Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Rock and Roll DC Half Marathon... goals?

It's only a couple days until the Rock and Roll Half Marathon in DC and I'm excited as well as nervous.  This will be my second half marathon (the first being Richmond last Fall).  Sadly, the training for this race hasn't gone as well as I would like.

First, I had a muscle strain in my foot and it was recommended that I lower my mileage and build back up.  So that was a delay.  Then we had a very snowy Winter so a lot of runs were taken indoors to the treadmill or sadly missed.  Third, I had a two and a half week trip to India where I didn't get in any long runs.

In training for my first half marathon, I got in a 13 mile training run.  This time, the longest training run I've done was 10 miles and that was on the treadmill.  I've also had three 9 mile runs outside. I know that getting up to 13 miles is not required for half marathon training but it definitely made me feel more confident.  Also, I had hoped to do more hill training since there is a crazy hill around mile 6 of the route.  I am hoping that the long runs I managed to get in will be enough for me to not feel too bad after finishing.

Given that my training hasn't been ideal, I'm not sure what my goals should be for this race.  Initially, I was hoping to PR this race.  It would make sense that my second half marathon should be faster than the first. I finished my first in 2:57:33 according to the official chip time. This race has a generous time limit of 4 hours for the half marathon so I think it would be a cop out to say my goal is just to finish.  I should definitely be able to finish unless something unexpected happens. But I'm no longer confident of a PR given my training, the hill at mile 6, and the potential for rain in the forecast. However, I did do my run last weekend at a 13:20 pace which would be a PR if I sustained it over the 13.1 miles.  So I'm not sure...

So I guess my A goal is still a PR.  However, I'm setting a B goal of a 3 hour and 5 minutes finish, which should be a little more than a 14 minutes per mile pace. My C goal will be 3 hours and 10 minutes.

And at this point, the training is done and the weather is not in my control.  I'm trying to just concentrate on the things I can control at this point.  I'm drinking a lot of water this week, eating well, getting in some runs but nothing too strenuous.  I've also gotten a hotel room for the night before the race so I don't have to worry about a long metro ride on race morning and can hopefully get a decent amount of sleep.  I'm going to start my packing list today and hopefully will have everything I need on race morning including my usual pre-run breakfast.

Any other tips for a race where you're not confident in your training?  I'd love to hear them!