one Man of a Certain Age's journey to a healthier lifestyle

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Welcome to my fitness blog. I started running in early 2012, having set my sights on the Walt Disney World Half Marathon which I ran in January 2013. (You can read about that in my other blog). I intend to update this blog weekly with training progress and run reports. Please follow and join this blog (links below) for updates. If you want to share please feel free to, there are links to share via Facebook or Twitter below as well. You can also follow me on twitter. And please comment letting me know what you think!

My upcoming races: My recent races:
NYCRuns Central Park Half Marathon February 23, 2014 2013 Year in Review
Rock 'n' Roll USA Marathon - DC March 15, 2014  

My Blogs Thompson Family Web (Travel, Disney and fun) The Runner of a Certain Age Blog

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Trial Run

As I have been writing, I am running in the Sleepy Hollow Half Marathon next weekend (March 23). I have also written about how I heard that it is a very hilly, challenging course. What I haven't written is that I have been feeling a little concern over whether I will be able to finish the race. It has nothing to do with any concerns I have about running the 13.1 mile distance - I've done that a couple of times and continue to get stronger. What it comes down to is this:

  1. The race is, as I have written, very challenging.
  2. The race has a strict time limit of 3 1/2 hours
  3. The time is measured from the gun (e.g no matter how long it takes to get through the gate)
  4. My time on the Walt Disney World Half Marathon was 3:27
On the other hand, the last time I ran the distance about a month ago, I did it in 3:06. And I have been practicing by running the roads around my neighborhood which are also very hilly. So I am approaching it like this: First, I am going to try to pace myself to be able to finish in 3:15. I have found that my pace seems to stay pretty constant through 8 miles, then drops a bit for mile 9 and 10, and drops even more for the last 3 miles. So, I figure if i can do the first 8 miles in 1:50 and get through 10 by 2:25 I should be fine. The last time I ran 8 miles in my neighborhood it took my 2:00 - not really good enough. But one thing I did not know - how do the hills in my neighborhood compare to the course I will be running for the race? So, I decided to find out by running at least a part of the course.

So I went out and ran 4 miles on the course. Technically I only ran 2 miles of the course because I went out and back, but still I think I got a good sense of the course. And yes, it is hilly. And narrow. And not paved (the part I did at least). I gotta say, however, that the hills in my neighborhood are worse. Here is the elevation of my neighborhood:

As you can see, there is an elevation change of about 250 feet over about 2/3 mile. And here is the elevation of today's run:

As you can see, not nearly as much elevation change. Granted, this was only one small section of the course but I really suspect (hope?) that the rest of the course won't be much hillier and definitely not as hilly as my practice runs. In fact there was one stretch of the course of about 3 miles that I could see from a bridge I went over that was fairly flat. And... I ran the 4 miles in 49 minutes - well within the range of what I feel good about. So, at this point I am feeling very confident and even a little excited! Next week's entry will be a race report.

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