half marathon goals

Race day is Sunday.  I feel like it snuck up on me.  Not that I haven’t been training, but because I’m not following an actual training plan, race week arrived suddenly.  I’ve been in taper mode all week.  I hate tapering.  I know it’s supposed to be a time to rest your legs in preparation for the race, but I always have so much energy to burn and I always feel like I’m never doing enough during the week. 

Tapering also means that little aches and pains creep up and old injuries make a reappearance.  For example, (totally not running related) the finger I broke back in 6th grade has been killing me all week.  Why?  I don’t know.  Could be the weather changing from super hot to freezing in a matter of a few days, but I still blame the taper.  My feet hurt, my hamstring injury from the half 2 years ago has flared up again, and I just want to run so badly.  But, carbo loading definitely hasn’t been a problem this week.  I can’t get enough sugar in my system…

photo 3 (4)

I typically don’t go into a race with many goals.  Run.  Finish.  Attempt to hit a certain time (goal time is 1:45 – a good 7.5 minutes slower than my PR).  These goals aren’t usually a problem, but sometimes it just doesn’t happen easily.  But, I do have one additional goal along with these 3:

Negative splits.

Like I mentioned in my St. Patrick’s Day race recap, starting off slow is not my strong suit.  The gun goes off and I want to beat every one.  Not going to happen.  I always feel like I’m so much faster than everyone around me and I start to get competitive and pick them off one by one.  I also always think I can win a race.  Ha.  Right.  I’m no Jackie Pirtle-Hall.  I ran against her in high school a handful of times.  I didn’t beat her then.  I sure as heck am not going to beat her now.

I’m not an idiot, I promise.  I know that I absolutely cannot win this race.  I might be fast, but I’m not that fast.  So, I need to remind myself that it’s OK if I don’t pass every single person in the first mile.  When I ran this race 2 years ago, I ran a PR.  I also ran the first mile in 6:30.  Yeah, I can’t hold that pace for 12 more miles.  And I didn’t.  The last 3 miles kicked my booty.  I was tired, sore, and ready to quit.

I can’t – WON’T – do it this time around.  My goal is to start comfortably slow, around an 8:30/mile and progressively get faster with each mile.  My goal time of 1:45 averages at an 8-minute mile pace.  I hope to start off slow enough and finish strong so that I am able to average that pace.  I think it’s totally possible – as long as I don’t ruin it in the first mile.  And by telling you guys about it will keep me accountable, right?!

Now, let’s just hope the weather holds up so that I’m not trying to run a 1:45 in a thunderstorm…


  • good luck! such a huge accomplishment after baby!

    I signed up for a 10-miler in June, but I am not much of a runner so its a big deal.

    Keep us all posted on how you do 🙂
    katie@newmamamac.blogspot.com recently posted..Easter Recap

  • Jen

    Good luck Kristen! You are going to CRUSH your goal time. I wouldn’t be surprised if you PR 🙂
    Jen recently posted..Race registration regrets

  • Wendy

    Good luck Sunday! I’ve run the Go! half three years in a row now (1 year in the rain, 2 years in the heat, maybe this year will be nice?), but this year I’m running the marathon relay. I’m running the 3rd leg through Forest Park (I think), so I won’t be on the course at the same time as you, but if you see a pink shirt that says “Cook’s Cupcakes” on the back, that’s my team! We’re running in honor of our friend Josh who passed away at Christmas. I ran the Go! with him 2 years ago.

    Paces are so individual – your comfortably slow 8:30 pace would be a super-fast half marathon pace for me!

  • You will do so awesome! I’m like you…I generally enter races with goals but as I pace myself, if I feel like I am not going to hit them, I don’t freak out. I just sit back and say, “Okay, change of plan. Let’s just finish the best we can.” Negative splits is a great goal! I have only run a small percentages of my races with pulling that off. I am SO bad about going out too fast.

    So now for the important stuff…tell me more about the cookies in that photo!! 😀
    katieRUNSthis recently posted..Man Runners vs Lady Runners

  • Good luck! I don’t enter races with many goals either, except to A) finish, and B) run a negative split. Sometimes I end up having a great race, sometimes I don’t. But that’s life.
    Carrie recently posted..Long Run Recap

  • I tend not to make super concrete plans or goals either. Sometimes, it feels great to just run– plan/expectation-free. Anyway– GOOD LUCK with your race!!!!
    Meagan @ Managing Meagan recently posted..The family that builds stuff together, stays together

  • Mary Kratochvil (Kristen’s great aunt)

    Good luck Kristen. Tim and Wendy are running in a 3 mile in Chicago this weekend. Hope the weather is good for you.

  • Good luck with your race! (maybe the pain in your joints is from the extra water your body accumulates in the taper with the “carbo loading.” Could be adding a bit of swelling, possibly due to nursing. I’m finding my weight changes by 2-3 pounds on back to back days at times!
    Andrea recently posted..How To Choose and Use Your Shoes To Optimize Training and Racing