It has been almost a year since I actually raced a half marathon. While I had a fabulous time at the Lowcoutry Trail Half a few weeks ago, I slowed way down and did it just for fun since it was on a trail and I didn’t want to lose my footing. I also loved the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half which was over Labor Day weekend, but I was still a bit injured and it was so HOT and HUMID that I just ran it slow and easy and had lots of fun. This will be the first time I have really tried to race a half since December of last year when I ran the Kiawah Island Half in a 2:14:39, which was an amazing time for me.
I have been really listening to my body this training cycle and trying to figure out what I am capable of running. Plus, it is the first time in years that I have be pain free! It is amazing the difference just a few weeks of pain free running is already making.
The most important thing for me is that I don’t let myself fall into that comfortable, slow and steady long run pace. I must remind myself that this is a race and to give it a bit more push. That is my number one goal: Don’t get comfortable – PUSH!
Time wise I always like to have varying levels of goals because you just never know how race day will go and running a half is an accomplishment in itself.
C Goal – Finish sub 2:25
B Goal – Finish close to 2:15
A Goal – Sub 2:14:15
I am capable of my A Goal from what I saw in my training runs. If all goes well my plan is to run the first part of the race with the 2:15 pace group. Then depending on how fast they are going to split with them at some point. If they are going to finish a bit under 2:14 I’ll probably stick with them almost the whole race and then just try to fast finish the end (I practiced this the last mile of a few long runs). If they are a bit slower, and it looks like I could be cutting it close, I will probably break away around mile 8 and try to kick it up a notch myself for the end of the race.
It is such a specific time goal because since I set my half marathon PR (1/15/2011 – Charleston Half Marathon = 1:58:27) almost 4 years ago a 2:14:15 is the quickest half I have been able to run. I know I am not ready to tackle my PR yet, but I hope to keep getting healthier and faster and this would be such a boost in the right direction.
Do you set race goals?
How do you come up with yours?
Have you run with a pace group before? Pros/cons?