Last year, when I was training for the Cox Sports Marathon, I set a series of races and times onto my training schedule that I thought I should be able to meet at that point in my training to make sure that I was on track as I went along. I ran a 10 miler, a half marathon and a marathon at a tempo pace in the months leading up to my goal Marathon.

This year, I did things a little differently. I started the season off with a 50 mile race, so January was devoted to recovery. A bit shy of a month after the 50 miler, I did that same 10 miler and was only a second per mile off from the previous year (although I did need to work much harder for that time.) Since then, I haven’t done any racing other than “Fat Ass” races which are more fun but much less competitive and don’t serve the same purpose.

This week, I was having some slight aches in my calves, but after running without any troubles on Thursday and Friday I decided on a whim that I should get a half marathon in this weekend. I have 4 weeks until the Cox Sports Marathon, where I am going to break my course record, but I literally have absolutely no clue where I am fitness wise.

The few speed workouts that I’ve done have felt pretty easy at the paces I ran at. My mileage has been consistently higher than it was last year at the same points (once I got over the whole recovering from the 50 miler anyway.) But what sort of shape am I in, really?

Tomorrow morning I’ll find out. I am going to head down to the Loco Great Bay Half Marathon in New Hampshire.

Ideally, I’ll feel comfortable with 75-76 minutes, but I don’t know this course and the weather will probably be less than perfect for a fast race. If I run slower than 80 minutes I’ll be a bit disappointed in myself since I think I’m in better shape than that. 78:36 would be at marathon pace, so anything faster and I’m outright happy with my performance. If I don’t manage it, then I guess that I just plod through another month since I don’t have enough time to adjust what I’m doing anyway.

But, how can I afford the rather high race fee of $50 for the half marathon, you might ask? Well, I found a $50 bill on the floor at the elementary school after one of my runs this week and nobody called me after leaving my number at the school office so I’m going to assume that it is unclaimed at this point. It was a pretty high-traffic spot that I found it, and appropriately enough it covers the cost of registration.

If you are going to be there, then look me up. I’ll be getting probably 3-4 miles in for a warm up, and then getting another 3-6 miles in for a cool down afterwards depending upon how I feel.