Monday, September 15, 2014

Fall Racing: Whats, Wheres and Hopes

The hay is in the barn, as they say. Or, as I like to say, thank grilled cheesus, I don't have to cry any more when I look at my training schedule.

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This weekend, I completed my last double digit run and my longest goal pace workout - 6.2 miles - as I look toward the Fort4Fitness half marathon. The race is on Sept. 27 and is the big to-do here in Fort Wayne. The festival of events (4-mile, 10K, half marathon and kids and seniors marathons) attracts about 10,000 participants.

As the year's big event, it is always a lot of fun. Most of the run group is there, as are the running store employees, and the atmosphere is just insane. For me, it's just such a special race because the half course is the only place I've broken 2 hours (2010 and 2013), and it was my first race after having Miles.

I'm hoping the 13.1-mile route will offer just as much magic this year, as I have been training for a PR. Given the target paces of my plan, my goal half marathon pace for the race should be between 8:35 and 8:40 - a PR by at least 30 seconds and up to 1:30.

But if I learned anything this weekend, it's that even with putting in the work during training, a PR is not a given.

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On Sunday, I needed to get in a goal pace workout. My plan called for a 2-mile warm-up, 3 x 2.5 miles at goal half marathon pace with 3 minutes rest between sets and a 1-mile cool down. Insane, right? As there was a track club 10K at 2 p.m. Sunday, I decided that I would just use the race as the workout. Yes, I would be cutting the workout short but I thought the length of that workout was absurd. It came in around 11 miles and my long run was 10.

The plan for the race was to jog to the start (1.5 miles), volunteer and then run the race around an 8:40 pace. The jog to the start was painful, and my legs were sore and tight from the previous day's 10-miler. I chugged along and hoped for the best.

But the best never came. From start to finish, the race was challenging. I never hit that stride where I felt like it was hard but doable. It was just hard. I walked through the water stop, which we passed three times, and took two cups every  time. By mile 3, I sort of just threw pace out the window and just worked to the finish. But, my watch threw working out the window and as such, I managed to hit my goal for the weekend - 53:08, an 8:34 pace.

We'll see how good that pace feels on race day. I'm hopeful, though, that after some rest, a good taper, lots of myofascial release and a well-timed massage will make it feel less arduous.

Here's the fall schedule:

Fort4Fitness half marathon, Sept. 27 in Fort Wayne

Bourbon Chase relay, Oct. 10-11, Kentucky. I'm runner No. 12. (I had been assigned lucky No. 7 but things got switched around.) Leg mileage is 3.6 miles, 8 miles and 4.9 miles.

River City Rat Race 10K, Oct. 26 in Fort Wayne. Undecided but it's a points race for the track club.

Veterans half marathon, Nov. 8 in Columbia City. I'm not sure about this one but I could be convinced as they have a great finisher's jacket. I just need to decide if I want to keep up long runs after F4F,


  1. Taper is a magical thing. You've had a really solid training cycle. I know you'll feel awesome on race day!

  2. Nice race line up. I had some friends who did Bourbon Chase last year and really loved it. You are strong and your "perfect" race will come soon! xo

  3. Like Robyn said: Taper is magical! You absorb all the hard work that you have been working for for months on end!! Congrats on the 10k race too!! Looks like some fun races ahead!