Welcome to Day 2 of my 31-day blogging streak! Not sure what I’m talking about? Click here!
Well, I did it again.
I signed up for another race.
Remember when I said I had a “back up” half marathon in the wings in case the MKE Run Fest doesn’t go well? And that I was waiting to see how the first race went before I committed to this one?
…yeah, I lied. It’s happening.
I’ve now got the nearby “Last Call” Half Marathon on my calendar for December 6th. That’s 5 weeks after the MKE Run Fest half and just over 9 weeks from today.
The more I think about it, the more I really want to run a half marathon PR this season. I haven’t run a good half marathon since April…well, actually, I haven’t run any half marathon since May…and I feel like it’s time.
I’ve had a lot of ups and downs and bumps in the road with my new training-but-not-really-training this summer/fall, and I’d like something positive to come out of it. Don’t get me wrong – learning to truly enjoy running, relax, and run with gratitude is definitely a positive thing that has already come out of this. But I’d like to have a little race success as a cherry on top. I think I deserve it.
I’m still behind where I’d like to be in my Milwaukee Running Festival Half Marathon (MRF) training, and it’s stressing me out a bit. The race is 4 weeks away and my highest mileage week so far has only been 21 miles. That’s not so bad, but October is looking busy for me and I don’t want to feel like running is yet anther thing I need to cram into my schedule. Having an extra 5 weeks to prepare for a better half marathon performance makes me feel much more optimistic. I can take advantage of the fact that I’m in a decent starting place right now with ~20 mile weeks, but I can also breathe a little easier knowing that I have more time to build up my mileage and strength and get in more hard workouts.
I think not putting pressure on myself to perform well at MRF will help me enjoy the experience a little bit more. After all, that’s why I signed up for it – I wanted to be part of the inaugural race that really celebrates our unique and diverse city! Also, MRF is looking to be a fairly hilly course, so I’d love the chance to have another shot at the distance on a flatter route. As long as it doesn’t snow (if it does, I will not be mad, because I feel I have no choice but to accept this as the running gods telling me that a PR is just not meant to be this year).
I’m also glad to have a benchmark race closer to the official start of my Pittsburgh Marathon training (December 28th!). I’m not sure if I’ll have a specific time goal for the marathon, but I like having an idea of what my paces for tempo, speed, and long runs should be. Granted, it’s not rocket science to figure that out on my own, but I know there is a fine line between pushing yourself outside your comfort zone and trying to train at a level you’re not at yet. I like to have some guidance.
- My “A” goal for this race is to run it in 1:46. Yes, I know, this is a super random time goal. But ~1:45 just seems too ambitious, and I like that 1:46ish is an 8:05-8:06 pace. Somehow that seems so much easier than an 8:00 pace.
- My “B” goal is to run in the 1:47- high 1:48 range. This would only be a PR by a minute and change, but it’s still a PR.
- My “C” goal is to finish sub-1:50. And if all else fails, then I simply want to hang onto my streak of sub-2:00 half marathons.
Maybe these time goals are too ambitious for me, I don’t really know. But I’m going for it anyway. What’s the worst that could happen? I miss my goals and don’t run a PR, I’m disappointed for a day or two, and then I move on and start pushing full steam ahead for bigger and better things this Spring.
Now…about a training plan…