Good morning from the other Washington – the state! I’m out west this weekend to run my 14th half marathon (!!), the Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon (<—my recap from last year), with the Brooks running crew and my fellow Brooks Run Happy Blogger Ambassadors. I can’t wait! A huge thank you to the Brooks team for making this trip possible for all of us by covering our expenses for the trip and the race. It’s an honor to represent you guys! In addition to the race, I’m also super excited to get to check out their brand new headquarters. Lots of fun to come – as always, check me out on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to see what I’m up to before I post again. 🙂
My brother lives out here in Tacoma now, which makes this trip even more fun! I arrived late last night and stayed at his place for phase 1 of the adventure; I’ll be meeting up with the Brooks crew in Seattle this afternoon to kick off phase 2. Then, after the blogger festivities and the half marathon, I’ll spend Sunday with my brother and head out on Monday!
It’s been over two years since I raced a half marathon – crazy, huh? I’ve done plenty of halfs in the time since then but have done them all just for fun with no pace goals – either because I was burned out, or I was running with friends, or because I was focused on full marathon training. All that said, I’m racing this weekend and I’m excited to see what I can do out there after a winter/spring full of track workouts under my belt.
My current half marathon PR (personal record) is still 1:43:44 (7:54 min/mile average) from the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in DC in April 2013, and I’d like to finally put that PR to rest and replace it with a shiny new one. After two years of focusing on distance instead of speed, it felt good to get back to the track and back to pushing myself in a different way this spring. I had to remind myself that it’s not supposed to feel easy to run fast – and that that’s partly why speedwork is so rewarding, because it’s hard.
I had a spring of near-PRs. At the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler a couple months ago, I was on track to PR, pace-wise, but the course was short (9.39 miles) due to a crime scene. Two weeks later, I gave it my all at the GW Parkway Classic 10 Miler, only to miss a PR by 22 seconds. Even though I didn’t get my 10 miler PR this spring, it was still great to have those races under my belt as a reminder that I CAN still run that quickly – I just have to make myself do it. 🙂 Challenging yourself is a good thing!
Since Seattle is a bit hilly, my coaches are having me aim for a pace range instead of one specific goal pace – sticking between 7:30 and 8 minute miles depending on the terrain. While searching online for a race goal pace calculator, I discovered something awesome: TazRunning.com. They have a free tool where you can input your goal time for a certain distance and they’ll spit out your goal mile splits, which makes it easy to make sure you are on track using your watch. BUT – even cooler – if you’re running a big/well known race, they also will take into account the altitude! So cool, right?! (Also, yikes to that hill at mile 8!)
I printed out the pace chart portion and “laminated” it with some tape so it doesn’t fall apart in my (sweaty) hands. I’ll store it in the front pocket of my hydration vest and pull it out when I need it to see how I’m doing. 🙂 I put in 1:42:30 as my goal time but I’m really just aiming for anything under my current PR – I just figured I’d try to give myself a bit of a cushion in case the end of race hills get to me.
On the back of the pace chart, because I’m a nerd, I wrote this, which my friend Sokphal texted me earlier this week. <3
So – as always during races, my #1 goal is to have a blast, enjoy the scenery, and remember that I’m doing this because I love it and because I’m lucky that I can.
…but if I can pull out a PR in the process, that would be awesome, too. 🙂 If you’re interested in tracking me during the race to see how I’m doing, you can sign up here to track me for free.
The weather is looking absolutely gorgeous for the whole weekend – nice and sunny with lows in the 50’s and highs in the low 70’s. Also, no humidity – woohoo!
Thank you guys for your good luck wishes and for cheering on all my track workouts over the past few months! Knowing you guys are rooting for me always makes it feel just a bit easier to keep running. 🙂
Here’s to a fun weekend and to running happy. Catch you guys next week!
Anyone else racing this weekend? I hope to see some of you out there!