I think I figured out my June half marathons strategy

So I’m running two half marathons on back-to-back weekends in June. (Still not as hardcore as Nicole who has run back-to-back half marathons within the same weekend.)

Just in case you’re curious as to why … The Sailor said he wanted to do a half marathon (he’s done a 15k, a 10miler and a 10 nautical miler [11.5 miles] but never a half marathon), and with his duty schedule and other people’s weddings, June 2 (Sunburst Half in South Bend) was the only option. As for the following weekend – 13.1 Chicago on June 9 – I signed up for that because I heard good things about it, it’s part of the Windy City Challenge, and I not-so-secretly want to join the Half Fanatics.

Anyway, I’ve been mulling over how to approach these races. Do I race both of them? Use the first one as a training run and race the second? Race the first and just have fun at the second?

I was reading this article on Runners’ World about going tech-free. I already run without music (although I’m debating bringing an iPod with during the marathon in case I need an extra boost/distraction/etc).

But, I will admit it. I am addicted to my Garmin + heart rate monitor. I won’t run without both, unless I forget one. But I keep reading about runners who go Garmin-less during a race and PR (hi Kelly) and I keep thinking to myself it might be good to leave the Garmin at home once in awhile.

So, I think I’m going to race the June 2 half, with my Garmin and heart rate monitor, and try to finish in under 2 hours (or whatever time my targeted heart rate yields). Then, for the June 9 race, I’m leaving the Garmin at home and running by feel (like our forefathers). I assume that race will have mile markers with clocks, but that’s still a bit step.

And since every post needs a picture … Kelly and I are practically twinsies with Kara Goucher.

No, this picture was not Photoshopped. This totally happened.

Don’t forget this week’s runner photo challenge!

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9 Comments on “I think I figured out my June half marathons strategy”

  1. Thanks for the shoutouts!! We totally are Kara and Shalane. We need to run another speedy race together though, it has been too long.

    That plan sounds great! The South Bend race will probably be hillier so you can push through those hills and still run a great race. Then for the flat 13.1 course, you will be rocking it and not even realizing it!

    1. I hope so! Amanda also said the Sunburst race is really nice … through neighborhoods with mature, tall trees (so it’s shady) and one year when it was really hot, people were turning their hoses on the runners. I’m so excited! And then for 13.1 along the lakeshore (NOT starting in Grant Park for once) … also excited!

  2. I love the pic! LOL! I didn’t notice you in that when I saw that pic on her blog. Hmm. 😛

    That sounds like a good plan! Have you thought about just turning your watch to the time of day screen too, so you still have the data later, but aren’t looking at it during the race?

    1. I thought about that, or maybe putting my Garmin on my ankle or something (I think it came with an extender for large wrists). But, since it’s a race, I’ll know my chip time. And since it’ll be the week after my other half, I doubt my fitness level will be that much different, so I won’t NEED to know my heart rate. We’ll see.

  3. I love this! I want to join the Half Fanatics, too! I’m hoping to do it, insanely, this September, when I run the Disneyland Half and the Chicago Half back-to-back.

    You’ll have to let me know how it goes for you in June, so I know what to expect in Sept!

  4. Just FYI, last year I ran half marathons on back-to-back weekends. I totally PR’ed at the first one (by like 4 minutes or something) and the one the next weekend felt like death. So it’s probably a good idea to leave the Garmin stuff at home for the second one so you’re not freaking out that you’re going too slow or it feels too hard or something.

    1. Ha, thanks for the tip! Luckily my PR is pretty high for what I think I’m capable of right now (2:22), so I won’t need to push myself super hard to PR in June. At least, I don’t think I’ll need to. But I’d still like to finish in under 2 hours.

  5. I think that sounds like a good plan! I kind of want to join half fanatics too I was actually thinking of adding a race in September so I could do it, but we’ll see. 🙂

  6. Your plan sounds good for your 2 half’s!! I always just run by feel… at a comfortably hard pace that I know I can maintain. GOOD LUCK!!! I will see you at 13.1 🙂

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