Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Operation: #partyatthefinishline

And I think you do.
(I mean I think I can run 13.1 miles without seriously injuring myself.)
Once upon a time, the inaugural Berkeley Half was my fall "A" race. When I signed up in July, it was far enough away that I figured I'd be more than fully recovered, and would've had weeks and weeks of race-free training time to get my cardiovascular system into respectable racing shape.

But then Life Happened, which it will tend to do, and suddenly it was mid-November & I still had yet to run more than 8.7 miles at a time or do anything even remotely resembling a tempo run. (Update: I did a tempo run last Friday! Not a long one, but pretty much at goal HM pace, which is probably my LT pace right now to be honest, and it did not kill me.) I had hoped to be back in sub-1:40 shape by now, but there's not much evidence to suggest that that's the case.

On the other hand, I have had some great runs, the last little bit of nagging pain in my hip seems to be melting away, and even ran 10.5 miles a few days ago at pretty close to marathon goal pace.

So what am I hoping for on Sunday?

As with Let's Go 510, my goals are modest. The first thing I did was check out what McMillan & Runners World predicted for a half marathon given my recent 10K time:



I don't really believe either of these things will happen. I think they'd be reasonable times to shoot for if I'd been doing double digit runs every couple of weeks recently & had my endurance where it should be, but since this will be my first time even getting close to 13.1 miles since May, I'm predicting that I'll need to treat it as more of a long run with some tempo miles thrown in than an actual race.

I have a few goals, but as with Let's Go, they aren't really goals so much as hopes / predictions. Which is to say, I'm not super-committed to any of it, and if I start feeling those yellow flag feelings while I'm running, I'll have no problem letting them go.

"D" Goal: #partyatthefinishline, ie, finish without hurting / tweaking anything. After my ten miler last Sunday, I think this is a pretty safe one. (And seriously, I will not be sad if this is the only thing I achieve; hence, the partying.)

"C" Goal: Sub 1:45. I think this is very realistic. I ran sub-1:45 at Santa Rosa in 2012 when I spent the last 5K stopping every few minutes to stretch & chat with volunteers, and I was in pretty piss-poor shape at the time.

"C+" Goal: Every mile sub-8:00. (This translates to ~1:44:35.)

"B" Goal: Sub 1:43. I think this is the best I can realistically hope for. IMHO, the smart money is on 1:42:xx with an over/under of say a minute, but we'll see.

"A" Goal: Sub 1:40. I really, really don't think I'm in shape for this, but stranger things have happened. I'm not willing to take any crazy risks for it, but if I find myself running in the 7:30's and feeling comfortable, I don't see any reason not to go for it.

The point of Let's Go (in addition to just having fun & getting to race) was to get some sort of baseline for my fitness. The point of Berkeley, I think, is to test my endurance by seeing how well that 10K time translates into a half. By the time I run Kaiser in February there's really no excuse for my not being back down in the high 1:30's, and how I do at Berkeley will give me an idea of how much farther I have to go.

For anyone racing this weekend, I wish you all your very own super sweet #partyatthefinishline!


  1. Sorry if you get this comment twice...but, I will be #partyingathefinishline of the 10-miler, and I'm not sure if our start/finish plans will dovetail at all, but I'll keep an eye out for you! Good luck!

    1. Yay!! I hope I catch you -- good luck!! :)

  2. C or D goal seems very attainable - hopefully no pain at the finish line!

    And Stanford needs to have a #partyinthebackfield on Saturday. I want them to smash CAL so badly after what happened last week vs USC ugh. Making your plans for the Alamo Bowl? Not sure if my crew is in or not - if some people are going, then I'll go, but it might be a slim crowd going to that one.

  3. I have a feeling you'll surprise yourself. Don't tell me why I think this; I just do. And I will see you Sunday!! Yay!! (I'm not racing it but I'm running.)

  4. I think you'll surprise yourself too. It's going to be fab! See you there.

  5. Saturday was awesome - what a difference a week makes! It was fun following the Zona-Oregon game while in the stands, and going crazy when Zona pulled it off! What a rollercoaster season it's been for Stanford - so glad we have a shot at the Rose Bowl now!

    Yea, once I finish Chi Running I'll put more detail on my blog about it. In concept it makes total sense to me though.