As I get ready for the Virginia Beach Rock n Roll Half Marathon on Sunday, I have lots of things on my mind. I’m looking forward to this race in a big way. It is a huge stepping stone for me along the way to MCM and I have a lot of hopes for how it all pans out. Here’s the thing though – in my heart I know there is only one thing about this race that could truly disappoint me and that is if I don’t do my best, if I give up on myself or let negativity take over. The time on the clock does matter to me, but not nearly as much as believing in myself does. Not nearly as much as the importance of giving it all I have.
Returning to running after baby Gus was born (he is 7 months old today!) has been an incredible journey for me. It has been full of ups and downs and bumps along the way. From that first mile on the treadmill when he was 4 weeks old to the 20 miler I completed last weekend, EVERY SINGLE RUN has been an accomplishment for me. EVERY SINGLE RUN has been a testament to my faith in myself and to my determination to dig deep and give it all I’ve got. From where I stand, this race on Sunday is like a big reward for all the work I’ve been doing to get to the start line. I have earned this race.
So, let’s talk goals and race strategy!
- Believe in Myself: I said it before and I’ll say it again, I intend to start and finish this race feeling confident in my abilities, believing in myself and giving it all I’ve got. This race will be a failure in my book if I let negative thoughts and self-doubt take over. The mental game is serious business and I am prepared to be one positive lady on Sunday.
- Enjoy the Ride: It is extremely important to me that I enjoy this race. I didn’t pay money to go out there and be a grump! I am not to take myself too seriously on Sunday and while I will be pushing myself and gutting it out, I am going to remember to enjoy it and relish in all that my body is capable of.
- Run the fastest half marathon I have ever run: Yep, I am aiming to set a new Personal Record on Sunday and a big one at that. My current HM PR is 1:55:47. My time goal for this race is a 1:44. Truth be told I will be happy with anything that is sub 1:50 but I’m dreaming big here and that is that. I’m going for it.
How do I plan to accomplish this last goal? Well, here is my strategy I have cooked up with the advice of my coach and also a little research.
Do you want to know what my strategy has been in the past? RUN. That’s it. I never really worried about pace, just sorta ran and my splits were usually all over the place but generally even-ish. I don’t think this worked too well for me so I am going to approach it differently on Sunday.
Miles 1-3: I am going to take it easy here, staying about 20 seconds slower than my goal pace. This means that for those first three miles I will run around an 8:20 pace. I really think this is do-able for me.
Miles 4-10: Here I am going to pick up my pace and hold it just under my goal pace, which will be right around 7:50ish.
Miles 11-13.1: The last 5k of the race I am going to see how I am feeling but plan to either hold steady or pick it up, depending on what I’ve got in me. I want to completely gut it out for that last mile and especially as the finish line approaches.
Well, that’s it! Stay tuned for the race report, I really really can’t wait to tell you all about it. Here’s to a wonderful weekend for all and if you are racing I would love to hear about it!!