Race Week: Pacing Yourself

Every post this week might be about the upcoming half marathon. #SorryNotSorry (but really sorry for using a hashtag in a blog post)

So, last week, race participants got a lengthy email with a LOT of details. 1st and most super annoying thing about this race = headphones are not allowed. I fully plan on breaking that rule because there is no fucking way I can run 13.1 miles with no music. They don’t even let spectators gather along the route, only at the start and finish, so it’s not like there’s anyone cheering either. I need music.

2nd and 3rd most annoying things involve spectators. You know, my FH who is getting up at 4:30am to drive me down there and hang out with the other fiancees/girlfriends for 3 hours. 2nd – he can’t go to different spots of the course to cheer me on. 3rd – he’s not allowed to drink in the beer tent after the race. Beers are only for runners. I see flasks in everyone’s future.

That brings me to the “Starting Line” portion of the email. They’re starting people in different groups based on their pace. Makes sense. Allows fast people to get out first and not get stuck behind us slow pokes. The confusing part for me is, which group do I start with?

The average pace for my last 4 long runs is 12:33 minutes per mile.  However, I stop to walk…like often.  Very often.  That means my running pace is faster than that.  So, do I start in the 12:00 min/mi group, run faster than them, then walk slower than them, then run faster?  Or do I start in the 11:00 min/mi and eventually fall back to the 12:00 because that’s where I average?  Either way, I’m going to be yo-yo-ing around people, with my headphones in no less, which will probably be pretty annoying.

I think, so that I don’t annoy people at the outset or start too fast, I’ll start with the 12 min/mile group and try to keep it steady.  There are 7 water stations.  If I stop to walk at each water station, that will approximate my regular stopping without being annoying and walking mid course.

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6 thoughts on “Race Week: Pacing Yourself

  1. I wear headphones for all my races except trail races when you actually have to pay attention to your footing and if someone is behind you. So F that noise. Also I agree with The Dude up there – I found that on race day, you usually run a liiiiiitle faster than your training pace. Go with the 11. And then just listen to your body if you need to slow down 🙂

  2. I break the no headphones rule often. You will be surprised how many races actually say it in the fine print. I say go for the 11 pace because if you drop back by that time people will be spaced out enough that it will not really be an issue. Good luck on your upcoming race.

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