I'm currently in the middle of a taper for the Ashland Half Marathon this Sunday. While not as intense as the taper for a marathon, it's still very refreshing to go out for a run with the goal to run as slow as possible. In fact, it's been challenging for me to run slow - without a partner, my tendency is to push an 8:00 pace. It's even more tempting to go fast when your legs are filled with energy and racing like a motor car at a suburban stoplight. So on my last two runs I've been deliberately trying to slow down, only occasionally opening up the throttle for 100 yards to remind the body what it's like to go fast.
This concentration on going slow should pay off on Sunday, because my strategy is to start out SLOW. Negative splits, baby! It's going to be hard, because I think that the half-marathoners are sharing a starting line with the folks running the 5K, but I want to replicate my success in the Quincy Half Marathon - and in that one, scared of a potential leg injury, I started out very slow and slowly picked up the pace throughout the race. I'm cautiously optimistic for Sunday - I think I could do really well, given my familiarity with the course, but don't want to get overconfident, since I think that's partly what lead to my injury in the Vermont City Marathon.
Anyways, I can't wait for Sunday. It looks like the storms are going to hold off until Monday, leaving us with cool, windy conditions: my favorite type of running weather! I'm prepared and ready and will report back next week.
Race Report: Quincy Half Marathon
Race Report: Quincy Half Marathon (Another Runner's Take)
Coming Soon: The Ashland Half Marathon