Leaf Peepers Half Brain Dump

You guys, it’s finally happening. I’m FINALLY running a PR attempt half marathon. I haven’t run a half marathon for time since I set my current PR of 2:18:06 in November of 2014–almost three years ago!

In some ways, I feel like I’m super ready and prepared. I’m stronger than ever, both mentally and physically, thanks to CrossFit. I’m also pretty well trained, having completed two 10+ mile training runs, which is more than I’ve ever done for a half before. Yet in other ways, I’m full of doubt. I haven’t run that much this year. I haven’t really done any speed work. I’ve been wanting to attempt a PR in the half distance for two years, so I’m feeling a lot of pressure. Also, there’s this:


That’s a whooooole lotta uphill right at the beginning. I haven’t exactly been working hills lately. In fact, most of my long runs have been on the flat-as-a-pancake rail trail. This does not bode well.

Still, though, I feel like the circumstances going into this race are good. For one thing, the race starts at 11 am, which means I don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn to get to the race start. I can actually go to bed at a normal hour and get up at a normal hour and hopefully get a decent night’s sleep. Sunday’s weather is also looking pretty dang perfect.


I mean, I guess a few degrees cooler and overcast would be perfect, but as far as I’m concerned, I’m lucky it will be cooler than 80 after the last couple of weeks we’ve had.

SO. My goal is to PR, which would be anything under 2:18:06. Running an average pace of 10:30 would get me there by just under a minute. Obviously, any PR would be great, but I can’t help but want to PR by a somewhat wider margin. An average pace of 10:25 would get me a PR of just under two minutes, which I’d be SUPER stoked about. So that’s what I will aim for.

HOWEVER. With that crazy elevation gain in the first three miles this will be challenging, no question. My plan is to beย veryย conservative during the first three miles. I will walk if I have to. I just don’t want to shred myself right at the start and be too gassed to finish strong. I will also use the downhills to my advantage. I’m a strong downhill runner, so I plan to just open up my stride and let gravity help me out.

And if I don’t PR? No biggie. I’m just excited to try, after not having run a half marathon for time in so long. This will likely be my last big race for a while, so I just want to have a good time and make it count.

Anybody else racing this weekend? What are your goals?

13 thoughts on “Leaf Peepers Half Brain Dump

  1. txa1265 says:

    (random aside – WordPress has been annoyingly messing with my ability to post comments, not just your site … ugh!)

    I think your strategy is perfect – don’t burn out early (a mistake I made on my first half marathon, letting my adrenaline get the better of me) and save your energy for the downhill. I think your fitness and strength from CrossFit will benefit you on the uphill … but it is always best to ‘leave something in the tank’ for the finish.

    Definitely glad you will have better weather to run in! Excited to see how it goes!

  2. veryrach says:

    Good luck!! I love that this race starts at 11! I am not a fan of the 8am half-marathons. I ran a 5miler a few weeks ago and the hills killed me, so I hope they’re not too bad for ya. Good luck can’t wait to hear about it!

  3. Jessica @ Fit Talker says:

    Good luck! Quite the hilly start but I’m sure you’ll do just fine. At least you know about it and it won’t be a surprise.
    Funny because an 11a start for me would be horrible. I can’t stomach food before running, so it would be a long and hungry morning ๐Ÿ™‚
    Can’t wait for the recap!

  4. Fallon @ Slacker Runner says:

    The last 10 miles look pretty though! An 11AM start? I throw a party when a race starts at 8:30… I have no idea what I would do with myself if a race started then. Wait- maybe that beach half started around then but it was a hot mess so I blocked it out. ๐Ÿ˜›

    • Rae says:

      Hehe, yeah, I was pretty stoked when I saw the start time, especially since the race is about 40 minutes away. I’m hoping those downhills work to my advantage. Oh, and that I don’t die on the uphills!

  5. dgobs says:

    Woohoo!! That hill looks challenging, but at least it’s not at the very end? I think your strategy sounds smart, and the weather looks promising, and you’re strong from CrossFit – you totally got this!

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