My PR is a 1:52 (first and only open HM). I ran 1:52 two weeks ago for the first 13.1 miles of a 13.5mi long run. McMillan says I could run 1:47 based on recent 5k and 10k training runs. I strongly believe this is overly generous though b/c both of those efforts were on the flat (along the Charles River for the 5k and at the track for the 10k) and I tend to fall apart with any hills thrown in. When I think about racing even at the pace I ran 2 weeks ago (8:30-8:35) I start having doubts. I don't know why.
I have been making silly excel tables with paces and HM times (with a range for a total distance of 13.1 to 13.25, depending on how I run the tangents and how bad the congestion is with the first 2.5miles of the course being with 1000 5k runners). I didn't admit it to myself until just as I have been writing this but there is a little part of me that secretly (or not so secretly now) would be really stoked and proud to break 1:50. That's an 8:20. I don't feel that I am there yet. And yet, I had an 8 mile run at 7:58/mi the same week I ran the 13.1 at 8:33/mi. I had hard rides 5 days that week, no taper. I have been feeling confident on my runs. I have been a good cheerleader to myself. I have been improving. I'd like to psych myself up for going after a goal.
I hear a lot of people talking about needing to learn or already knowing how to suffer. Perhaps I shouldn't admit this but, I'm not sure that I want to suffer. I suffer enough. I'm doing this to suffer less, to enjoy myself more. It makes it hard to wrap my mind around this aspect of racing -- suffering. I wonder if there is some other way of thinking about hard efforts.