It’s Go Time: Sunburst Half Marathon

My last half marathon was October 1, 2011. It was the Applefest Half Marathon in Holis, NH, and I ran it with BFF Ultra Vera. My time was 2 hours and 22 minutes, a personal best for me, despite the hilly course (for my Midwestern legs) and continuous downpour during much of the race.

This Saturday is one of my goal races this spring – the Sunburst Half Marathon. I’ve been thinking about this race technically since last October, when I started wondering how good I could do at a less-hilly half, but I’ve been really focused on this race since the end of March, when I decided not to race the Chi-Town Half.

My training has changed a lot since Applefest. For one thing, I’ve been logging a lot more miles.


I’ve also gotten faster. About a month after Applefest, I ran a 5K in 25:59, an 8:22 pace. My last 5K was in March, and I finished in 23:18, a 7:30 pace. I ran a hilly 10K in April (that would be twice the distance of a 5K for those of you who are bad at math, unlike me, obviously) in 49:52, an 8:01 pace.

I am ready to PR the pants off of the half marathon on Saturday. I’ll be honest, I’m a little nervous, only because of my own goals. Running 13.1 miles no longer sounds hard to me (sure, it’s no walk in the park, but I know covering the miles is doable). But running 13.1 miles within the timeframe I want? That makes me nervous. (That’s the point, right? Push myself to my limits. Find out what I’m capable of.)

My A Goal is to finish in under 2 hours (9:09 pace or faster). That would be a 22+ minute PR. McMillan thinks I can do it, actually, the pace calculator predicts a 1:51 finish based on my 10K, but that’s a bit ambitious for me. I’ll just focus on sub-2, and maybe chase McMillan predictions after the Chicago Marathon.

I feel like I am capable of a sub-2 finish, if the weather conditions are favorable, and my body and mind cooperate. Will I be disappointed if I don’t finish sub-2? Honestly, yes. I’ve spent these last two months training for a sub-2 half, doing weekly speedwork and tempo runs, and forcing myself to keep my easy runs feeling truly easy, even on hot days. Many of my friends who I run with (at similar paces) have done a sub-2 half marathon in recent months, so if I can’t pull it off, I’ll be a bit baffled. My plan is to keep my heart rate in the right zone (160-169) and see where exactly I have to settle to get my goal.

In my mind, my B Goal is to finish at a sub-10 pace.  (2:10:59 or less.) My C Goal is to PR (faster than a 10:53 pace). But all I’ll be thinking about between now and 7:30am (eastern time) on Saturday morning, and the following less-than-2-hours after, is finishing sub-2.

OK, maybe I’ll also think about work. And eating properly – trying to bump up my carb intake. And hydrating enough in preparation for race day.

And my race-day outfit of course. In fact per Kim‘s request maybe there will be a whole post related to race-day outfits … maybe a Fashion Friday: Race Day Edition. (If I can get my act together and take pictures.)


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11 Comments on “It’s Go Time: Sunburst Half Marathon”

  1. You’ve TOTALLY got this! The course is great (I promise!) and I am willing you perfect conditions. Remember that 7:30 their time is actually 6:30 ours so more favorable to cooler weather. The race is smaller too and you will have less traffic to fight in order to get to a comfortable pace. It’s good and you will do GREAT! Can’t wait to hear all about it and I’m totally envious. This is one of my favorites and I’d be there with you on the start line if I didn’t have this ragnar thing stairing me down in just a few short days.

    I’d wish you luck but you don’t need it. Focus and don’t panic. 🙂

  2. You are going to do so awesome, I just know it. You’ve done the training and put in the sweat. Not to mention, you’ve trained longer than Kim Kardashian’s marriage! (Had to throw that in there.) I’ll be cheering for you and I can’t wait to hear the full report! Is the race on Saturday or Sunday?

    Also, yes please on a Race Day Fashion Friday!!

  3. You’ve got this. Your training has been good- your recent times have been indicative of a sub 2. Don’t psych yourself out! Relax and enjoy the journey. I can’t wait to read your recap! Good luck to you! 🙂

  4. Unless the weather gets freaky (or you get sick) you totally have a well under sub 2:00 in you. Race the hell out of it!

    (and you always have your 6/9 back-up! 🙂 )

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