Monday, April 25, 2011

Race Week - OKC Memorial Half Marathon

It's that time of year again!  Half marathon #4 is just around the corner!!

In previous years, I've limped into this race with some lingering injuries and some not so ideal mileage totals.  This year I feel strong.  This year I feel ready.  This race will mark the 3rd anniversary of my entrance into endurance sports.  The previous 2 years I've set new PRs on this course, the first by default obviously.  I've gone back and forth in my head about what to expect from this race.  At the first of the year, this was one of my 3 "A" races that I gave to my coach.  It made it on the list with Ironman Kansas 70.3 and Ironman Louisville because running is my first love.  It's the one sport I know I'll always come back to after the Ironman season is over.  I'm not sure I'll try another Ironman.  I know I'll run more marathons.  Running will always be there.  I have the lofty goals of becoming a Boston qualifier, even though I know it will take years to get to that point.  I can definitely see myself having the goal of running a marathon in all 50 states somewhere down the road.  I see myself continuing to try to get faster and stronger and push myself harder.  That's why I'm so torn about what to expect from this race.  I know I have another PR in me.  I just need to figure out how hard and how fast I want to push.  I'm not only there for me this weekend.  I'm also there to help our Team-in-Training members reach their goals.  After I'm done running my half, I'll hop back out on the course and help those behind me fulfill their dreams.  For many, this will be their first marathon.  I want it to be something they'll cherish as much as I did.  I want to be there if they need me.  Thus my dilemma, do I go all out and see what's in my tank or do I play it safe and not risk a blow-up?  I'm torn. 

Here's the progression of my half marathon times the past 2 years:

2009 : 1:51:47

2010 : 1:49:16

2011 : ???

Based on my 5K and 10K times from this spring, most pace calculators have me nailed in the 1:41 to 1:43 range for projected finish times.  If so, my PR will be shattered and I'll know I'm making steps in the right direction.  At this point the weather looks to be really cooperative and my legs will hopefully feel fresh after a light training load this week.  I know I won't have a full 2-week taper in my legs, but this is the lightest training load I've seen on my calendar since my time off in November/December.  So, as race day draws near, I'll go through a race plan with my coach and see how we feel on Saturday.  I'll be sure to keep you all in the loop.

For those of you with iPhone's, you can dowload the OKC Memorial Marathon app and follow me live with my bib number : 10385.  I'm really excited for this weekend and can't wait to feel the marathon vibe in the city.  I love this time of year in OKC.  Run happy friends!

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