Harder ‘N Hell Half Marathon Goals

Tomorrow is the race. I’m not sure what to think. On the one hand, whatever, I know I’ll finish the race, and I know I won’t be blowing anyone away with my speed. On the other hand, I want to do well. I don’t want to bonk, I don’t want to slow down too much on the hills, I don’t want to slip and fall on wet leaves, I don’t want to freeze during the race.

My plan is to be in last place, or very close to last place, at the beginning. Since I’ll be one of the last finishers, why not start there? Then I can take the stairway to hell at my own pace. I bought a bag of Halloween candy so that I have bite-sized Snickers to bring along with me. Then I don’t have to fumble with wrappers, I can just unwrap the whole candy and stuff the wrapper back in the pocket of my hand-held. I also hope to not stop at any aid stations for longer than I need to fill my water bottles. And I really, really, really hope I don’t get passed by too many of the 50k runners (they start earlier).

Time goals? Eek. I am going to be mostly running on feel, but I’ll have my watch on me to check my average pace. The problem is, I don’t know exactly how long the race course is. I don’t think it’s 13.1 miles exactly, I think it’s longer, or at least my various GPS devices have measured it longer. So if it’s 13.3 miles or 13.6 miles, then I’ll have slightly different average paces I need to hit. Whatever. So, here we go.

A Standard: 3:59:59
B Standard: 4:20:00

I ran the course in 4:23 back in September, so I rounded down to 4:20 for my B goal. On fresh legs, I can surely shave 3 minutes off my time.

Under 4 hours might be a pipe dream, but hey, I like to challenge myself. Assuming the race is 13.5 miles long (that’s what my Strava measured), that’s a pace of 17:46. I ran a pace of 19:28 back in September. So that’s a big chunk of time to shave off. Oh well.

As long as I finish strong, don’t accidentally trip the 50k front runners as they blow by me, don’t barf or have an upset GI system, and don’t hurt myself, I will be happy. Ok if it takes me 6 hours I won’t be happy. But it won’t.

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