So, I had this great race schedule all lined up. And then I had to go and add to it.
When I posted what was up next, there already was a half marathon in the line up. The VIA half marathon is in September and I was already registered for it. But as the summer wore on, I raced a bunch of random races in July. Three consecutive weekends – a 15K, open water swim, and a pretty serious 15K trail race. It was great. Most were the types of races that took me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to race with no pressure. I loved it. The first one even ended up being a surprise trail race (they changed the course!), and was an awesome fitness test. Nowhere near the intensity of the last trail race I did, but it was a good tune up for it for sure.
So August is right around the corner and all I have is an Olympic triathlon on my schedule. I started to get antsy. Until I heard about this half marathon that I think of doing every single year, but I never do it. The Perk Up Half Marathon. So what do I do? I went and signed up. It’s one week after my triathlon (dumb, dumb, dumb).
There’s just one other thing:
My goal going into this one isn’t going to be a time goal. I haven’t raced a half marathon since 2010. My PR for that distance is a 1:35 (from 2010) and someday (soonish? maybe?), I’d like a sub-1:30. I’m pretty sure this isn’t the race for that but I’m excited to race a tough course and a distance that I haven’t had a chance to have fun with in a long time.
My goals for this particular half are not about PRing, but more along the line pacing:
- Starting conservative since I can’t seem to pace myself to save my life anymore
- Running more by effort, and to trying to run negative splits
I’m not tapering for this race, either. As long as things keep going the way they are currently going, I have a 17 mile run and some track work planned for earlier that week. It’s also exactly a week following my triathlon. But like I said – I don’t expect a PR, and in my past I always ran better marathons when I was racing more often.
I’m sure the last thing my schedule needed was an additional half marathon, but whatever. Half marathons take me out of my comfort zone because I don’t do them often. It sounds so stupid to say this out loud, but the marathon is my comfort zone. While it’s always completely unpredictable and I’m constantly getting my ego busted up on it, I know what to expect. I know that I’m going to hurt to the point where I don’t think I can go on, and still have a significant way to go. I struggle with shorter distances – including half marathons – because I feel like I need to sprint the whole thing. It’s arrogant, and it needs to stop. Running a half marathon is going to be really good practice for pacing. So I’m less than halfway through my summer/fall race schedule, with the following races now remaining:
Race Street Run 15K, July 4th Steelman Open Water Swim, July 12th Quadzilla 15K Trail Race, July 19th
- Steelman Olympic Triathlon, August 9th
- Perk Up Half Marathon, August 16th
- VIA Half Marathon (Lehigh Valley Marathon), September 13th
- Celtic Classic 10K, September 26th
- Hartford Marathon, October 10th
- Indianapolis Monumental Marathon, November 7th
What races take you out of your comfort zone? Ever add a race to your schedule with no plans to taper? Ever do a race where a PR was not your ultimate goal?