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Friday, May 4, 2012

Frederick Half Marathon Race Goals

Back in January when I was taking my three week break from running post-Goofy, I decided to leave marathon training for the fall and focus on taking a big chunk of time off of my half PR this spring. I settled on Frederick because it late enough to give me a solid 12 week training cycle, but not so late that I had no hope for decent temperatures. I would run the Cherry Blossom 10 miler to give myself a sense of my fitness and then spend April working hard and fine tuning things. My plan was to train for a 1:45, perhaps a bit of a reach, but a time that I thought I could run if I put in the work.

Unfortunately, my return to running in February was derailed by piriformis pain and the discovery of my lazy glutes. So I postponed my return to the track and started PT. I made a lot of progress and, after a few weeks, initial forays into speed caused no pain so I figured I was back on track. I started back up with CAR workouts eight weeks before the race and figured I had plenty of time to get myself ready.

I ran Cherry Blossom on April 1 and felt good, but not great. It was a new PR, so I can't complain, but something felt a little off. I just didn't have that next level to go to in the second half, which at the time I attributed to still working my way back into shape. I looked forward to increasing my miles in April and getting in some good speed and tempo workouts. My workouts weren't awful, but they weren't all that great either. I had a hard time keeping pace with the group I ran with in the fall, though it made sense because they had been training hard since January and I hadn't. I was off my times from the fall as well, but those were from peak marathon training. But by the middle of April my times were actually heading in the wrong direction.  I was getting slower and slower in workouts and feeling tired from the first lap. After wondering what was going on for a while, I had tests done earlier this week and confirmed that I am anemic, as I mentioned yesterday. Sadly, a few days of iron before the race aren't going to do much to change the way I feel.

So, where does that leave me for Sunday? While I've struggled at the track, I've felt better on long runs and had some pretty decent ones. I still have third gear, it's just fourth and fifth that are eluding me right now. Obviously, a 1:45 is out. While I'm hoping I can get pretty close to 8:00 minute miles at the end, there's just really no way that it will be my average pace. My current PR, from the 2011 National Half, is a 1:59:03. I feel confident that I can run faster than that. How much faster, I'm not totally sure. I think that if I have a really good day and everything goes my way I could get close to 1:50. However, I recognize that it's also quite possible that I could come nowhere near my PR.

I haven't decided if I'll run "watchless" or so I can see my pace, but my focus is going to be on running a smart race and staying within myself.  I need to stay relaxed at the beginning and run with whatever I have left at the end. Things you should do in every race, but are especially important for me right now.  It's not going to be the race I wanted to have back when I started this in January, but it doesn't mean that it can't be a race I take pride in.

17 comments:

abbi said...

Best of luck at Frederick. Sounds like you have had a rough few months but hopefully will still have a great race!

Jon said...

OMG you are going to shatter your Half Marathon PR!

Have a great race!

Jessica Karazsia (@irun26at8) said...

Good luck Allison. I really wish I could be there to cheer you guys on. I will be closely monitoring you from Denver.

You are in better shape than you give yourself credit for...but I totally get where you are. Just stay relaxed and have fun!

Elizabeth said...

Great attitude. I think you'll do better than you expect and I'll be wishing you the best!

ImTheMarigold said...

You're going to do great! I am going through the same low iron issues, along with a few other key nutrients, so I feel your pain. Best of luck, looking forward to hearing about it.

Johann said...

All the best! Just go with how you feel during the race and don't put pressure on yourself for anything. Enjoy!

Gaspegirl said...

Have a great run in Frederick... you will do great! I love that you are running and listening to your body rather than your watch... I think that you are going to kill this!

Make it a great day!

Kathryn said...

BEST of luck in Frederick. I'm sure you'll do better than you expect. =)

Victoria (The District Chocoholic) said...

I vote for watchless. You have no idea how amazing it is.

And have a great race. A well-executed race, even if not finished at your original goal time, is really satisfying and can snap you out of a training fun.

Beth said...

But you don't need 4th or 5th gear for a half, just a steady 3rd gear and you'll crush the half. Have a great race!

AKA Darkwave, AKA Anarcha, AKA Cris. said...

"but my focus is going to be on running a smart race and staying within myself. I need to stay relaxed at the beginning and run with whatever I have left at the end. "

Yup. Exactly. Enjoy!

Katie said...

Are we placing bets? Because I think you'll get a lot closer to that 1:45 than you think.

ultrarunnergirl said...

Just catching up here. Sorry you're struggling, I hope the Fred half goes better than you anticipate.

{will run for margaritas} said...

I heard you ran a PR - can't wait to read your race report! Great job!!

Rachel said...

hope the race went well! once your body gets what it needs (more iron) i bet your training will pick up again before you know it. looking forward to the recap!

Dash said...

wow, it's great that you have it figured out. I've had a few talks with other anemic runners and it's actually funny, because it's spurned by me going, "hey, you're running so fast now." and then they tell me they found out they were anemic.

I think what I'm trying to say is, "LOOK OUT SUMMER & FALL!!" :)

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