No Turning Back…

It’s official. I’m registered for the Greer Earth Day HALF MARATHON. There’s $27.50 and a free t-shirt on the line now, which for me means that there is no turning back. Boy, that sounds ominous.

I almost talked myself out of this one. I’ve never participated in a half marathon before, and the last time I got close (that infamous Green Valley 10 mile race) I went out too fast, hurt myself, and spent the last 4 miles chanting “gonna make it, gotta make it” and begging my legs not to walk. Not the most delightful way to spend a Saturday morning. Since then—and that was 2 months ago—I haven’t gotten over 7 miles, so reason and logic would suggest that I sit this one out in order to prevent a repeat of the aforementioned undelightful Saturday morning. Self-preservation chimes in to recommend sticking to the 10k-and-under races, so as to say in one piece. And then pride wonders just how horrible I’m going to look crossing the finish line…IF I even finish, that is, shout doubt and cynicism.

The voices inside my head seemed to be of one accord. “Register for the 5 mile,” they whisper inticingly. “Running buddy is doing it, it’ll be fun, just like the Reedy.” But whether from obstinacy or optimism—or maybe from obstinate optimism—I just couldn’t do it. I want to run the half. I want to do something I’ve never done before. I want to maintain my goal of participating in all of the races in the GTC series. I want my minimum of 10 points, and my free t-shirt, and my finisher’s medal. (Sidenote: I also want a course map…anyone know where I can find one? The link on the race website didn’t work.) I believe I have prepared myself for the fact that this must be another of those “just run and try to finish” endeavors; that I will be out there for 2 hours and that I should absoutely, positively not start out at faster than 9:00 pace.

This ought to be interesting.

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6 responses

  1. Go see my post on Event Hypochondria 🙂

    Ok, joking aside; half marathons and up a merely a mesasure of your cardio vascular fitness, and the race is won or lost by the time you get to the start line and the some strategy .. I looked up the greenvalley results, apparently you you did 7;54 pace there so I’m thinking you should do 9 minute pace for the first 3 miles (walk if you have need to slow down to keep that pace) and then start shaving 15 seconds off per mile until you reach 8 minute pace, then stay there.. Negative splits win more endurace events han fast starts. if you have plenty of gas left in the tank by mile 12, by all means burn it all in the last mile and I have a dollar that says if you stick to this plan you’ll end up with a boston qualitfying pace of 8:21 🙂

    And the best thing about advice is that you can totally ignore it.

  2. Thanks, Jen. You are my emergency contact, as usual. 😀

    Fleming, I am amazed that you went and looked me up. I’m also very, very glad you can’t see what my first mile was (a la Championchip timing), because I’m fairly certain it was in the 6:40s. D’oh! That was absolutely unintentional (I missed the first 3 mile markers) and absolutely NOT the way to run a longer race. Let all the distance runners say, “negative splits are my friends!”

  3. Negative splits are indeed your friends, even in 5Ks but ESPECIALLY in 10 miles an up. You use the first 3 miles or so to warm up and then you start picking it up, has worked for me. Also is a great morale booster the trick is to MAKE a realistic pace plan AND STICK to it, then if you have gas in the tank, by all means flaunt it in the last mile. write your mile targets on your arm with a sharpie if need be..
    like: 9-18-27-34:45-:42:30 …. you get the idea

    As for looking you up, well I’m spending the day and them some in the care of US AIRWAYS, gives you plenty of time to sit around. This message is coming to you via my cell phone internet connect from usairways lounge in philly..

  4. as for the course map, the one on the website
    http://gvltrackclub.clubexpress.com/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=515359&module_id=12405
    loaded just fine for me, it is a PDF file though, so it you have issues with PDF on the pc you tried from that could be an issue.

    That being said, I do believe the course is being changed a little bit so the start and finish will be in the same place. The basic course will remain the same. For details ,write the race director, he is your kind of guy, a track coach 🙂 ..

  5. Hooray! I went to the “official” race website, and something weird happened. I shoulda thought of going to GTC in the first place. Thanks!

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