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2013 Race Plans

Before the 100 mile race that wasn’t, I signed up for a half-marathon at the end of May.  Perhaps I’m a little bit of a bipolar runner.  I haven’t run a half-marathon in three years, and I wanted to see how fast I can run one now.  And, let’s be honest, the registration for the race was cheap, and I’m cheap, so that’s probably the real reason why I signed up.

My very first race, a half-marathon in 2009. I was no where near my peak fatness, but I’ve definitely lost some weight since then.

I don’t race very often at all, especially considering how much I talk about running (not that you need to race to be a runner, but the two seem to go hand in hand).  If you were to see my Athlinks.com profile, it’s a bizarre mix of a handful of races since 2009 – one 5k, one 10k trail race, two half-marathons, two marathons, two trail 50k’s (even though it’s the same race, just double posted), and a 100 miler.  I’ve done a couple of other small 5k’s that haven’t showed up on Athlinks, and one bike race last year, but it’s a pretty accurate representation of how little I race.

Because I toe the starting line so infrequently, I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself when I do race.  And, to be honest, the last few major races didn’t go so well for me.  In May 2010, I got stomach cramps about seven miles into a half-marathon, and missed my goal (sub 90 minutes) by less than 120 seconds.  In October 2010, I got the same stomach cramps, but much worse, at mile 20 of a marathon and had to walk the last four or five miles, missing my goal (sub 3:10) by almost 20 minutes.  I have since discovered that I have a mild gluten intolerance, and I can’t do bread right before a race, so hopefully I won’t have that problem again.  Since then, I haven’t run a road race longer than a 5k.

I already have a time goal in my head for this half, but I don’t want to disappoint myself again.  I picked out a training plan, which technically started yesterday so I really need to get back in the groove.  I haven’t followed a training plan since the marathon in 2010, and I’m not sure how well I’ll react to having structure in my running life again.

I think this was my second trail race, a 4 miler in 2010.

I’ve got two other races in September that I’m looking forward to.  My company participates in the local ‘Corporate Challenge,’ an olympics-style series of races and events.  Last year I did the 5k run and the 15k team time trial cycling race.  I finished 4th overall in the 5k (18:45), which I can’t complain about given the amount of speedwork training that I did leading up to the race (which was zero).  I would like to get back down to my 5k PR time (just under 18 minutes) at this years race.  And although I surprised myself at the cycling race, and was able to hold my own with my teammates, I’d like to knock at least 90 seconds off of my time.  I think that is a manageable goal, given that my new bike is significantly lighter, I’ve been riding more, and last year’s ride was the first (and only) time that I had ever ridden in a paceline (I may or may not have lied about my paceline experience before the race – I was very thankful I didn’t take down the pack!)

I’m still debating whether or not I want to tackle a marathon later this year.  I may wait and see how the half-marathon goes, and then decide.  I feel like I have some unfinished business with the marathon distance.

So, that’s my plan for the year (subject to drastic change, as usually happens).

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