Tuesday, April 26, 2016

2016 Pittsburgh Half Marathon Goals

I'll be running half marathon #8 this weekend, the Pittsburgh Half Marathon. I think this will make the 5th time I've run this race? 3rd time I've run this specific distance. The other 2 times I ran the full.

I thought today would be a good time to talk a little bit about my goals for the race, what my plan is for afterwards & reflect a bit on my training cycle.

{Training Cycle}
Not my best work. My long runs were good. I got the miles in on the weekends. I don't run more than 3 days a week, and since about March I just haven't been feelin' it. I cut my speed workouts down to about 0 & just replaced them with regular easy runs. I took 2 x 2 weeks off for 2 separate vacations, and spent the last 2.5 weeks not running at all. Clearly I'm taking the taper pretty seriously. So, I'm not expecting a great finish time. I'm going to set goals in line with my training so as not to set myself up for disappointment. I didn't put in the work, so a PR is unrealistic. Not to mention this is a tough course. A crowded course. And features a long, slow hill, set to kill everyone around mile 11.

Have I convinced you to come to Pittsburgh & run with me yet?

I plan for 2 more runs this week, probably each 2-3 miles in length at an easy, whatever strikes my fancy pace. I'll get some decent walking in Saturday at the expo & use that in lieu of a shakeout run.

{Race Goals}
I'm going to shoot for sub 9:30 pace. I've run all my long runs at 9:30/mile pace, including 2 x 13 mile long runs, so this is attainable. Faster than this? I'll take what I can get. 9:20 is probably attainable, 9:10/mile may be a stretch, but depends on weather. Last year, for my marathoning pleasure, race day was 70+ & 100% sunny after having been in the 30's & 40's just the weekend prior. So, 9:30/mile is my A goal, anything faster than that is a bonus.

My secondary race goal is to work on pacing. I'll start out with the 2:05 pacer, as I have a tendency to start out WAAAAYYYY too fast in races. My goal will be to slowly break away, with a big push around mile 10.5 just before I hit the Birmingham Bridge. Some negative splits for miles 7-13.1, or splits consistent with my first 6 miles would make me one happy camper.

{What's Next}
6+ weddings this summer // fall means lots of weekends that I won't be able to race. I already know the triathlon I had my eye on is out, unless something changes. I'll be looking to find another, something small-ish & local-ish featuring a Sprint distance (if you know of anything, holla). I want to run 3+ 5Ks over May & June, focusing on gaining some speed & running shorter distances. Still have that elusive 25:00 minute mark to officially break in the 5K. Not sure what comes after that. I have a fall half I would love to race, plus Ragnar DC in September.

I've got 5+ LBs of half marathon training weight to lose, so I plan to incorporate some long weekend bike rides, heart pumping circuit workouts & sprint intervals.

I'm also toying with the idea of getting a new FitBit. Mine bit the dust back in April 2015. I really liked the stats it gave me & it truly encouraged me to move more. My work has a rewards point website where I could get the Charge for free.


Anyone have a FitBit Charge? Do you like it?
Do you set goals for every race you run?
Do you have a favorite race outfit?

Linking up with Marcia x Patty x Erika for Tuesdays on the run to share.

25 comments:

  1. I have the fitbit charge and love it! I have the HR version for some extra stats but the best thing about it is really just the step counting that keeps me moving during the workday. Good luck with the half! It sounds like a tough one.

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    1. Yes. I had the Flex before it broke & I loved the step version. The HR part sounds nice. I'm just not exactly sure what I would use the data for.

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  2. Your approach to the race is a good one, and you have great goals to shoot for. I wouldn't rule out running the race of your dreams and/or getting a PR though. Sometimes the best races happen when you least expect them to! I think you're right that it depends a lot on the weather. Crossing my fingers for cool and cloudy weather! I'll be out cheering with my dog right when the course turns onto East Ohio Street. Good luck and have fun!

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    1. I will say, that's how my PR happened at Buffalo Creek. It came out of nowhere.

      I'll keep an eye out for you an Django!

      Yes please to cool & cloudy!

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  3. My Fitbit is dying. Let me know what you decide. I'm so torn on what to get next. I NEED a fitbit in my life.

    Good luck this weekend. You're going to do great in this race!!! Cant wait to hear all about it.

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    1. I had a really sad few weeks after mine bit the dust last year. Like, is it even worth running if my FitBit doesn't track it?

      Thank you!

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  4. I would love to have run the same race that many times. I'm sure you know all the twists and turns. Starting out too quickly is my biggest problem, womp womp. Since I usually sign up for races last minute (thrill seeker over here), I never training properly but sometimes that works in my favor!

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    1. It's a blessing & a curse. I know all the twists & turns & I also know the hills enough to dread them before they even get there. Sometimes I wish I didn't.

      Somehow I always think if I start out fast I'll be able to bank time & hold on at the end & that literally never happens. I just end up dying.

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  5. I do not have a fit bit but hear such great things about those. I may look into grt one in the future. I do not have afavorite race outfit. I try to wear different outfits since I like taking pictures and I do t want them to look all the same....haha. I know a silly reason.

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    1. That's not a silly reason. It actually makes a lot of sense. I usually wear something I know I've had a good run in before. Like my sweaty old shirts have super powers or something. Haha

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  6. oh man if i could get a free fitbit i totally would! i really want one for the heart rate aspect, but i don't know if it's worth it just for that. i know there are other benefits, but i am not particularly curious or whatever about them, however i would get interested/dependent on them if i did get it, which is what i don't want, if that makes sense. i quite like my garmin and i've only had it for just over a year.
    i am running half 6 this weekend! rebecca and i are both running it actually lol. but i am not really prepared, i didn't train properly at all. sigh. i think i will at least not die, and i am hoping to beat 4 of my other race times (i have NO hope of beating my best. 4 of my other times are 2:30-2:50, my best was 2:04 and i'm just simply nowhere near that). i am hoping to PR at my next one in October or November, we'll see. good luck!

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    1. That was the problem when my last FitBit died. I was so grumpy I just sat around which is the total opposite of what I should be doing.

      Derby half!? Hope you'll post about it! I always want to come down & run & then go see the Derby (my brother lives in Louisville) but I always forget it's the same weekend as Pittsburgh. Then I accidentally sign up for the race here & am all sad when I remember.

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  7. I have a Fitbit Charge HR and love it! I've worn it everyday since I got it in July and I also love all the numbers/data it gives me. I'm a huge fan. Sounds like you have a really good game plan going into your race! I also tend to start out fast (even though it doesn't feel like it at first) and end every single half as if I'm dying. I need that trend to stop haha. Good luck with your race!

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    1. That's exactly how every race I've ever run goes. Because even super fast paces don't feel that way when you first start. I've yet to find a happy medium. But I'm hoping to break the streak with this race!

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  8. I have a Fitbit Charge HR. My favorite features are the sleep and resting HR info. My Garmin has an activity tracker feature too. But, it's way too bulky to wear all the time! Yeah, I hear you on the 5 lbs. I'm still carrying around the extra marathon training pounds. Good luck this weekend! I think you may surprise yourself with your pace.

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    1. I sure hope so. I'm afraid to get too excited because of what the weather did last year. But right now it's calling for cool & cloudy which is right up my alley!

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  9. i have the fitbit surge and it was good but it died on me twice. i spent a little extra and got the garmin forrunner 235 and so far love it. one of the reason i didnt like the fitbut was because it was too bulky and i missed wearing my fossil watch. if you are ok with a tech/watch combo then it will probably be fine for you but i hated it

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    1. For a while when my old FitBit was still alive I would wear it on one wrist & my Garmin on the other when I was running. But the FitBit was a lot smaller than the one I am considering. I'm not sure if it would bother me. Probably not if I wore them on separate wrists?

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  10. Have fun at Pittsburgh!! The 1/2 was my first race ever! (2010) I ran the full the next year and it is still my PR. The 1/2 is an amazing course, enjoy it! I have the Fitbit Charge HR. I like it, I don't love it. The HR is not accurate and that is frustrating for me when I workout indoors.

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    1. The work website has an HR option too. But like you say, I was afraid the heart rate would be super inaccurate which would just be frustrating.

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  11. I have a charge and I love it. I would so take advantage of the free one at your work. I really even like the update to the app where it shows you how much you've been still and gives you a custom hourly chart to see if you've taken 250 steps during that hour. It really helps me since I sit at a desk all day.

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    1. OOh. I really like the hourly chart. I too sit at a desk all day. But I have to say, I am always so impressed by how many steps you manage to get in each day! I had no idea you had a desk job!

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  12. I've heard all great things about the Charge! Sounds like you've got an excellent plan in place. All the best with your race!

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    1. Thanks Marcia!

      Sounds like people are pro Charge! And for free? You can't beat the price.

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  13. Awesome goals! Best of luck on your Half Marathon! lots of people from Harrisburg are running it too! I might try it next year!

    I have a Charge Fitbit, and considering the HR, but not sure when.

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