Sunday, March 02, 2008

2008 B&A Trail Half Marathon

It's race morning again, and back to this familiar old half marathon!

Here's my accountability in my pre-race list of tiered goals:
1. Secret pie-in-the-sky dream goal: Beat 2:15 (well, not secret now)
2. Beat my half marathon PR from last year: 2:19:28 (set on a perfect course with perfect weather)
3. Beat last year's course PR: 2:26:38 (set with the aid of two pacers extraordinaire, dave and Chuck)

What will be different today? I'm going to do an experiment. This is scary for a data-geek like me. I'm going to COVER MY WATCH and JFR (just friggin' run). And just see what happens. I tend to think that knowing my split times during the race helps me pace; but there's also the possibility that seeing fast early splits tends to freak me out and make me think I'm going out too fast. This will be the test. If I meet Goal #2 or better I'll do it again - if not, I'll have a happy, tearful reunion with my Garmin for the next race.

You know, I tend to be suspicious of people who announce after the race, "It was my goal to XXX". To put it charitably, I think their memory of their goals tends to be clouded by what happened later during the race.

These are my goals, with some built-in flexibility, written on race morning. I'm not adding a fall-back goal which allows me to give up on course such as "finish upright and smiling", although I always hope to do at least that. Let's go get 'er done and RACE this thing.

I'm back!

It went fine time-wise: 2:24:38 at the finish line chip time for the half marathon, so it's my 2nd fastest half marathon. So I made my goal #3 (above) by two minutes (and did not enjoy the company of pacers this time around like I had last year).

I covered my watch with duct tape and didn't cheat and look at it one single time. But I DID NOT LIKE not knowing my time or my pace, not one single little teensy bit. I had NO FREAKIN' IDEA what my pace was for the entire race. The clock at the finish line could have read 2:14 or 2:34 and neither one would have surprised me at all. I didn't like running hard for OVER TWO HOURS and never knowing during that time if it was going to pay off in a decent (for me) time or not. It was NO FUN.

I say thumbs down to gadgetless running. My Garmin pace and heart rate readout are helpful to me, especially so I know when I'm darned uncomfortable while running it's for a good reason. Maybe for a 5K that's over relatively quickly I'd go gadgetless, but I wouldn't do it for longer races again.

I'll write a longer report when I'm not tired! Thanks for stopping by.


jeanne said...

Good luck!

Dave M said...

Hey Nancy - good luck today. I forgot my watch yesterday in a 1-mile race, and I think if I had it I would have run slower and made my goal a self-fulfilling prophecy. I ran as fast I could and smoked my goal time - so I can completely understand the JFR philosophy.

21stCenturyMom said...

Cannot WAIT for this race report!

jeanne said...

CONGRATS!!! excellent time!

All my long runs are run only with a watch, so all I know is how long i've run and approximate mileage. I guess I've learned to live with it!

Rainmaker said...

Congrats, nicely done!

I'm actually slowly starting to enjoy watch-less running. At least during the run. Of course afterwards it drives me crazy not having the data.

Fe-lady said...

Congratulations from an "almost gadgetless" lady to "Inspectress Gadget"!

2nd fastest PR is a good thing...and without knowing how fast you were running. I think that's a good thing too!