Taper & Half Marathon Goals

I’ve started and stopped an re-started this post a half dozen times already. After my long run this weekend – which was hot, humid, and hard – it went something like this.
So I’ve given up on any time goal for my race. Maybe I’ll just go out and treat it like a long run and not race it all. I’m tired and think I peaked about a month ago and just don’t have it in me to run hard for 13.1 miles. A day out from my run when the memory of just how hard it felt was fuzzy, I started thinking Eh, it wasn’t that badI’m ready for this race and I may not meet my A goal, but I’m okay with that. Fast forward another two days and I’ve been struck down by my 100th cold of the season and I’m thinking Crap. I don’t know if I’ll meet my B or C goal either! At this point the hay is in the barn – or it isn’t – and I just want to get to race day healthy and feeling like I gave it a good shot – whatever that race time equates to . . . though I’d be lying if I said I won’t be disappointed if I don’t come in under 1:50 so I guess there still is a race time I have my sights set on!

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With 2 weeks of no IT Band pain under my belt I attempted to get in a speed workout, since I haven’t really done one in a month! My plan called for 2x1200m & 4x800m intervals. Nervous about aggravating my IT band I dialed back the pace from what I had last done these intervals at and went for it. Holy burning lungs! I managed 2×1200 @7:24 pace and completed only 2 of the 800s at 7:10 pace when I legitimately thought I might have to run to the bathroom and throw up. It was baaaad! When I got home I looked to see what my last speed workout that I completed was, hoping I wasn’t too far off from it. It was a 4x1200m @7:08 pace workout. That was a major hit to my confidence.

I wanted to see how my IT band responded to the speed work (it felt totally fine for the first 18 hours after and then felt tight on Friday when I started running. A mile in and all tightness was gone) before I resumed adding in speed + tempos + long runs so I ran my next workout easy and had the goal of putting these 5 tempo miles in the middle of my long run. That didn’t quite pan out. I only managed to get one of the miles under 8 min/mi pace and was struggling big time. Not only did I skip the last tempo mile, I used it as an excuse to turn around and head home. Mile 9 I treated myself to a leisurely water refill and stopped to chat with a friend I ran into. Usually I try to rush through water stops and hope I don’t hit any stoplights. This run I looked forward to any and every chance to stop and by the time I got home, and found myself locked out of the house, I was debating eating the $85 entry fee I paid for the race and sitting it out.

A little rest and a recovery smoothie later I felt better and came out of  my mini freak-out. Hopefully this was a chance of getting my bad run (since there’s always at least one every training cycle) out of the way and that come race day I’ll show up feeling refreshed and ready to run!

Who else is racing this month? 




8 thoughts on “Taper & Half Marathon Goals

    • Aww, thank you, Helly! I’ve always prided myself on my mental game when it comes to racing so I don’t know why I’m having such doubts this time. Maybe because this is the first time I’ve publicly shared my goals – usually only my husband knows what they are. I am feeling better physically and mentally today so that’s a step in the right direction 🙂 🙂


  1. I agree with helly – I’m sure it’s just anxiety. You trained hard and you’ll do great. And if you don’t get the time you want, it’s not the end of the world. Life happens, training doesn’t always turn out the way we planned, and everyone out there on any given race day is just doing the best they can with whatever the day gives them. A race is just one day out of hundreds and there are so many reasons we shouldn’t judge our progress based on finish times. You did great and made hella improvement – you don’t need a 1:49 or 1:45 to tell you what you already know is true. Now relax and enjoy the rest of your taper!!


    • Thanks, Hanna! I do feel like I’ve made a lot of improvement this training cycle and you’re right – the time on the clock isn’t going to change that. You’re right that one day doesn’t make or break that. You always have great insight!


  2. I think you’re going to do great…I often have a bad training run, or at least a run where I doubt I’ll even make it under any reasonable time and I’m glad to get it out of the way. Best of luck, even though it’s been a bit of a roller coaster training cycle, you’ll crush it. No races for me this month…marathon’s in June and July in Seattle and Missoula are next on the calendar!


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