Just BELIEVE! (HM race goals/strategy)

So, I’m trying to figure out my pacing strategy and mental strategy for Sunday’s half marathon.  Coach wants us to go all out, to see where we are fitness-wise for our marathon training.  It’s been awhile since I’ve really tried to do a half marathon all out.  The weather always seems to be shitty (freezing and snow, or ultra hot) or I’ve been doing them as marathon pace training runs.  So, I’m excited to do one all out.

I went through my running ahead log and analyzed my past half marathons.  No big surprise why I blow up.  They are like mini-versions of what happens to me in my marathons.  I go out way too fast and can’t maintain pace and then end up doing the later miles way slower.  Just like my marathons.  The other thing I noticed is that I always seem to have a phantom foot or leg issue that ruins my mental, and then physical, game.  Just like my marathons.

My PR is actually pretty decent.  Its 1:44:44 (8:00 pace).  It’s old.  It’s from August of 2008 (Urban HM), 2 months before my first marathon.  When I went back to my old runnin-from-the-law blog and my runningahead log and looked at my race report from this race, I’m amazed.  The splits are EXACTLY how they should be.  7:52 for the first mile.  7:58 for the last mile.  The finishing kick was at a 6:50 pace for the last tenth of the mile.  One random mile that was 8:18, but the rest were all between 7:50 – 8:03.  Very consistent.   So I was trying to think about how I managed to race so consistently and feel so good.  And then I read my blog entry about what I was trying to do in the race.  I was trying to qualify for corral 1 one Twin Cities.  And I needed sub 1:45.   So, going into the race, I had a very clear goal in mind.  I felt I was trained for it.  I knew what my pace needed to be.  I knew that I didn’t want to blow up because then I’d be in corral 2 with the masses.  Most importantly, I BELIEVED that I could do it.  And I did.

Really, looking back on all my races – marathons and half marathons and even shorter distances, this was probably my best race.  Ever.  And I truly think it was because of my attitude and my belief in myself and my abilities.  I haven’t really, truly believed in myself and what was possible for me to achieve, in a long time.

So I know for Sunday I need to have a goal in mind.  It needs to be realistic/manageable based on my training.  I need to be consistent in my splits.  I need to not let my mental game fall apart if a mile or two ends up off pace or a phantom pain develops.  And, most importantly, I need to BELIEVE that I can meet my goal.

I know, you are all dying to know what the goal is.  And because I believe in throwing everything out there for my 5 blog readers to know, I’ll tell you.  It’s 1:43:30.  For you mathematically challenged, that’s a 7:54 pace.  Not too much faster than my PR, but significantly faster than any HM I’ve done in the past couple of years for sure.  This seems very realistic and manageable to me.  I BELIEVE that I can run a 1:43:30.  And I’m ready to go for it.

The big caveat (and this really is NOT an excuse and it’s not me giving myself a way to back off when it gets tough on Sunday):  If my hamstring starts screaming at me to the point of pain/injury again (more than just bothering me a bit or being “off”), I’m backing off the pace and just going to finish without injury.  Because even though I want to race this and see where I am at fitness-wise, it’s not my goal race and I don’t want to screw up my body so that I can’t do the marathon.  The marathon is more important.  But, I feel like with 2 more days of rest, the hamstring should be good for Sunday!

5 thoughts on “Just BELIEVE! (HM race goals/strategy)

  1. Be VERY careful with the hamstring! Have you had someone look at it? Those can turn into nagging injuries.

    Coach always tells me to think positive and picture it. It makes a difference!

    Good luck! Have an awesome race!

    (I miss racing sooooooooo much right now) 😦

    1. Hi Jen –

      I am being super cautious with it. I haven’t been to doctor, but two different massage therapists have worked it and gave their two cents. If it persists, I’ll get a doctor to look at it. But I really feel like it will be ok with my current plan: epsom salt baths, biofreeze, advil, rest, backing off the pace and modifying workouts, and WILLING it better. 🙂

      I am still so sad that you aren’t running. Especially because of all the people I know, I think it meant the most to you. And you are the speediest, most determined runner I know! I am so anxious to hear what the doctor finds out about you and I hope it is fixable, fast, so you can run in Fort Collins!

  2. Go naked! No not the clothing kind but the watch kind. Find your 1:40 pace group and let them do the pacing. It is amazing how much energy we spend looking at out watches and worrying about pace.

    Sit back and focus on your run and your tunes than when you get to mile 10, 11, 12 start focusing on the guy 100 yds ahead and real him in than but your butt on mile 12.

    You will feel so good about the race you might want to run them all naked.

    Best of Luck,

    1. But I NEED my garmin! My legs don’t work without it! 🙂

      I’m not a big fan of pace groups, because they usually seem to go out too fast in order to bank time.

      But I do plan on not being a slave to the garmin this time and focusing more on feeling the pace I want to be at and then trying to just check garmin every so often to make sure I’m ok and adjust accordingly.

      Thanks Chris!

  3. Pingback: Minneapolis 13.1 Race Report (a/k/a “Cindi needs to Chill The F Out”!) | Runnin' From The Law

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s