Thoughts on This Weekend's Half Marathon

>> Wednesday, October 25, 2017

My training has been far from perfect being I've had some ankle issues for the last 4 weeks and took a full week off of running in there. But I'm still excited to race my first half marathon in over 1.5 years when I was saying “MAYBE the TC 10 Mile for me this year but NOTHING farther than that” back in March.

I took this screenshot of Oct training last week (so it's missing an 8+ mile run on Sunday). Here's what will hopefully get me to the finish of my 13.1 miles this weekend:



To summarize those 3 weeks:
- the TC 10 Mile on Oct 1
- 2 days of full rest before an easy swim and bike
- 2 runs with ankle pain (well, that SWIM hurt too!)
- A week off from running where I aqua jogged twice (no pressure on the ankle)
- A "test" long run of 11 miles on the 18th that went OK!
- NO swimming until after the race because that pressure hurt my ankle 2.5 weeks ago

So this will totally get me across the finish line at the race, I just don't know what my speed will be. And it's not a big deal to me - I don't care. This is just a fun race. I'm thinking I can run 6:30s, which would be 1:25:08 for a finish time. The question is if I can be under that time, just HOW FAR under it can I be? Again, I don't care. I said something like this before the TC 10 Mile where I knew either my ego could take over and I'd go out hard, suffer, and post a decent time, or I'd take off easily, enjoy the race more, and have a fast finish with a slower overall time. Well, that race ended up somewhere in the middle, maybe just slightly leaning towards the ego taking over (maybe 60/40), and I expect this race to be similar: I'll have a fun time, but still suffer nicely in the closing miles.

Here's the elevation chart:



And here's the elevation chart with 2 little blue lines that we'll ACTUALLY run where the mapping program assumes we're some sort of calf-sleeve-wearing Jesus who runs right across the surface of the river instead of taking a bridge:


That's the bridge just north of Nicollet Island at mile 1, and the Stone Arch Bridge at mile 12.5.

The big thing worth noting is the hills. There are always little rollers as we’re along the river (which I’m used to because miles 5-10 are parts of my normal training route). And the big “down” and “up” that happen at mile 3 and mile 10 is where we first go down from the Guthrie to the river’s edge and then head back up under I94 and Franklin. (And then the reverse order at mile 10.) The “down” and “up” from 3-5 is basically what we ran along the river from mile 1-3 of the TC 10 Mile. But we never had to do it the other way like we have to do from mile 10-12. My wife warned me that going up that around mile 11 is brutal. Great. “Brutal” at mile 11 of a half marathon will be rough.

So I want to finish the race without injuring myself, and I hope I can break 1:25. But who knows (and I feel no pressure). It’s the first year of this race, and it’s part of the “MN Run” series, so it should draw at least a few fast runners. I don’t know if there will be 90 races or 900, but I expect to end up around 10th to 20th overall. (Not a “goal,” but a “prediction.”) Check back for a quick post on Saturday and hopefully a full race report on Monday!

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