Half marathon training begins!

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I've got a goal race on my calendar!

I registered for the Historic Hillsborough Half just before the price increase on July 4. The race is on October 1st, very early in the fall racing season. The inaugural race was last year, but it seems like it was well-run. I've had a long-standing beef with the half marathon: While I've PR'd in nearly every half I've raced, I've never felt that my times reflected my fitness, usually because of injury. In fact, my unofficial half marathon PR is (1:48), set in the middle of the Tobacco Road Marathon. My actual half marathon PR is 1:50 from City of Oaks.

Here's my history with half marathons:

  • 2011: Hamptons Half Marathon - 2:06 (9:38)
  • 2012: Manhattan Half Marathon (unscored due to snowstorm)
  • 2012: Brooklyn Half Marathon - 1:57 (8:58)
  • 2013: Wisconsin Half Marathon - 1:52 (8:35)
  • 2014: City of Oaks Half Marathon - 1:50 (8:26)
  • 2015: Bull City Race Fest Half in 2:09 (pregnant)

While I'm hungry for another PR, I don't want to put too much pressure on myself because 1) I've only been running about 10 mpw since April; and 2) babystuff, training just looks different than before. The season of life I'm in now, etc. A PR would be an A+ goal, or more like an A+++ goal. But even so, I named my weekday morning alarm "Sub 1:45".

I waffled a lot about choosing a training plan. For half marathons, I've only ever used Hal Higdon plans, and have liked them a lot. I first grabbed his Advanced plan and plugged it into my spreadsheet, but after looking at it more I began to worry that I was setting myself up for failure. (There's 6 days of running per week, and a 40 minute tempo in week one.) I scrapped it and then plugged in his Intermediate 2 plan which felt much better. This has five days of running but I could potentially combine two of the easy runs and get it all done in four days per week.

I have a few other races in mind for the fall. It would be possible for me to chase this race with the Bull City Race Fest on 10/22, or the Richmond Half on 11/11, or both. Bull City would be fun because it's right here, and it would be nice to take a crack at the course when I'm not pregnant. I have at least one friend running Richmond so far, so it would also be great to do that, too. I have a tendency to get carried away with race registering, so I'm going to hold off for now and see how it goes.