Less than one week to race day. I took some time to review past races and past training and came up with the following goals.
- Sub 1:50 – Should be achievable. My second half marathon, way back in September 2013, was 1:48 with ~600 miles of training…spread over the course of the entire year. After that race, I ran a 1:49 in April 2014 off a rather dismal winter training season. I’ve run pretty consistently since this race, about 3500 miles. I should have a strong base to fall back on.
- Stretch Goal – As close to 1:45 as I can manage
But even more important than the time on the clock is executing a smart race. I think my biggest mistake would be starting too fast and crashing/fading in the last 5k. Like I did at Mighty Niagara. Or Charlevoix. Or CC River Run. Obviously this is something I need to work on. Especially with a marathon on the horizon where early mile pacing will be crucial.
Ideally I would like to take the first three miles slightly slower than 1:50 pace, probably around 8:45 or so. Once warmed up I would pick the pace up to 1:50 pace (8:23) for about 5 miles. The final 5 miles I would continue picking up the pace based on how I am feeling. Or I’ll just hold steady if that seems like a better choice. I’m deliberately keeping the plan flexible because I don’t want to finish the race feeling disappointed. I want to finish feeling strong, confident, and ready to kick off my summer training.
Weather is not looking ideal: cold, wind, rain. The course is a loop, so it looks like I’ll get a headwind for the beginning and end of the race and a tailwind for the middle miles. I’m trying not to worry about it because I can’t change it. Also I don’t think I can complain because it will definitely not be as bad as Shamrock was!