope for the best in the race on Saturday. I am hoping that by taking two days off (during which I will probably go insane), I can get some spring back in my step in time for the race. Fingers crossed!