VA Beach Rock n Roll Half: Redemption

The VA Beach Rock n Roll half marathon was my very first half two years ago. I love the distance – it may be my favorite race distance of all.  I was training for MCM at the time (imagine that!) and that race fit perfectly into my training plan.  The race is always on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend, when we are usually visiting my in-laws who live just blocks away from the race start and finish.  Other than the heat and humidity, it is a great race.

Two years ago my goal was to finish in 2 hours or less. I ran a strong, confident race but I literally fell down – splat flat nearly, face-planted – at mile 10.  I’m sure it was a graceful fall (kidding).  Thankfully I wasn’t seriously hurt (just scrapes on my hands and knees) and after picking myself up off the ground and checking out my cuts and deciding I was fine, I forged ahead.  I crossed that finish line that day in 2:00:32, missing my goal by less than a minute.  I was happy with my performance knowing that if I weren’t such a KLUTZ I would have definitely accomplished my time goal (several months later I set a half marathon PR of 1:55:47).

me and Abby after the 2009 VA Beach Rock n’ Roll Half

This year I’m running the race again – it is time for R E D E M P T I O N!  I plan to set not only a course PR but also believe I can set a new half marathon PR.  I know I can do it.  Once again I’m training for MCM and this race fits in great with my training plan.  Lately I find that I’m really focused on this half marathon, almost looking to it more than the full marathon which comes two months later.  This morning I did my first timed mile at the track in 6:39.  That time along with my recent 5Ks and other fitness indicators all predict a huge PR for me in both the half and full marathons.

I want it.

McMillan says I should be able to do the half in 1:46:29.  If I can do this, I think I will feel SO. VERY. READY to kick the marathon in the boo-tay with a 3:45.  This makes me incredibly excited and also gives me the jitters, but mostly it makes me excited.

What do you think about McMillan?  Have you found the paces and race time predictions to be pretty good indicators or guides for you when setting your goals and determining what paces you should do your runs at?  Please share!

5 thoughts on “VA Beach Rock n Roll Half: Redemption

  1. I'm so excited for you!!! I totally believe you can do it too.

    Not sure what to think of McMillan. I am really trying to implement his times into my workouts. I want to run a 3:45 at the Tucson Marathon in December. My most recent marathon (April) was a 3:56, however, my previous time in my half (almost 8 months prior to that) was a 1:48. Seems like I should have been able to run my marathon FASTER. According to McMillan, I should have been able to post a 3:47. Hmmmmm.

    I've fished around and have seen on different sites that his marathon prediction times can be upwards of 10 minutes off, which rang true for me. That being said, I think I started out too aggressively in my marathon. I was doing too many sub-8:30 miles at the start and when I got to a hilly part of my race at mile 12, I just kind of fell apart a bit (I did basically 2 hill workouts for the duration of my training. That's it.) I do believe now that you really pay for it if you start out even a few seconds too fast. I wish I would have started out with the 3:50 pace group and re-evaluated how I felt at the 20-mile point, maybe picking it up a bit if I could. Instead, they blew past me around mile 23 as if I were standing still. Darn.

    Plus, it was getting warm… You just can't do anything about the weather.

    At any rate, I'm still following his guidelines. I'm also doing hill workouts. My half in September is essentially ALL HILLS. Gulp.

    Good luck!!!!!

  2. thanks so much for your comments, guys! i really appreciate it. i've never really put much into pace calculators but after getting my rrca certification i realized how helpful they can be – with proper training etc – and this is the first time i'm training for a marathon and using mcmillan as a guide/tool in my training. i don't want to “count” on it (obviously i have to do the work, be smart and there will be conditions out of my control like weather etc) but hope it can be a good indicator of what to expect given my current fitness, training and recent race times. we shall see!!!

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