>General Running>A First For Me...
So I'm preparing for my 2nd half marathon (Walnut Creek, CA on 12/8), right? My first half was in March of 2011 in Oakland. I've ran two Tough Mudders as well (2011 and 2012 NorCal TMs held at Squaw Valley and Northstar respectively). I'm not fast, but I am determined. So much so that I did everything wrong at Oakland and finished 2 minutes better than the average (I ran a 2:18)...and my knees hated me for 2 weeks thereafter...heh.
Alright, so I'm a bit older, a bit wiser (riiiight), and a bit more prepared this time. I figure if I do better than my first half, it's an improvement. I've only just begun looking at pace stats and whatnot and up until this last Sunday I never broke 9:50 for a sustained period.
Well on Sunday I ran 9.6 miles in 90 minutes for a pace of 9:30! And I felt as if I had more in me when I stopped, but I don't want to push myself too hard with less than 3 weeks until my half. Today, I wondered what I could sustain over 30 minutes. Well, I was able to sustain a pace of 8:34 over the 30 minutes and actually finished the last 2 minutes at an 8:00...and felt good afterward.
I told my wife last week that it would be nice if I could finish the half in under two hours and I really believe that it's within my grasp.
Good luck at Walnut Creek! I'm doing that one too (also did Oakland earlier this year).
Don't be too upset with yourself if you don't make 2 hrs. Your log is private so I have no idea what your training has been like, but from your post it sounds like you're probably not that experienced of a runner, and unless you have a good mileage base and have done a decent number of long runs, you may find that trying to run 13.1 miles at ~9:10 pace is a whole different ballgame than running 9.6 mi at ~9:30 pace.
If my assumptions about your training are correct, then since it's only your second half I would be tempted to be a bit more conservative--go out on pace for something closer to ~2:10, then when you get to mile 10 if you're still feeling good then crank up the pace a bit for the last 5K. That approach won't get you to 2 hrs this time, but it should guarantee a PR and also guarantee that you have fun in the process (going out too fast for what you're capable of will result in blowing up later in the race and having a really miserable last several miles--and potentially missing your PR and/or injuring yourself too). You'll get to 2 hrs eventually (and probably sooner rather than later if you keep up with your training) but no sense in trying for it before you're ready and ending up miserable or injured in the process. Of course if you run a lot of miles in training and have a lot of experience with longer runs that are close to or greater than the half marathon distance then 2 hrs may be a perfectly reasonable time to shoot for so feel free to ignore what I just said.
As a side note, the WC course is also a bit tougher than Oakland...compare elevation profiles. If most of your training mileage is flat then this could be a factor.
Go, Dave! Please let us know how it goes for you. I grew up on the Martinez/Pleasant Hill border, but I wasn't a runner back then. I'd be interested in knowing the course there.
Marathons are habit-forming...
"I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength."
Philippians 4:13, NLT
Good luck at Walnut Creek, a sub 2hr HM is well within your grasp.
"What if I fall?" Oh but my darling, what if you fly? - Erin Hanson
Not a dude
Thanks for the support, suggestions, and feedback folks. Rest assured, I feel strong at the moment, but I certainly don't want to risk injury or anything that can hamper my progress. I look at it this way (like I did my 1st half)...I'm not in this to "compete" with anyone other than myself. Any improvement will make me happy. That being the case, if I miss the 2 hour mark, but come in better than my 1st half, I'll be good. I do need to be careful as I've just had surgery to reattach my left bicep (complete bicep tear from the elbow). If I was to take a tumble and hit my left arm, I could be permanently injured and I have no intentions of doing that. I need to play this run safely. Thanks again and I'll post up my thoughts and results on the run.
Run! Just Run!
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You've made some great progress! It sounds like a sub-2:00 is a definite possibility. I'm excited for you- good luck!
Bless your heart.