A-B-C Goals and a Confession

Since this is my first half marathon, my overall, most important goal is just to have fun.  This has been an incredible journey for me.  I’ve come a long way and learned a lot, and I want to make sure that I don’t burn myself out.  I want this to be a positive experience so that I’m ready to come back for more when it’s over.

That being said, I do want to have some structured goals.  If I meet these goals, I’ll feel fantastic, and if I don’t, I’ll have something to work toward for the next one.

A Goal:  Finish under 2:30.  That’s an average pace of about 10:30, which is what I’ve been averaging on my long runs.  This might be a stretch, but if it’s not super hot, I just might be able to swing it.  Unfortunately right now, the weather forecast is for 84 degrees and mostly sunny on Sunday, so this might go right out the window…

B Goal:  Run the whole race.  On my longer training runs, I have had to take occasional breaks waiting for traffic etc, but I would really like to run the entire 13.1 miles without stopping or walking.

C Goal:  Finish.  Even if I have to walk, or crawl, I’m crossing that finish line.  I don’t even care if I finish dead last, I’m finishing.

And now for my confession:  I have not run in almost a week.  My last run was the 4 miler I did on Friday.  Ever since my ill-advised hike on Saturday, my legs have been stiff, sore, and tired.  I was scheduled for 3 miles on Tuesday, but my legs were still really sore and I didn’t want to push it, so I didn’t run.  I’m starting to feel really nervous because I don’t know if I’m giving my legs enough rest–I’ve been riding my bike to and from work every day, and my legs just feel BEAT.  Would it be a bad thing if I didn’t do my scheduled run today either?  I’m not really sure.  I feel like it’s a delicate balance between making sure my legs remember how to run on Sunday, and making sure they’re fresh enough to run 13.1 miles.

Obviously I’m just going to play it by ear and listen to what my legs are telling me before running tonight, but what do you guys think?  Is it OK not to run at all the week before a race?


21 thoughts on “A-B-C Goals and a Confession

  1. Jennifer says:

    I’m no expert, but in the week before a race I really try to do whatever feels best for my body. Remember that it’s all the work you’ve put in these past few months that makes the difference – distance running is something you can’t cram for, and the last week is about whatever will make you feel best on race day!

  2. Run Colby Run says:

    Here’s my thoughts. And I will preface this with, I am NOT an expert. Just someone who runs the snot out of her body and should honor it more. You’ve already put the work in. All of your training will not disappear because of a few missed runs the week of a half marathon. My advice is to listen to your legs. If they feel heavy and tuckered, stretch and roll ’em. Also, heavy and tuckered can also mean that they need to be watered so don’t forget to drink this week!!! (Water. Not beer. I’ve got my eye on you.) Especially if it’s going to be mid-80s. See how you feel later and take it from there.

    You’ve done the work. Now work on what’s between your ears. You’ve got this!! 🙂

    • DarlinRae says:

      Thanks for the excellent advice! I’m planning to spend some quality time stretching and rolling tonight, whether I run or not. I’ve been hydrating pretty well, but I’m gonna kick it up a bit today–you are totally right and I’ve had a couple of beers this week (shame on me, haha!). I’m hoping that taking a total rest day on Saturday will help too. 🙂

  3. hellyontherun says:

    Totally okay! Trust your training–like Colby said, all your hard work isn’t going away because you don’t run this week. Trust your body, rest your legs, and go out there and have fun! Looking forward to hearing out it goes!!

  4. SuzLyfe says:

    Check out my marathon taper survival post–counts for half marathons too 😀 I echo what the others have said–trust your training. THere is a reason that we say it again and again! I would say, however, that you might benefit from a good walk today and a few miles tomorrow, just to get the juices flowing again. I often find that I feel sorer the longer I go without running–like, I think that you were smart to rest and allow things to repair, but now I would say go out and jingle jangle things around, get all the left over ish out, and then you should be ready to go!!

    • DarlinRae says:

      A walk is a great idea! And maybe a quick shakeout run tomorrow. We’ll see how I feel. Thanks for the encouragement! I wish Sunday would hurry up and get here already!

  5. runsaltrun says:

    Listen to those legs, girl! If they say no, then don’t do it. Not running isn’t going to hurt you. You’ve already put in the training and now it’s time to scale back and ride the wave all the way to the end. You’re going to be great!

  6. txa1265 says:

    Totally agree with all of these awesome ladies! And also with Colby on the beer (or wine) – I mean, c’mon we aren’t super-elites here and so having a beer or glass of wine during the week is just no biggie. You should just eat smart and get yourself ready.

    My advice? Relax, stay hydrated, and listen to your BRAIN as well as your body. For example, I am always early for things, so for me showing up an hour early is something I do because it is relaxing for me.

    Speaking of which – relax at the start and resist the temptation to go out too fast! You will anyway, but by thinking about it you will be more aware and hopefully keep it in check.

  7. The Secret Life Coach says:

    So–before my first half in March, I didn’t run for 2 weeks prior…..and I finished about 20 minutes faster than I estimated 5 months previously! It will depend how long you’ve been training, and every person is different, but truth be told–it’s probably GOOD you haven’t run for a week. The day before your race, go for a little jog or a VERY SHORT fast run. That’s what I did and my legs felt more than ready! And I probably would have finished even faster if I hadn’t practically sprinted my first three miles out of excitement 🙂

    • DarlinRae says:

      Haha that’s good to hear. I’m just so nervous since it’s my first long race. I’m definitely going to be fighting the urge to run super fast at the beginning!

  8. dgobs says:

    Good goals! They sound totally doable, and like you said, something to shoot for next time if you can’t make it this time. I’ve definitely not run the week before a race, but I’ve never raced farther than 4 miles so I don’t think it matters much in my case! Whatever happens, best of luck, run like the wind, and have fun!!

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