But I digress. This post isn't about what I ran in the past. It's about what I intend to run this weekend.
You see, for the first time ever, I have a goal time in mind. Every other half marathon that I have done my only two goals were to finish and to set a personal record (PR), but with no actual time in mind. And I have done that in every race, except for the last one. Here is my half marathon time history:
1999 America's Finest City Half Marathon: about 3:04
2010 America's Finest City Half Marathon: about 2:54 (a 10 minute improvement)
2010 Disneyland Half Marathon: about 2:47 (a 7 minute improvement)
2011 Carlsbad Half Marathon: about 2:35 (a 12 minute improvement, and my current PR)
2011 Safari Park Half Marathon: about 2:36 (no improvement)
After I set my PR in January at Carlsbad, my friend, T, planted a seed in my head about breaking 2:30. And now I'm determined to do it. I have come so close, only 5 minutes away from that goal, but we all know that 5 minutes is a lot when running a half marathon. In order to meet this goal, I need to maintain an average pace of 11:27. I know that's slow, but hey, that's my pace. My actual running is faster; my runs tend to be 10:45-11:15 per mile. But when I run so many miles, I tend to take a lot of walk breaks to shake out the lactic acid in my legs, and those walk breaks add precious seconds to my overall time.
Obviously, if I don't make my goal of 2:29:59 or less, it won't be the end of the world. Although I've been training hard for this race, there are many factors that could impede my goal. It could be very hot, which may sap my energy. I may wake up with a migraine, which would actually be horrific for me (and one of my worst nightmares, truth be told). I may drink too much and need to take a bathroom break. There are many more half marathons to be run, and many more chances to reach my goal. But it would be great if it would happen this weekend. Here are my goals:
"A" goal: 2:29:59 or less
"B" goal: 2:34 or less (this would still set a PR for me)
"C" goal: 2:45 or less
"D" goal: just finish, uninjured and with a smile on my face
If I reach my "A" goal, this is what I'm buying myself as a reward; I have so many medals from my half marathons and triathlons sitting in a pile on my dresser, and I'd love a formal way to display them. Thinking of this will give me extra motivation to keep running when I'm wanting to extend my walk breaks!
I will report back on Sunday with a race recap. Regardless of how I perform, I know I will have fun. After all, it's a half marathon, my favorite distance!