After running the Bayshore Marathon earlier this year, I decided that I would not spend my summer training aggressively for any race. Instead I would pick races that were new to me and fun. Like the The North Face Mohican Trail Run and the Great Lakes Relay events I ran earlier this year.
However, I still like to measure my performance from year to year. And one of my favorite ways to do that is to repeat an event that I have ran in the past. I want an event where the course has some challenges (i.e. not completely flat), and a distance that is more than 10 miles. For me, the Brooksie Way 1/2 Marathon (13.1 miles) is an excellent choice. I have run this race in both 2008 and 2009, and the course is definitely a challenge.
So about a week and half before the race, it occurred to me that I should at least set some kind of goal for completing. I looked at my finish time from the previous year 1:52:09 (hh:mm:ss) - average pace 8:33 (mm:ss). I also looked at my recent finish time for the CRIM 10 mile 1:18:20 (hh:mm:ss) - average pace 7:50 (mm:ss). Based on this, my first idea was to run a 7:50 (mm:ss) pace for the 13.1 miles. But when I calculated (13.1 x 7:50) a goal time of 1:42:37 (hh:mm:ss), I didn't like the idea of finishing just a couple of minutes over one hundred. Therefore, I set my goal time to complete in under 100 minutes.
With a goal in mind, the next thing I wanted was a running partner. In order to run 13.1 miles in under 100 minutes, I would need to maintain an average pace of 7:37 (mm:ss) or better. This was going to be a challenge for me. Over the years I have found that the best way to run a race with an aggressive goal is to have someone beside me. Someone to help distract my mind and push me when I start to feel like giving up.
So I asked around in my running group if anyone wanted to run the same pace. Unfortunately for me, the majority of my friends were either training for the Detroit Marathon or the Columbus Marathon. With their races only two weeks away, most of them did not want to run that kind of pace. I understood completely. They have been training for their marathons all summer long, it was not worth risking an injury.
So I made up my mind that I would just do it by myself. But, on race day my friend Fritz showed up and said that he would run the same pace with me. Fritz and I stayed together for almost the entire race. That is until we were about a quarter of a mile from the finish line. That is when Fritz took off and finished two seconds ahead of me. But I didn't care, because I set a new personal record with a time of 1:39:02 (hh:mm:ss). Fritz, thanks for keeping me on goal.
Brooksie Way Half Marathon http://www.thebrooksieway.com