So just under 5 weeks to Fargo and I'm finally excited! Actually, that's a bit of a lie since I've been getting excited for the last couple of weeks - I just haven't been writing to tell you about it :) It's been fabulous to have Kelly to run with - someone training for the same race and looking to run the same speed. Means you never really have to worry that you're slowing your training buddy down or pushing them more than they should be pushed. I've tried to stay around on more weekends than I normally would (or wait to leave until Saturday morning) simply so I can get up crazy early on Saturdays since that's when she does her long runs.
So a couple of weeks ago, we did a nice 20 miler. The first hour was slower since we were running with other people but then we ran at or below goal pace (not on purpose) for the rest! I was gabbing Kelly's poor ear off and running comfortable and was super surprised when she kept telling me the pace. And then the next day I ran a 5K in 20:58. Granted, it was an indoor (and thus flat) loop course but I had essentially no warm up, it was gross concrete, there was a bunch of weaving going on to get around people, AND it didn't feel hard at all - I was trying to keep fairly comfortable and just let my legs stretch out and work a bit. Awesome.
So that was exciting. The next weekend was a solo 21 miles that felt tougher than it should have been but this weekend was a nice 21.5 with a speed up at the end and involved some pushing through weird pain.
I'm very happy to report that the Kinvaras have been working great for me. I didn't really expect them to but I just bought my second pair - pretty overdue, I think, since my legs have been feeling flat, despite my happy reports up there - and am planning to stick with them for a bit. I'm glad they work because they're SO LIGHT that going back to 'normal' shoes would be super hard. I brought out my racing flats for the Human Race 8K only to realize that they are now just a bit heavier than my training shoes!
I also bought my first ever pair (!) of strictly trail shoes this winter and have finally gotten to test them out. New Balance 110s, I believe. They look like space shoes they're so shiny and silver. Tony over at Duluth Running Company had raved about them on his blog so I checked them out. I've only done a couple of runs in them but like them so far. They fit really nice and were comfortable right away. I might have to be careful as I don't think they have any heel to toe drop so I should probably check out the Saucony Peregrines which I've heard are the trail equivalent to Kinvara. Research to do!
I found out some interesting news tonight . . . Looks like the Fargo Marathon has switched up their pace team times, most likely due to Boston dropping their qualifying times. Though, you would think they'd change their times back when the new times were announced well over a year ago. Urgh. So now the choices for running with a pace group are 3:25 and 3:35 when my goal is 3:30. Now, I have paced myself pretty awesomely before (see towards the bottom of the link where my splits are), if I may say so myself but I was rather looking forward to shutting the brain off and just hanging on a shoulder for the race. Now, my plan was starting to be to hang with the 3:30 pace group and see if things felt good enough to pick it up later in the race. This makes me very much not want to even start with the 3:35 group. And then I worry that those 11 seconds/mile faster for the 3:25 group will be too much. My mantra for a while has been "Don't fuck up Fargo" and so it seems like a big risk to drop my goal pace by 5 minutes less than 5 weeks out . . . So there's some thinking to do, I guess.