Be Conservative or Just Go For It??

When you are racing, do you carefully formulate a race plan---knowing what pace you should be at for each mile, making sure you don't go out too hard and have plenty of energy to finish or do you just GO FOR IT and run hard, leaving nothing in the tank by the end?

I tend to err on the side of being conservative. Or maybe I don't "err" at all, I just know what I'm capable of and do it. After one ugly half marathon a couple of years ago when I went out way too fast and died a slow death in miles 8 to 13 as well as one last year, where just miles one and two were too fast and ruined the rest of the race, I tend to be a little on the careful side. And I'm a type-A planner.

I have a half marathon in one week! I suppose I'm ready. I did a 10-miler, an 11-miler and a 13.1 miler in training. My mid-week runs weren't long, but often included a speed element, so maybe quality over quantity will work for me. I think I maxed out at 20 miles per week. I'm really curious to how this low-key approach to training will work.

I *think* I can PR in this race if all goes well. It might be a small PR or it could be a big PR. It depends on how much I run the pace I know I can maintain and how much I just GO. FOR. IT. If I have a bad day and don't PR, I think I'm going to be really disappointed.

I think by mile 4 in a half marathon, you know what kind of day it is going to be---a good day or a bad day. If you run crazy in miles 1-4, you might think it is a good day, but by mile 8, you think differently.

More than anything, I'm curious and excited to how this race (my 9th half marathon in 3 years!) will go. Can I break 2:08? Can I break 2:06? Or will it be more like my average half-marathons around 2:14-2:15?

I'm struggling with a bit of a tight IT Band and lateral hamstring, but I'm seeing a chiropractor for that. This is week 3 of treatment, and I think I'm only going for 4 weeks total. I know what it really needs is rest, but I'm employed coaching a group of runners for the next 6 weeks for the Country Music Half Marathon. I guess I'll rest after our last training run on April 23! I'm not planning on actually running the race on April 30. I've never liked the course. But I say that every year and wind up running it anyway! It's tough to not be a part of such a large race only 45 minutes from my house.

But, more immediately, I think I'll enjoy the flat Tom King Classic with only about 1500 runners instead of 30,000! But I'm not running it for fun. I'm a woman on a mission! I want a half-marathon PR! Sure, I could have fun while doing it, but we all know going for a PR is fairly serious business. It is a mindset that colors the day. In some races, you are just there to be a part of the festivities or to see a new city or a beautiful park. And some races you are there to see what you are made of, to push your body to the limit, and to ask yourself, "Do I have it today?"


All out for 5k's; race plan for half marathon and above so I can sustain the full race.
reedrunner said…
Good luck with the PB. I think you're right - you know what kind of run it's going to be in first 4 miles.
I'm sure you can do it and it gives me hope that I might be able to as well. 5 years and a baby ago since I last did one. My best was want to break 2 hours before I get too old but hardly dare think it!
Good luck ... sounds like you're ready for that PR.

Unfortunately, I suck at pacing myself. I wish I had your discipline because it would have saved me some really crappy miles and probably resulted in some better times overall.

Can't wait to hear how it went.