Friday, November 9, 2012

Richmond Half Marathon Preview

In a couple of hours, I’ll be jumping into a car with Sarah to another race. We had so much fun going off to Louisville for that Ironman that we decided to do it again.

Except, this time, we’re only driving 90 miles.

And “only” running a half marathon. No 112 mile bike for me this weekend, but thanks for the offer.

Regardless of how everything goes tomorrow, the Richmond Half Marathon has served a very, very important purpose – it gave me something manageable to work towards after Louisville.  The stories of post-Ironman letdown, many of which devolve into a spiral of inactivity, misery, and weight gain, had me worried. Of course, jumping right back into ironman-level training wasn’t an option, since I needed some recovery time and life catch up time, but I needed a less intensive goal race to keep me going physically and mentally.

As it turns out, a half marathon is just about perfect for post-Ironman motivation. It doesn’t require a terribly long training cycle, nor any workouts longer than two hours, and allows you to put your bike efforts on the back burner for a while. It is, however, just long enough that you can’t (or at least shouldn’t) fake your training and neglect key workouts. The last month or so of training has been pretty enjoyable, and I’ve had a great time honing in on my race pace and improving my run speed while swimming for fun and dabbling in biking here and there.

I still have ideas about running well tomorrow. My last half marathon was in March, and I registered a 1:59:04 there. My paces in all workout types – tempo runs, long runs, track workouts, even recovery runs – have been substantially faster in this training cycle than they were in the training cycle leading up to that race. Some of the workouts I’ve posted in the past four weeks have had me contemplating some pretty significant PRs for tomorrow – it’s hard to not get giddy about potentially registering a sub-1:50 half marathon after Wednesday’s pre-race pace workout, where we did 2.5 miles at an 8:16 pace and it felt entirely sustainable.  Dreaming is great, but realistically, I thought that 1:55 was a reach when I discussed that time with my coach back in September, so I’m going to be happy with anything under that. I’ll be pacing the first 10k of the race accordingly and shooting for a pace in the 8:40s, but after that, I’m allowed to let loose.

Here’s the breakdown of how I’m hoping to run.

A goal – Under 1:54: According to McMillan, which is always 100% correct, this is the equivalent of a sub-4 hour marathon, which is my big goal for the first part of 2013. It would be excellent to start training for Myrtle Beach with a positive result like that.

B goal – Under 1:55: This is what I said I wanted to train for, and it would be a solidly sub-9 pace for 13.1 miles. Plenty to be happy about, particularly if well executed.

C goal – Under 2 hours: I’ve been running faster in training than I was before the B&A half, so I sure hope that I can at least match my time from there.

I’m excited to see how fast I can finish this. If you want to see how I’m doing, go here and search for me as bib #10217. Rachel will be there, too, shooting for something in the 1:50s, so if you’re there in person, you might see us on the course together.


  1. Good luck! Run like an Alpaca! (or like an Alpaca is chasing you...)

  2. #PRAlpacas!
    "Just another blog comment."
    Good luck to #TeamRage ! Crush stuff, eat snax, and have fun!

  3. I guess it's too late to say good luck since I already know what happened so I'll just say congrats! Way to crush the A goal!