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Goal: PR at The Women's Half Marathon

A section of the Women's Half Marathon trail

Before this becomes a food blog and I have to rename it 'ultraeatergirl'
(though that's certainly catchy and even sounds kinda bad-ass) I'd better write about my running.

My next race is, um, tomorrow! It's the VHTRC Women's Half Marathon Trail Run. I've run it every year since 2003. I don't have any other "streaks" so I feel compelled to keep this one alive. It's also one of the few trail races that is shorter than 50k. Believe it or not, sometimes I don't feel like running all day.

I set my PR here in 2006 and my goal tomorrow is to beat it. I've got a very good shot at it, because several years this race has marked my return to running after an injury and I've been under-trained. [Disclosure: To my knowledge, I have never over-trained for a race.] Below are my times on this course over the years:
Women's Half Marathon
Course Distances
SectionDistCumAid Station
Start0.00.0
Park Road1.01.0
HT*1.82.82.8
Do Loop*2.75.52.7
HT1.87.3
HT to S/F*0.67.92.4
BRT to WRS*2.110.02.1
BRT to Turn0.510.5
BRT to WRS*0.511.01.0
BRT to S/F2.113.1
A/S Dist = Distance between aid stations
HT = Horse Trail
S/F = Start/Finish
BRT = Bull Run Trail
WRS = Wolf Run Shoals Aid Station
Turn = Upstream Turnaround
* = Aid Station at end of section


2003 3:02:47
2004 2:49:26

2005 2:37:56
2006 2:31:58 <~~ OLD PR, must go!
2007 2:40:10 (post-sesmoid fracture)
2008 2:38:57

Three weeks before the race, I ran the course (second half first, then the first half) and matched my PR. I was certainly keeping a good pace, but I wasn't running my hardest. Based on that effort, I'm optimistic.

On the other hand, my taper has bee
n a bit long, about three weeks. Since then I haven't run more than 4 miles and I haven't run more than twice a week. I've biked short distances, run short distances, sprinted around the bases playing softball, but in general I've been lazy. Two nights ago was our softball league championship game and I did a lot of hard base running. My quads are pretty sore. What will they feel like tomorrow? Now is when the mental game begins. Has my taper been too easy and too long? Did I run too hard three days before my race? My piriformis is making its presence known. I haven't slept well the past few nights so I'm not as well-rested as I should be.

All these worries will plague me
until I toe the line tomorrow. They'll taunt me when gravity makes itself known on the climbs. There will be an ugly gash in my confidence as I stagger into the Fountainhead aid station after the punishing Do Loop, leaking self-doubt and fatigue. I'll be dreading the last 5.2 miles and wondering (as I do every year) why I signed up for this Anaerobic Suffer Fest.

Wish me luck. That PR h
as got to go!

Finishing the 2008 Women's Half Marathon

7 comments:

  1. You're going to kick some PR butt, I can feel it! This sounds like an awesome race!

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  2. Ahhhh, yes, the Anaerobic Sufferfest!!! How we love the WHM. I am CONFIDENT that with cool temps in the a.m. and smart running at the start you will break that PR, girl! Remember, once you get to the top of the last climb on the wide horse trail (the switchback to the left), let 'er rip. You have about 3:00 of hard running before the finish. You can do it!

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  3. Whooooo - look at you go!! Looks like a great, fun race. You SOOOO got this PR! You're gonna spank it!

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  4. You smashed that PR!! Congrats!!

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  5. Thanks ladies for your encouragement! I did smash it - my brand new shiny PR: 2:12:56!

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  6. WTG!!! sorry i'm late to the party to say congratulations. so, there, looks like everything you did was bang on! you were so ready for it in spite of your doubts. had me nervous though when i read your post. had to read the comments to learn the outcome!
    now eat grrrl. eat!

    ReplyDelete

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