Week 4 / Week 12 of Half Marathon Training

Well, I did it. After three straight weeks of 20+ mileage I finally made it to taper week. And it was kind of nice.

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were 4.1, 3.1 and 2.1 miles respectively for a total of 9.3 miles. That’s less than half the weekly mileage I had quickly gotten used to this month. Thursday and Friday were rest days before the main event on Saturday. My legs are silently thanking me for that.

Looking back to one month ago, I questioned whether or not I could ramp up in time to run 13.1 miles. Yet here I am. I was nervous. I was uncomfortable. I was a little scared. I had never done this before. But the challenge and the unknown excited me. I was ready to push myself towards one more goal. I took it day by day and stuck with the plan. 76 miles later, here I am — ready for my first half marathon.

My strategy? Good question. Since I’ve never ran a race of this distance before, I’m not totally sure how my body will respond. I think I’ll start out cautious and join a pace group for at least the first few miles to keep my adrenaline in check. By that time my body should be warmed up (the temperature at race time in St. Paul will be 29Ā° F). Then I’ll start to just listen to my body and see how I feel. I’d like to have some gas left to open it up in the last few miles.

Given that in my three long training runs I’ve averaged around a 08:38 per mile pace, I’m setting my goal for today at 01:53:00. I’m often faster in a race than I am during training due to adrenaline and competitiveness, but again, I’ve never ran 13.1 miles before. I’m excited to see what I can do.

The training is complete. The work is done. Now it’s time to have fun and run. Four weeks down, one race to go.

6 thoughts on “Week 4 / Week 12 of Half Marathon Training

  1. Have you decided on a pacing strategy? I know you are worried about going out too fast and we’re thinking about a pace group for the start of the race. Might I suggest a different strategy? How about not worrying about it and running based on feel? Point is, this is a new distance and you have no idea about what you are capable of until you do it. You have no baseline to work from. Even if you implode at mile 10 and walk the rest (won’t happen), you still get a PR. But, if you have a strong race (or not), you have something to work from. Look at the splits after the race…did you hold steady or did you slow down in the second half. What can you learn about it? What worked and what didn’t? If deliberately holding yourself back in the first part of the race necessary? I think your training runs are strong enough that you can start at a comfortable pace and still turn on the rocket bousters second half of the race. Just a thought. Have a good race!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mornin’ Ray! Great question. I guess when one squeezes in the last pre-race post right before they go to bed the night before a race some details get left out. šŸ™‚

      My plan was to join a pace group, either 08:47 or 08:24. Ideally I wanted to run 08:30 for at least the first half of the race and save some for the end. But I’ve been assigned to wave H in the start corral, I think because I checked “Do not know” for my goal time on my registration. So know I’m worried about being stuck in the back for a bit. Not sure how mandatory those waves are?

      I’m intrigued by your advice though. All of my other experiences I’ve just some what feels right until I learned more from it. I guess I’ve just been nervous not knowing how I’ll feel after mile ten. All of my training runs start out one minute faster than the pace I try for in the first mile, and takes a few miles to settle down. Maybe you’re right — just going off feel isn’t a bad idea for my first race of this distance.

      I’m guessing I’ll blend some early cautiousness, at least until my body warms up to the cold temps, and then see what happens from there. Should be a fun new experience, that’s for sure.

      Thanks for the advice and thanks for following!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Last time I ran it, there were no corals. It was self seeded. My recal of Team Ortho races with corals was that nobody cared. Move towards the front if you can or you will be boxed in by walkers for the first 2 miles. At the MN Duathlon, I moved myself up from coral 14 to 4 I think. Reason was that it was going to be a hot day and there was talk of them shortening the race. If I got out 30 minutes sooner, I had a better chance of not getting pulled from the race (it was shortened for many but I was able to race the full course because I jumped the line). Nobody cared when I moved up. I would try to line up near the front so you have room to run…


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