Pre Race Jitters

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The P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll 1/2 marathon has been my Eleanor (catch that Gone in Sixty Seconds reference?)

I’ve ran it twice, the first being my first 1/2 ever and maybe because it wasn’t my best showing, I had forgotten my time and had to look it up! 2:42 at a 12:25/mile pace.

I registered again a few years later having done some more prep work but then discovered I was pregnant a couple of months before the race. I finished at 3:20 with a 15:17/mile pace (I was around 14 weeks).

I’m not ashamed of either time and don’t make any excuses for them; my times are what they are.

All I know is that I finally feel truly prepared for this 1/2. I’ve actually trained and have altered my diet and am mentally ready.

I have a pretty lofty goal this time around.

Okay, here it is.

I want to finish under 2 hours.

I totally get that this is considerably faster than my previous two halves. I’ve done a little math on what I’d have to pace to get that time and also considered the other possible times I might get. This is the range I’d like to be in with of course 2 hours being my main goal:

Time Pace
1:55 8:46/mile
2:00 9:09/mile
2:05 9:32/mile
2:10 9:55/mile
2:15 10:18/mile

It’s so crazy how big of a pace difference it is from 2:05 to 2:00. Like I totally feel I could do a 9:32/mile pace but 9:09 seems so daunting! I think back to my 15K a month ago; I ran those 9.3 miles in a 9:11/mile pace so I know I’ve come close but still….

I think with this particular race, what always has me a little nervous is this

Screenshot_2014-01-13-21-48-27-1You see that? That thing that happens around mile 10? Yeah, near the END of the race?! It’s already going to be a challenge maintaining my goal pace but to have that to look forward to–well, that gives me the jitters. It helps (a little) that the very end is a decline but I’ll already be running on fumes by then anyway lol!

I’ve done hill work in my training. I know I’m about as ready as I can be for this. I think what’s left is to just trust what I’ve done. Believe that I can do it. I also know that if I don’t meet that goal time, I’m confident I will have improved from my previous two. And that’ll definitely be a win : )

Do you get nervous before a race?

Do you study/memorize the course and elevation map like a crazy person (me)?

Marathon Training Recap Week 9

It’s crazy that I’m well into my marathon training and that it’s getting closer! Interestingly, I’m not nervous about it at all! Maybe that will change as it gets even closer.

This past week was absolutely great training wise. My body feels strong and my legs feel good. Here’s a recap on what the last week looked like:

Sunday, January 5th: This was a cross training day after my 12 mile run the day before. I logged in 10 miles on the bike. I’ve been finding that this is a great recovery workout for my long runs. I also iced and foam rolled as I was just a little sore from my long run.

Monday, January 6th: Rest day (but I still did some ab work at home)

Tuesday, January 7th: Usually, this is when I do a treadmill run but my run club meets in the evenings and my husband got home early enough for me to make it out with them. I was glad!! I did a 10k wanting to run it at my goal 1/2 marathon pace. And I did it!

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Wednesday, January 8th: This was speed day at the track. I really wanted to continue challenging myself so I pushed myself this workout. There are members of my run club of various abilities and there’s one girl in particular that I’ve always admired for being speedy. She was near me when I started and I found myself next to her throughout most of the speed work drill! I decided that I’d try and stay as close to her as I could and really give myself a workout. The results were awesome!!

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Thursday, January 9th: Another cross training day. I logged in 12 miles on the bike and also did some hip and glute work at the gym.

Friday, January 10th: This was a rest day and I milked it. After three days of hard work, I wanted to give myself a good rest day for my anticipated LONGEST RUN OF MY LIFE the following day.

Saturday, January 11th: THE LONGEST RUN OF MY LIFE. I had a plan of going out at 30-45 seconds over my goal marathon pace of 10:00/mile. I always like to stick with people with lights (it’s really dark out when we start) and the runners closest to me were planning on sticking to a 9-10 minute pace. Eeek! I figured I stick it out until the sun started to rise.

Well, 6 miles in I figured I might as well continue. The pace felt good, the conversation was interesting, and I was getting myself in a zone.

At 10 miles I started to feel a little fatigued. I had fueled at the 6 mile mark and decided I’d sneak in another little something. It was at this point we met up with some other girls. They were keeping a 9-9:30 pace and were going 20 miles. What?!?

But I was more than halfway done and figured I’d just keep going to where it would be time for me to turn around. I kept up with them and at 12 miles turned around to run the 3 miles back to my gym. As soon as I left them, I knew I’d slow down. I didn’t want to given that I had maintained a good pace the whole way, but it felt natural to slow down a bit so I did. As I reached mile 14, I saw I was close to finishing under 2:30 so I picked up my pace so I can finish at an even 2:30. It required me to go faster than any other mile I had run, but I like finishing strong and still had some energy left somewhere in me to be able to do it lol.

And then I was done… whew….

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I was thrilled that I was able to run this length at my goal marathon pace and not feel like absolute death after. I mean, don’t get me wrong, my legs were complete jelly at the end, but I somehow expected to feel way worse having run for 2+ hours straight. I think this is the training part that has really helped my endurance. I still made sure to ice as soon as I got home and eat something–yes, I was very much looking forward to that! I also stretched and my husband was kind enough to give me a massage later in the evening.

This was such an awesome running week. I’m so happy with how everything has been going and I’m SO happy my legs feel good.

This next week I’ll be doing a mini taper for my 1/2 on Sunday. I have quite a few jitters that I hope to release in a post later this week 🙂

How was your running week last week? Are you training for something?

And We Have A Winner!!

Happy Friday everyone!

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Congrats Nikki!

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