Winnipeg Fire and Paramedic Services (WFPS) half marathon is tomorrow morning. I’m not worried about the distance at all – this will be my third half marathon race this fall and I have had half marathon distance (or longer) training runs pretty much every weekend since mid-August. I did set myself a goal of getting a PR on this one though and I frankly have no idea if I am going to hit it or not.
The rest of the post is going to be a bit “stream of consciousness” as I try to work through my thoughts – I apologize if it is a bit hard to follow.
Race times for half marathon distance (PR and this fall):
Personal best – 2002 Manitoba Marathon half marathon – 1:46:11
September 2nd – Run for Diabetes Research half marathon – 1:49:54
September 22nd – Fort Garry Rotary Club half marathon – 1:47:50
October 19th – WFPS half marathon – ?
I have been training hard and in general my runs have been getting faster (even my long slow weekend runs are getting faster) so I think I have trained about as well as I can – I missed one speed run in the time between the Sept 22nd race and this one but most of my other runs have been longer than planned and I have done about an extra 30 miles in the past 4 weeks over the scheduled miles. I am at the point where a half marathon distance weekend run causes no issues and I rarely even take water with me on those runs any more.
So distance isn’t a problem but speed might be. I have done a lot of speed training in the past few weeks and that does seem to be helping my overall speed but I also wanted to lose more weight than I have in the past few weeks. I came down 4 pounds between the Sept 2nd and 22nd races and hope for that or more before the race tomorrow. That planned weight reduction would help hit a new PR for sure but it is looking like I might only be down about 2 pounds or so from the Sept 22nd race so I can’t really count on weight loss to give me a speed boost on this race.
This means getting a PR this race is going to be about the extra speed training I have been doing, fuelling better while on the move and having a more consistent pace. I can’t train any more for extra speed before tomorrow morning but the second 2 items can be planned for but will require discipline.
On the last race I kept missing Gatorade at the water stops and ended up bonking near the end of the run – since I only missed my PR by 99 seconds on that race the bonking played a big factor in missing the PR. So I am going to make sure I am carrying enough fuel tomorrow – on that last race I had a water bottle in my running belt that I never touched – I will put some actual fuel in that bottle instead and I will force myself to fuel a bit every mile or so – even if it is just a mouthful it will make a difference. Also since I haven’t lost the weight I was looking to I am pretty sure I am better fueled going into the race which should also help.
Consistent pacing – on the last race I saw mile paces at the start way faster than my planned pace and then had some miles mid race that were way slow. Then with the bonking it was all I could do to maintain my planned pace and I didn’t have enough left to push the last few miles faster and make up some time. Luckily this race has all individual miles marked which will help me ensure my pacing is on track. I will start doing the first 3 miles about 10 seconds per mile slower than my planned pace then drift up to the pace I want from there until the last couple miles and then I will see what I have left in the tank. I am trying to plan for a 1:45 finish time and if I can go faster then awesome, if I am slower or run into issues I will then have a 71 second buffer to work with to still beat my PR.
Weather is going to play a factor too though and what that may be is really unknown right now. It will be hovering around freezing tomorrow morning (above or below depending on the forecaster) and there is a chance of rain and snow overnight. I should be ok for gear for the cold but if it rains and it does make it below freezing there could be slippery sections of the race to watch out for – there are areas that will be quite sheltered so it won’t melt quick even if the sun comes out. Snow itself wouldn’t be a big issue but depending on if it rains a bit before rain falls you could have hidden slippery sections to watch out for. Basically I could have to make the decision tomorrow morning to go slower than hoped just to make sure I am really paying attention and reduce the risk of damaging anything. I have to protect the Goofy Challenge in January so I can put up with a pull or a strain from pushing hard but any sort of real damage would be devastating.
I will have to watch the mental game as well – I think my head is in the game as of right now but who knows what morning will bring? If all else fails I will grab the 1:45 pace bunny and keep on his/her heels.
Anyway – should do a last minute check of my gear and get to bed shortly!