Sunday, February 18, 2007

Figuring out my goal pace

I'm trying to figure out what pace I should attack the B&A Trail Half Marathon in two weeks. Excuse me while I think "aloud".

I've done the race three times, so the course is very familiar: some hills and turns through a residential neighborhood up front for the first 3 miles, then flat rail-trail up to mile 6, big long hills for a mile at the turnaround, then pancake-flat on back to the finish line.

Last three times on the course:
2002: 2:53:20
2005: 2:39:54
2006: 2:36:23 (half marathon PR)

While I think my general fitness is better than a year ago, I haven't done any long runs over 7 miles in several months. So that second half of the course is a question mark right now. BUT my training partner David has promised to pace me on course, which should really help me keep pushing myself when I normally start to fade.

Looking at some numbers:

2006 time: 2:36:23 = 11:56 min/mile pace
Sub-2:30 = 11:27 min/mile pace
2:24:06 = 11:00 min/mile pace
Time predicted by my 10k times = 2:20:19 or 10:42 min/mile pace

What I've told David is that we should try to stick to an 11:00 mpm pace, but no faster. I'm hoping that will give me a strong start and that I can simply hang on for the last six or seven miles without losing too much time. I've been able to maintain that pace fairly comfortably on recent flat training runs up to 5 to 7 miles, but we'll just have to wait until race day to see if I'm able to maintain it over a few hills and over a longer distance without falling apart. Does that sound reasonable to you - fairly aggressive pace for me, without going out crazy-fast?

A sub-2:30 finish would make me a very happy runner!! Wouldn't that be a great way to celebrate my second blogversary and surpassing the 100,000 blog hit mark!??


bunnygirl said...

There's a nice margin for error in the Half, and I think you've got a great base, so the extra 5 miles shouldn't be too bad.

Just remember that it's supposed to be fun!

TriFeist said...

Looks good, especially if you have a pacer to keep you going in the second half. You've got a nice base from your weekend long rides. It will work out very nicely.

21stCenturyMom said...

That looks like a great goal and with a pacer you should be able to do it. The only other thing you need to do is transition from hope to determination. That will get you across the line in just under 2:30!

Robin said...

Sounds like a good plan to me. And if you have a little left in the tank towards the end, you can always pick up the pace. Can't wait to hear how it goes!