Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Journey to the Akron Half Marathon

It is finally hitting home that my goal race is this Saturday. One of my favorite pre race rituals is to look back at my journey and reflect. This training has been something completely different for me. It has been a fun 16 weeks! Before I start, I should mention it took me three days to write this post. Just coming to the conclusion that this race is actually here is really starting to hit home!

Of course there were tons of miles completed. So much blood, sweat and tears were left. I grew as not only a runner, but a person. Here is my breakdown of my training.

By the numbers:
Total miles (including this week): 481.5 miles. 
Average miles per week: 30 miles. 
Peak week mileage: 36 miles. 
Longest run: 16 miles. 
Races Spectated: 3. 
GPS Watches: 2, thank you Amazon. 
New shorts: 4. 
Injuries: zero!

I think the biggest thing I can take away from this training is that I am much more of a summer runner. Even though it got a little warm and sweaty, I would much rather train in it over the snow. I like the extra daylight, plus I am always cold and winter running is just terrible. I concord my most hated long run distance, 16 miles, on maybe the hottest day of the year.

When I was training for my current half marathon PR, the 2012 Philadelphia Half Marathon, I had no idea what I was doing. I ended up dislocating my hip and trained on it for six weeks, even running a 1:48 half marathon training run. During that time I set my 10k PR (47:45) and ran every run as fast as I could. I was so worried about pace and I didn't even know what I was doing! It wasn't until I trained for my first marathon that I realized how stupid I was.

When I toe the line in Akron, my half marathon PR will be a ripe 1,042 days old. I have given it two really good attempts at breaking it (2014 Pittsburgh Half and 2015 Tinker Bell Half) but sadly, I just didn't have it. I knew I needed to make a change in my training, and I did. I reached out to a friend, of mine, Mark, to write me a training plan. Not having control over my training plan was a big thing for me to let go of, but I am so happy I did.

So I got to training. Weeks went by, I did my training but I can't say that I ever really felt like I was progressing. It wasn't until I started doing my long runs with Carrie that I finally noticed my fitness improving. Plus, I had someone to keep me accountable. Even though she really isn't training for anything, she had no problem doing those long runs with me, even pumping out some HMP miles. I have told her this before, but I don't think I could have done this without her!

Lots of smiles after our last long run of this cycle!

So, what is the plan for Akron? To be honest, I just want to stay consistent. After my last long run, I feel way more confident in my pace goals. I want to stay between an 8:10-8:15 pace. I remember in Philly being really frustrated the first two miles with the amount of people. I should not have that problem this time around with a corral A placement. 

Even though the main goal is that new PR, I decided to give myself three goals. 

A Goal: 1:48
B Goal: 1:50 (still a PR)
C Goal: Sub 2

I know what you're thinking, if I'm training for a PR why is that C goal there? Well, anything can happen on race day people. No matter what, I know I can finish sub 2 (I did a 1:54 training half a few weeks ago). Don't worry, I am not aiming for that to be my finish time at all, but I want all of my half marathons to be sub 2 this year, so it's a goal.

I don't think I could have had a better past 16 weeks. The love and support I have received from my friends/family/online friends/teammates have been incredible. I promise, I will do my very best to make you all proud! 

You guys all know I am big on signs and messages. When I opened a surprise package from Sparkly Soul earlier this week, I knew I was ready for this race. 

It is a dream catcher thin headband. The note on the top of the bag says "Our favorite dream catcher headband to help you chase your dreams..." My heart and soul are both at ease. I am so ready for Akron!

How do you get yourself ready for a big race? What tips do you have for me!


  1. I can't wait to cheer for you! You got this girl!

  2. Good Luck!! I can't wait to hear about your race this weekend!

  3. You are going to KILLLLL this race!! I'm so excited for you. My pre race ritual is to get a new running outfit (I only do this for goal races though..that would get expensive very quickly). I need to start shopping now!

  4. You've got this! Strong legs, strong heart, strong mind.