It's scarier for me to say I am running a half marathon this weekend than it would a marathon. I've run 20+ halves and still don't feel like I know how to race them. I haven't trained specifically for a half in a few years, they have all been in the middle of marathon training. I don't regret that, and it probably won't change for a while. I like my marathons, sue me.
I've run a few halves this year, none of them stellar. Lake Effect was a snowy bad attitude disaster. Syracuse was a strong effort and good course PR, but still not an all out race for me. Pacing Buffalo was fun half, but again not a race effort. With that, my last half was really Empire last year (still my current official PR). Right now my half marathon PR pace and marathon PR pace are only 2 seconds/mile apart. Needless to say I have some room to move with that half time. We will see.
The last 8 weeks have been a roller coaster of training, with a marathon thrown in the middle and a bunch of random 5k's surrounding that. Most importantly though, it's been FUN. I've not stressed about training for the most part, and haven't been following a strict plan. Mentally I have needed the break after go-go-going on a training plan for well...a really long time.
With that said, I am taking Philly semi-seriously because I KNOW I can PR. But, I'm also going into it knowing this won't be the best I can do (ever) but it will be the best I can give on that day. Reality is, I believe I have far faster times in me but that isn't the point of my running right now. This is my "I'm not following a training plan and if I don't wanna run I won't- Season".
A look at the weeks leading up to this weekends race....
Race week: "Head Cold + PMS= Rage week"
Workouts: Track session: (2 x 1 mile @ T, 2 x 800, 1 x 400, 4 x 100 strides) Cut-down workout
Long Run/Race: -Philly Half Marathon-
2 Weeks out: "Where'd my motivation go week"
Workouts: 60 Minute treadmill tempo (about 45 minutes of "work")
Long Run: 12 Miles with Heather
3 weeks out: "weeeeee training again feels awesome"
Workouts: 9 mile tempo (1 up, 2 Steady State [6:55], 5 Tempo [6:30 avg.], 1 down),
Track workout (4x200m, 2x400m, 4x200m) + Strides
Races: East Ave Grocery Run 5k
Long Run: 16 Miles
4 weeks out: "go with the flow and get it done week"
Workouts: 6ish mile fartlek, 7 mile tempo (1 up, 5 @ 6:28 avg., 1 down)
Long Run: 16 Miles
Races: Pumpkins in the Park 5k (costume race)
5 weeks out: "Getting back into a groove week"
Workouts: Track (1 mile @ T, 2x800m, 2x400m, 4x200m)
Long Run: 14.5 Miles
Races: Scare Away Brain Cancer 5k
6 weeks out: "Recovery week from Chicago Marathon"
Long Run: -none-
Race: Courage Run 5k
7 weeks out: "Chicago Marathon week"
Long Run/Race: Chicago Marathon with Brittany
8 weeks out: "First time doing anything fast since Erie week"
Workouts: Track (10x200)
Long Run: -none-
Race: Photo Finish 5k
9 &10 weeks out: Erie Marathon/Recovery Weeks
I admit looking over this made me feel better about Philly, I have done a few workouts and the races help too. This race was not on my 'goal race radar' until maybe 5 weeks out. I wasn't sure how I'd feel with back to back marathons, but knew that a half PR would be good way to end the season. I was already planning on spectating the marathon so it worked out to run the half and then play cheerleader after. Win-win.
If I use my most recent 5k time/PR (18:46), that converts to 1:26:53
If I use my marathon PR time (2:58:13), that converts to 1:24:41
I have problems with both of these conversions. My 5k times have never matched my marathon times, I always fair faster on the distance end (which is so strange to me based on my short distance experience being stronger). On the other end of things, using my marathon time seems illogical since that was 10+ weeks ago and I don't have that same fitness right now.
So I guess that leaves me somewhere in the middle, which is conveniently where my goal lies. I think based on training, and where I am currently at (not in peak shape, but not a couch potato) a 1:26:XX is a reasonable goal.
Throwing that out there for a little public accountability.