It's here. Normally I would say "finally," but training for the Shamrock Half Marathon this winter has been the best training I've done in a long time. In a way, it's sad to be over. In another way, though, this is like training before training with the Richmond Marathon later this year. Or maybe something bigger before then -- that's not a decision I will make right now. My focus in Shamrock. And go figure that at the end of this "season" that I'm starting it like I did Jan. 1 -- with a cold. This one isn't nearly as bad and I think allergies might be attributing to it. It's just kind of weird that in the moment I let my mind and body rest, I get a cold. Last week I took my first two-day break in almost two months and it happens. I know the body needs rest and I will always, always, always rest up when I need to. But I'm just mad.
Assuming that this is a normal cold and by week's end it's gone, my focus for Shamrock will be like it always is -- to do the best I can possibly do. Last year was the most satisfying Shamrock I've done. Two years ago was the most disappointing ever. Three years ago was the biggest surprise ever with a sub 1:45 time. My goal since that race has been to beat that time, but my training just hasn't been there like it should be. Whether I did enough this year or not will be answered on Sunday.
My approach to this race is simple -- don't get caught up with the speeders at the beginning, make my first mile or two the slowest, get in a good pace for the middle miles and then figure out at mile 10 if I can do it or not. If it's realistic, I'll go for it. If it's not, I won't hurt myself trying to do something crazy.