Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Illinois (half) Marathon: How Will I Do?

McNaughton Park 100 miler. Not a half-marathon!
The Illinois Marathon is Saturday, April 28. In addition to the main event, there is a half-marathon, 10k, 5k, and marathon relay. I am doing the half-marathon this year. The weather is too risky for the full marathon--it can be brutally warm and humid, or cold, rainy, and windy. I can slog through almost anything for 13.1 miles, but 26.2 miles? Not for me. I ran the full Illinois Marathon a couple of years ago and they CANCELLED the race due to lightning! I was around mile 23 and still finished, but others were forced to stop and take a bus to the finish line. If I want to suffer, I'll do a trail 100-miler (and expect shit to hit the fan).

So, how will I do in the upcoming Illinois half-marathon?
In 2016 I ran a 1:40:02 (7:37 pace).
In 2017 I ran a 1:36:50 (7:24 pace).
In 2018 I will continue the trend and run 1:34! Nope. 
In 2018 I will run faster than I did in 2016 and slower than I did last year.

I'm just not ready. I'm healthy and injury-free. I have basic endurance, but not ultra-like endurance. Most long runs have been around 10 miles. Not sure I have the stamina to hold a good pace for 13 miles. My speed is missing. I started faster running about 3 weeks ago, but it is not enough to make a sub-7:30 pace seem feasible. I'll start at about 7:30 pace and see how long I can maintain that in the race. If all goes well and I feel good (unlikely), I'll pick up the pace and crush the last 5k! If things don't go well, then I'll slowly fade as the miles tick by and I finally stumble into Memorial Stadium and that 50-yard line finish chute.

My personal best for the distance is 1:32:35 (2014 in St Louis). I believe I can break that PR...but it will need to wait until this fall. I am already registered for the Monumental Half-Marathon in Indianapolis (November). I'll be ready. Endurance, stamina, and speed.

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