Thursday, March 22, 2012

Pre-Martinsville Half Thoughts & Goals

I'll be running in the Martinsville Half Marathon this weekend in Martinsville, VA.  This will be half marathon #3 for me.  I'm pretty excited about it but there are also a few things that are leaving me with some pre-race jitters.

First, let's talk about the weather.  I've been stalking the forecast for a while now and we are close enough that I can see the hourly forecast for Saturday morning:

If I hadn't run in the monsoon Blue Ridge Half Marathon last year, I might be freaking out about this.  But my past experiences have shown me that running in the rain is AWESOME, provided that you've got enough Body Glide in all the right places, good socks, and warm dry clothes to change into after the race.  The temperature looks warm enough to be able to run in a tank top even with the rain, so that's good.  So would I rather have dry conditions? Yes. But I'll take the rain, too. 

Next, let's talk about the course.  I didn't really look closely at the elevation profile before signing up for this race. I live about an hour away from Martinsville and for some reason I thought the course would be pretty flat.  Not so much:

This is not awful, but it definitely makes me think about my game plan.  I just need to remember that there is a short hill at mile 2, downhill between miles 2.5 through 3, uphill for miles 4 and 5, downhill from mile 6 through 8.5, uphill from mile 9.5 through 12, and flat for the last mile. The downhills are long and are a great place to make up a little time, but I have to save enough energy so that I'm not walking uphill for miles 10-12.  Hills have a tendency to aggravate my back a little bit, so I just need to remember to be careful, too.

I have never had to "travel" to a race.  I know an hour is not that far away, but I have never really had to go more than 10-15 minutes away for a race. I am going to have to leave by 5:45. That means I need to wake up ridiculously early to eat breakfast and do my business.  That leaves a lot of time for me to get hungry again before the race starts at 8. I'm thinking I'll pack some Honey Stinger waffles and/or half of an apple butter sandwich to snack on before the race. Hopefully those things won't cause any digestive issues during the race.  Of course there are the other concerns with traveling to a race...what if I oversleep, what if we get lost or have car trouble or there is traffic or we can't find a place to park...

I am of course a little nervous about my back, too.  It has felt a little off this week.  I went to the chiropractor on Tuesday and my back was feeling better on Wednesday afternoon and it felt pretty good during my run Wednesday afternoon and at the beginning of today.  Sitting at my desk at work for 10 hours today has kind of pissed it off so I'm icing it right now.

So those are the things that I'm nervous about. Now it's time to put my goals out there:

My first goal in ALL of my races is to FINISH and HAVE FUN. But I also have a few time goals in mind...
  • I'll be satisfied as long as I get under 2:20 (10:42 pace)
  • I'll be really happy if I get around/between 2:13:49 (1st 1/2 marathon time; 10:13 pace) and 2:14:49 (2nd 1/2 marathon time; 10:18 pace)
  • I'll be super excited if I get below 2:10 (9:56)
I know 2:10 will be hard, but not impossible. Why? Because I broke 2:10 on a 13.1 mile training run 2 weeks ago.  The only thing that makes me doubt my ability to meet this goal is the fact that my training run was on a pancake flat route. It all depends on who shows up on race day...a fast Lauren or a slow Lauren.

Let's hope I do more running than crawling!


  1. You will rock it! You've got a great attitude about the race and I think that's at least half of the plan. The rest is preparation and you've done that too. Good luck!

  2. WOOT! Have a great run! Hope you get that sub 2:10!!

  3. Hope a fast Lauren shows up--but if not, just ENJOY the run! Can't wait to read about it! (And yes, I would have assumed Martinsville was flat--I'm in hilly Charlottesville and just assume that area of the state is pancake-ish!) My back has been a bit wonky this week, too, after having run the Charlottesville 10-Miler on Saturday. Didn't really make the connection until I read your post. Hmmm ...

    Anyway, good luck!

  4. Just found your blog. I hope your race went well!

  5. Hope you had a wonderful race!!! I bet you completely blew your goals out of the water :)


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