Monday, August 6, 2018

A Big Hairy Audacious Goal


Ever have a big hairy audacious goal?

You know...a goal so big that you almost were afraid to even think of it or say it out loud (or blog about it)?

Well, I have a few such goals...and here's one of them:

I really want to get my 13.1 time closer to the 2-hour mark. Ideally, I'd LOVE to spank a sub 2:00 before 2018 is over and done. ((gulp))


The thing is, I'm not exactly training specifically for that one and only goal. I'm training for a marathon (which isn't until October 13th), so I will be doing a lot of double digit training runs in the next 7-8 weeks. Although I'm not setting my sights on a gargantuan marathon PR, I do hope to run those 26.2 miles strongly and without incident.

I don't think my 2:00 goal (or under) is unrealistic. I have done it before (several times, actually), but it has been awhile since my last sub-2 half marathon (Red Shoe Half Marathon, May 2016). So far, in 2018, I have run three half marathons and one 20K, and I have been quite happy with my finish times:

St. Paddy's Half Marathon 2:13:08 (March 17th)
Drake Relays Half Marathon 2:08:14 (April 22nd)
Dam to Dam 20K 2:07 (June 2nd)
Chicago R'n'R Half Marathon  2:11:23 (July 22nd)

All of these involved stopping for pics, and/or potty breaks. St. Paddy's was very cold and windy. Drake was very hilly and I had only had a couple hours of sleep (after having worked all night at the after-prom party). Dam to Dam started with hurricane-like conditions, and ended with full-on sun and high heat/humidity. Chicago R'n'R had almost nonstop rain and several photo ops. None the less, despite the various less-than-desirable race day circumstances, I felt strong and didn't have any "issues of struggle" throughout any of these races. Obviously, the various stops cost me a few valuable minutes here and there, otherwise I coulda/woulda/shoulda been closer to that coveted 2:00 finish time. Also, I wasn't really "racing" any of these races, so there's no telling how much faster I could have finished had I made a sincere effort to run faster.

Anyways, my next opportunity is the New Bo Half Marathon (September 2nd in Cedar Rapids, IA).  It's a race I have never run before, so I don't really know much about the course. I do know I will be thick in the midst of continuous long runs each weekend. Either my body will be in prime condition, or it may be starting to feel fatigued from all of those long training runs.

Another half marathon that I am considering is the R'n'R Philadelphia (September16th). I'm still ironing out a few last-minute logistics before I officially register, but this race would be happening during my peak marathon mileage. I have my 20-miler happening the weekend following Philly, then tapering for the marathon after that. A scaled-back run of 13.1 miles (in the city of brotherly love, none the less) would fit nicely into the mix, don't you think?

One main thing I'm doing differently this training cycle is consistent weekly speedwork. I had not done much (if any) speed training for many of my other previous half marathons (prior to this summer). I'm also doing HIIT workouts, which I believe have boosted my fitness substantially. I have had some decent races this summer, so I'm hoping for that momentum to continue if I stay true to training smart.
Most of my HIIT workouts involve burpees...LOTS of burpees
Another favorite workout that has enhanced my stamina, as well as my cardio endurance, is stair-climbing. They say hills are speedwork in disguise... well, stairs are like hills on steroids.
powering UP the stairs
So, that's my Big Hairy Audacious Goal, and my strategy to make it happen. Basically, I'm hoping my marathon training will not only reward me with a successful trip across another 26.2 finish line, but also give me the increased stamina to knock off a few stray minutes from my recent 13.1 finish times. I'm not hoping to PR either distance, but merely run both distances strong. Stay tuned!

What do you think? Have you ever used half marathons (as training runs) in prepping for a longer distance? Ever utilized marathon training to enhance your half marathon performance? Do you have any big hairy audacious goals to share?

**I'm linking up with Marcia and Patty and Erika for Tuesdays on the Run.

**I'm also linking this with Debbie and Rachel and Marc and Lora for the Running Coaches' Corner

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30 comments:

  1. You're doing all the right things. The huge aerobic base you'll gain from marathon training + speedwork = half PR.

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    1. Thanks,Marcia ;-) This is the first time (in a very long time) I have actually felt ready for things to happen....

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  2. I agree with Marcia - you are definitely doing all the right things to reach that goal!
    I hope that you can fit in RnRPhilly. I've used that race as part of a long run when I was training for NYCM in 2016 and Chicago in 2017 - it's a great race for that!

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    1. ...and if I am able to swing the 5K and the 10K and the 13.1....it will be similar to long run mileage for the weekend ;-)

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  3. Good luck! And yes, when training for ultras I frequently do marathons and consider them training runs.

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    1. I did the same thing a few years ago when I ran Grandma's in 2015 and had an ultra a month later ;-) #greatminds ;-)

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  4. I've done a few half marathons in months leading up to my marathon but I never really thought about them as training runs but I have a different outlook on racing now opposed to what I did back then.

    Will you be meeting your daughter for RnR Philly? I really want to do that race but this year it falls on the same weekend as our annual harvest festival race and festivities and my dads birthday. I would feel bad missing all that.

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    1. Yes, the daughter is in Hanover, so she's not in Philly but kind of in the vicinity ;-)

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  5. Good luck! My BHAG is to sub-1hr for the 10k. I'm increasing my speeds when I'm on the treadmill, and I'm always faster outside.

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    1. Oh yes...most people run faster outside than on that mechanical contraption LOL Good luck!!

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  6. LOL, although it's not a marathon, that's exactly what I did with this past half -- used it as prep for my 18 mile race. It wasn't even really planned that way, but I must say it worked out really well!

    I have you have fantastic races.

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    1. I'm a huge believer in capitalizing on races...you don't have to "race" them to benefit from the experience or the miles ;-)

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  7. Good luck with that sub-2:00 goal! I will be looking forward to reading the race report!

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    1. ha, thanks!! I know it is possible, but I also know there are a lot of factors that have to all fall into place as well. We shall see ;-)

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  8. You are running really strong right now. My bet is on you achieving that goal!

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    1. Awwwwww, thanks Deborah ;-) This is the strongest I have felt in a long time...hoping the momentum continues ;-)

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  9. I get the impression that you are already strong at long distances, so I bet adding the speed work and HIIT will be your secret sauce!

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    1. Well, we all need secret sauce, right? ;-)

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  10. I definitely think you can hit your sub-2. Keep up the good work!

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    1. Here's hoping!! As I said, I am NOT specifically training to hit the sub-2, but am hoping it will be a byproduct of all my other 26.2 training.

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  11. I think you definitely have a sub-2 half marathon in you. You amaze me every day with how diligent you are about your workouts!

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    1. Well, I have hit the sub-2 a few times, but it's been a while. Hoping I still have it in me ;-)

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  12. You're running so strong right now I have no doubt you'll hit your goal!

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  13. I really think you'll notice a difference not that you're doing speed work! You've got this!

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  14. Speed work makes such a difference! I love your BHAG and I have no doubt you will do it!!

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  15. Lots of half marathons! So cool to be able to get out there so frequently and toe the line. Good luck with your BHAG! I think with some speedwork and in the midst of marathon training that you'll get close.

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  16. I think the Philly half fits really nicely into your plans! There is a SMALL chance I will be there to cheer my sister on for her first half marathon!
    I have no doubt you can crush it!!!

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  17. I love your goals! I can definitely see you getting under 2 hours again, your speed work has been so solid! And omg, if you run Philly, we HAVE to meetup, maybe even get a group of us all together!

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  18. You’re totally on the path to a sub-2 hour half!

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