Friday, October 14, 2011

How Do You Run a Half Marathon!??

For years, I have focused on running 13.1. To date, I have completed 5 half marathons.  I know this is not a ton of half marathons but in between those I have been constantly keeping up that 13.1 training plan and running some other smaller races here or there. I know, again, not ton, but enough to keep me on my toes and know how to run and pace a half marathon. 

This weekend I will be running the Bay State Half Marathon.  When I spoke with the Coach/PT about it on Wednesday, the conversation went something like this

Me: So Bay State Half on Sunday, should I run it at marathon pace, 9 something
PT: No you should race it
Me: So run, faster?
PT:  Yes, try for negative spilts with your first three miles still being the slowest
Me (in shock): Wait, you actually want me to run the second 6.5 faster than the first
PT: Yes (thinking, that is what I just said, didn't you go to law school)
Me (still in shock):  OK (thinking YIPPIE!!!! uh...wait how do I run a half marathon fast)

If you have been reading my blog, you know that my PT/Coach does not like to be too open about pacing and rather would like to tell me in this omnious fashion to do my best, which, of course, drives my Type A personality crazy.  You can imagine my shock when he actually gave me some semblance of a plan.  Actually, I got down right excited and began tweeting with the Running Buddy to see if we can run it together = FAIL. Running Buddy is uhhh....super, duper fast and spit out pace times that made me laugh.  She is going to rock.  Unfortunately, for me, I won't be by her side, but rather 20 minutes behind her, if I am lucky.

So the next logical thought in my mind was what pace can I actually run this half marathon at.  Back when, I knew what I was pacing for, I was practicing these runs, I understood these runs.  But as of late, my runs have been either long, very very short speed blips, or 4 or 5 miles with serious hills.  Equal, I have NO clue where that leaves me. 

My first thought was to go out and try 8:20, 8:15 to get to 8s for the first half of the course and try somewhere under 8 for the second half of the course.  But with this week's speedwork, not really sure if that is a possibility. 

Ultimately, shocking as it is, I am going to go on feel.  Thinking back on it, my PR a year and a half ago at the Rutgers Half Marathon was on feel.  I remember at Mile 2 looking at my watch and seeing 8:30, at the time, that seemed like way tooo fast.  I tried to slow it down, because 8:30 was suppose to be my time for the overall course, but my legs were not having it.  They were happy and wanted to run, so I let them.  I don't think the smile ever left my face for that race (but I may or may not be having runner's amnesia).  I ended up with a nice PR but like 13 minutes, take that Disney World (my previous half)!  Yes, I did go in with a plan but then my legs took it away.   Fast forward a year, same thing.  Came in with a plan but my legs said Hahahah NO!  We hate you today.  The result I need to stop.  I have a general plan, some general thoughts but in the end it does not matter.  My legs are going to do what they want, when they want, and I am just along for the ride. So here we go....

Aaron and I post Rutgers (no fun race shirt just yet)

Good luck to everyone racing this weekend!!! What are your plans? How do you run a half marathon?

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