Tune-up race week

This Sunday, March 22, I’ve got a tune-up race in preparation for the marathon I’m running in April.  It’s the ORRRC (Ohio River Road Runners Club) Half Marathon in a suburb of Dayton, OH.  The goal for this race is to see what gains I’ve made fitness-wise during this training cycle and to level set for the marathon in April.  While there are no guarantees, half marathon times are pretty good predictors of marathon capabilities.

The tough part on my ego is that you don’t go into a race like this as well rested as you would a goal race.  Tapering for a goal race is typically a two week process to make sure you you enter the race on fresh legs.  This won’t be the case for this half marathon.  I am easing back just a bit this week, but will by no means be rested.

I think I’m capable of running a 1:40:00 half marathon, so that’s the goal I’ve set for myself.  My personal record for the half is a 1:42:43 set at the Heart Mini Half Marathon last March, so shaving nearly three minutes from a half marathon time is a pretty tall order.  If the weather cooperates and I have a good morning running, I think I can do it.

I do need to keep in mind that this is not my goal race and that doing something stupid that sets back marathon training would be a mistake.  The plan I’ve put together has me going out kind of conservatively for the first two miles (8:05 pace), picking it up a bit for miles 3-10 (7:40 pace), then see what I’ve got left for the final 5K. If I’ve still got something in the tank and can crank it down to 7:20s, I’ll make my goal time.  If I don’t have it, I don’t have it.

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