Thursday, September 10, 2009

Neither the Chocolate Kind nor Facing USC

The Buckeye. It has taught me the harshest racing lessons and rewarded me with my best racing performance. This half marathon has quickly become my favorite race. The course is a fairly flat double loop through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and the organization and post-race spread are solid. This year's race will be No. 3.

There is one difference this time. On Sunday, I will not be shooting for a PR. It's an odd feeling going into a race and expecting to finish short of my best time, but I'm sticking to my plan.

I'm treating the race as a marathon simulator, breaking it down into three parts. The first five miles will be at 9:21-9:26 pace (10-15 seconds slower than my goal marathon pace). The second five miles will be at marathon pace of 9-9:10 per mile. The final 5-K will be full go.

My objectives are to run a negative split race and build confidence as I enter taper mode. I want to finish in less than two hours, but I won't be too upset with a finish at or just above two hours. Anything more than two minutes over will start to feel disheartening for my Akron Marathon goals.

My other objective? Get the hoodie. Another reason I love this race is the giveaway. Instead of a poorly designed cotton T-shirt or a cheap technical shirt with a brazilian sponsors on the back, this race features a handsome hoodie with only the race logo on the front. The only catch is you have to be among the first 600 registrants.

My first year, the hoodie was green with yellow lettering, and I wear it often. Last year, it was grey with red lettering, but I registered late and missed the cut-off. This year, I thought I registered late again, but the race organizers extended the deadline, which I consider a sign of hope. But I won't know until I know. Packet pickup is tomorrow. Wish me luck!

11 comments:

Nitmos said...

Why not just beat 2 hours to boost your confidence and stop all of this wishy-washy "couple minutes here, couple minutes there" crap? You did this last year in 1:49! Beat 2 hours. Pocket the confidence. Keep focused on the marathon. Plus, I don't want to read the inevitable 'well, I just missed my half goal by a minute so now I'm not sure about the full marathon goal.' Do it. Best wishes.

X-Country2 said...

Good luck with all your hopes and dreams for this race!

BrianFlash said...

Agree with Nitmos here. I have the same situation (half this weekend, full next weekend).

Beat two hours in the half (even if it is 1:59:59) and then know that you can do the full in 3:59:59).

Good luck!

Morgan said...

Go big or go home.

Or do what you think is best...

either way good luck getting the hoodie! Totally jealous!

...oh yeah and good luck on the race too...

The Sean said...

do it. "trying' is preparing to fail. do it.

Spike said...

I trust you will follow your plan to perfection. my guess for the colors are blue with white letters.

Jess said...

Oh man sweet! I hope you get the hoodie!

Jess said...

Except for the fact that I rarely have use for a hoodie, I do think it would be way superior to the usual crappy race tees.

B.o.B. said...

Go with your gut on this. Run it any way you want. No judging from us, obviously. ;)

Hope you have a great race and get the hoodie of your choice.

The word hoodie is starting to look and sound weird by the way. Hoodie.

Roisin said...

Do it. Kick some ass at the race, get the hoodie, and go into your taper feeling awesome. We're rootin' for ya in Chicago!

Jeri said...

Best of luck (on getting the hoodie that is)! I wish my race had hoodies. They went from sweet long sleeved shirts to hideous dirty orange short sleeved ones last year. Hopefully this year's is better. :) Excited for the race report!