This morning I had a 10km tune up race (to be run as if it were a formal race) on the schedule, along with a 2km warm-up (including 6x 100m strides) and a 2km cool down. The 10km took me 39 minutes. Yay! One whole minute faster than the tune up 10km about 4 weeks ago. So, pumped about that. But not sure what effect this will have on the day, or how to reasonably use this as a guide or prediction of my race day time. Anyway, it's all just for fun, not like I am a professional or anywhere near that - just my own personal goals and desires to beat my previous time and place. (Last year, I came in at 42nd place - so, 42nd out of thousands of other women, which I was pretty happy with, and got a prize of Nike shorts and dry-fit t-shirt for my efforts - if you were in the top 100 you got a prize - so would love to be higher up the ranking list and for a faster time overall, faster than 1:44.)
As I was cooling down for the 2km on the track this morning, and doing the sums and working out how to replicate this tune-up race as part of the half marathon race, I was thinking of all the things that would help improve my time versus those things that will slow me down on race day.
Things that will improve my time:
- Having trained hard following a training plan (complete with rest days) designed to make me a little bit faster.
- COFFEE on race day morning, and lots of it.
- The crowds and atmosphere as I run through groovy Shanghai.
- Speed (haha, just kidding - am 'mature' and healthy these days, and this is China remember).
- Knowing my beautiful husband (and coach) is waiting for me near the finish line to get a she's-going-so-quickly-the-photo-is-blurry photo.
- The thought that possibly he's even managed to source a beautiful bottle of bubbly just like last year's post-race greeting (hint hint Husband if you read this, haha...)
Things that will slow me down:
- Bottle neck/ 'traffic jams' of other runners in the first couple of kms.
- Bad weather. (Hoping for no rain this time, slipper pavements and dangerous route etc.)
- Trying not to choke on the water and sports drinks at drink stations.
- Nerves and self-doubt compared to all the 'proper' runners there.
So, as you can see, there are more things in the positive column than in the slow-down column, thus I WILL improve my time and get a better placing, yes?
And now, my FULL week of training is done and dusted and it's time to start another beautiful Sunday. Thought I would be a bit achey today after my 'rest' day yesterday turned into a very active (unexpected) day with some friends of ours. They had invited us to go and play badminton and Ping-Pong and then get some lunch.
Expectation of how our Saturday would go down: Meet up with our friends, play a very casual relaxed half an hour to an hour or so of badminton and Ping-Pong, eat a big lunch, chat for a while, say goodbye.
How things actually happened: Meet up with our friends, play an hour of Ping-Pong, play an hour of badminton, realise our arms are achey and we're all a bit tired and hungry, eat a big lunch, drive to the countryside (our friend's village where he grew up, only about 30 minutes from our city), 'climb a mountain' for a few hours, be driven home with various foodie gifts from his parents such as boiled purple sweet potatoes and copious sticks of sugar cane to gnaw on.
Such a fun and active day, and although it definitely screwed my planned 'rest day', was well worth it. Felt like we were definitely off the beaten track too and was so good to be back to nature, in the beautiful, peaceful surrounds and up a mountain again.
Ok, that's quite enough of my rambling for today. Time to get back up and go in search of some Sunday morning tasty treats. Zaijian!