Tuesday, March 1, 2016

New Attitude: 60 Days to the Illinois Half-Marathon

I've got a new attitude. And it's coming at a good time. I now have 60 days until the Illinois Half-Marathon on April 30. That's two good months of training. Why the new perspective?  I realized my lofty PR goal (1:32) is really out of reach. I was pushing too hard and already got sick twice with a cold. I see that as a sign from the running gods that I need to revise my goals and train more appropriately. Message received!

With 60 days to go, I have a new set of half-marathon race goals:

  • Dream goal: 1:32:30 (equates to 3:15 marathon)
  • Reach goal: 1:35 (equates to 3:20 marathon)
  • Doable goal: 1:38 (equates to 3:26:15 marathon)
If everything goes really well in the next 60 days, and I get perfect weather on race day, and I push hard for that dream goal, I might achieve that original new personal best of 1:32:30. It's a long-shot and my training will not focus on that finish time. Too much pressure. But it'll be in the back of my mind if the race is going well.

The doable goal is 1:38. That equates to a full marathon time of 3:26:15. That would get me to Boston. I feel 1:38 will be easy. It's nice having that in my back pocket. Very feasible and it will give me confidence that I'm still on track for a July marathon that will qualify me for Boston. If I finish in 1:38, and feel it was an "easy effort," then I'll be stoked for the marathon in July.

The "reach goal" of 1:35 is a nice challenge, but still reasonable. It would predict a 3:20 marathon (too fast for me!) and certainly give me the confidence to crank out a sub 3:30 in July. This one feels right. A finish of 1:35 or under, with no injuries, will set me up nicely for a fast July marathon.

As far as training goes, I'm not sticking to any plan. No more Hanson's. I'll run as I see fit, try to toss in a fast run each week, and a pseudo-long run. No pressure. No stress. The real goal is a Boston qualifier in late July, then a 50-mile personal best in November. This half-marathon is simply a benchmark test on the path to future PRs. My original "three goal races" for 2016 is still in play, but the first race is just a test.

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