A tune-up race: I don’t always use mantras …

With my ‘A’ race marathon just over one month away, I’m getting down to final few weeks a hard effort in preparation.  And, as I have done for the past few marathon training cycles, I’ve got a half marathon scheduled about month before the marathon and I’m using it as a fitness check/tune-up race/dress rehearsal.

This weekend I’ll be running the Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon as that tune-up for CIM.  I know of at least three friends who will be there running the full marathon, too, so I’ll get to race then scream my lungs out encouraging them through their last miles of the 26.2.  Should be a fun day and, so far, the weather looks like it will be ideal for racing.

My plan is to truly run this race as a dress rehearsal for the marathon, which means I know going in that I won’t set a new PR for the half marathon distance.  With the help of my coach, I’ve got a specific plan:  run the first ten miles right at marathon pace (7:48 min/mile), then ‘race’ the last 5K with whatever I’ve got in the tank.  The real goal here is to feel comfortable running at marathon pace through 10.  If I do that, the day will be a success.  If I absolutely blaze through the final 5K and PR, that would just be icing, but I need to stay focused on the bigger picture.  To help with that, I’ve decided to use a mantra for this race.

I don’t always use mantras, but when I do, I choose, “Run smooth, no PR.”