Alright, so I really didn't want to set a goal time for my 8k race next weekend. Mostly because I didn't want to accidentally suck and disappoint myself. Originally I wanted to run it in under 50 minutes. At first that actually looked challenging because I was running my long distance routes averaging like 10:30 minute miles. But for some reason, recently I've just been blowin' it out the box. Last night I ran 6.6 miles averaging 9:04 min miles. That's unbelievable. That means that I could run Al's in 45 minutes. That's crazy talk. And with it being race day and all? With the adrenaline? We're talkin' like 44 minutes possibly. Like if I ran even 8:54 min miles? Done. And that blows my mind.
But like I said, am I setting myself up for disappointment if I really set that goal? The whole point of doing Al's Run was to DO it! To actually run an 8K which I never in a million years thought I could do. But what if I have a bad running day? What if it's unseasonably warm and sunny? What if I have a really bad side cramp and just absolutely have to slow down to regain my composure? It's hard dealing with the unknown. And speaking of the unknown, I've never even run this route before. What if that trips me up? Bah...this is just week-before-the-race jitters, that's all. I guess at the end of the day I'm going to hope for something like 47-48 minutes (9:30min mi avg), but push really really hard for under 45. I mean you need a lofty goal to get that extra push at the end of the race right??
In any case, I have like three runs left before the big day: a fartlek one tomorrow, 3-4 mile quick paced run over the weekend, and a light jog or two early next week as I don't want to do anything drastic before the race. I find that my body really gains ground when I have more than just a couple days between runs. For example, I had about four days in between last night's and Thursday's run and I could seriously feel a ton of progress, like my body is rewarding me for resting :)
One final note: God bless fall. The absolute, without a doubt, ultimate BEST WEATHER to run in. October in Wisconsin is a gift from above for runners :)