ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (marathon)
[personal profile] ilanarama
As many of you know, I have a race tomorrow: the Canyonlands Half Marathon, which I'm running for the fifth time. The first time, I PRed with a 1:37:01, a time I not only failed to beat but also failed to come within two minutes of at subsequent half marathons, until just this past October when I ran 1:35:55 at The Other Half. Unfortunately, I am pretty sure I will fall well short of both marks this year.

For marathons I project based on calculators, but because I'm so bad at 5Ks I have never been able to use them to project half marathons. Instead I look at my longest tempos, and some other workouts in context with previous finishes. Here are the comparisons over the last two years at both Moab races; The Other Half is a hillier race.

The Other Half 2012: I ran a 4 mile tempo (none longer, unfortunately) averaging 7:18 with a HR of 158. I ran 3x1 mile repeats with 3 min jog recoveries early in race week, 7:09/7:04/7:16, average HR 160. I averaged 50.3mpw in the 10 weeks leading up to race week. I ran 1:38:36 despite a late headwind kicking in at the top of the mile 8 hill.

Canyonlands 2013: I ran a 5 mile tempo averaging 7:32 with a HR of 160. I averaged 43.3mpw in the 10 weeks leading up to race week. I ran 1:38:31.

The Other Half 2013: I ran a 6 mile tempo averaging 7:29 with a HR of 155. I ran 3x1 mile repeats at 6:55/6:55/6:56, average HR 154. (No idea why my HR was so low this cycle! It's not any more, alas!) I averaged 58.5mpw in the 10 weeks leading up to race week. I ran 1:35:55.

Canyonlands 2014: I ran a 6 mile tempo averaging 7:31 with a HR of 157. I ran 3x1 mile repeats at 7:05, 7:14, 7:08, average HR 160. I averaged 50.0mpw in the 10 weeks leading up to race week.

So, looking at the numbers and waving my hands around, my initial guess for a goal time this year was around 1:38, with a 1:37:xx making me very happy, and a 1:36:xx a stretch goal. But there is a major obstacle toward achieving these numbers: the weather.

Springtime can be very windy here in the Four Corners, and two of the four years I've run Canyonlands it's been horrific. The course is in the Colorado River canyon, which funnels and twists the winds, so unless it's a rare east wind any wind gets converted to a headwind for much of the course. At mile 10.6 we exit the canyon and go south, and both windy years had strong south and southwest winds. In 2011 I thought I might be in PR shape but only pulled out a 1:40:25 due to the headwinds, and in 2012 I hadn't quite managed to restart my training after the Houston Marathon, and ran a 1:45:50, my worst time in a half since 2008.

The forecasts for tomorrow are not looking good. My friends and I have been looking at two forecasts: NOAA is predicting 15mph from the NW at 10am, when the race starts, swinging more northerly and getting gusty through the next two hours. MeteoStar, which has Zulu-time forecasts every three hours, has 7mph from the W at 8am and 18 from the NNW at 11am. Temperatures will also be on the warmish side, 47-53F during the race. (Those numbers probably don't look warmish to you unless you're also a runner! I race best in the cold, though, and like it right around 40F.) The one consolation is that with the wind mostly out of the north, it should be a tailwind in the last 2.5 miles!

An additional negative factor this year is my stupid body, which has put on a bit of weight as compared to the races listed above. Some of it is due to too much restaurant eating lately (friends visiting, lunch meetings, etc) and some of it is likely due to getting my period on Wednesday (which is an additional negative factor! Argh!), but either way, I am carrying a little extra poundage.

So, adding it all up, I'm thinking that I will try to aim at 1:38-1:40. The trick will be to not burn out going into the wind, as that's what got me before. If I can run in a group so we can draft off each other, it will help. And then if the wind really is a tailwind towards the end, I'll have the energy to take advantage of it.

I had been hoping that I would have a good shot at first place in my AG - I've come in third every year but the dismal 2012 - since most of my rivals have been left behind in 45-49, and there haven't been any stellar showings in the 50-54 lately. Alas, when I checked registration status I saw that the woman who came in first in my AG in 2010 is registered, and she's three years older than me - and she blew away the AG at age 49 with a time fully NINE MINUTES faster than mine. So, maybe second place, if I'm lucky.

Ah, well. Britt's coming out again, to run the 5-mile, and we've got some hikes planned for the rest of the weekend. Also a whole lot of my running-forum and Facebook friends who I see only at races (or have never met in person!) will be there. I predict that whatever happens, lots of margaritas and beers will be consumed, lots of conversation will be conversed, and lots of lovely places will be viewed. No matter how the race goes, the weekend overall will be a win.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-03-14 07:33 pm (UTC)
traveller42: (Default)
From: [personal profile] traveller42
Good luck and run healthy!

(no subject)

Date: 2014-03-14 07:35 pm (UTC)
meri_oddities: default - Woman looking out a window (Default)
From: [personal profile] meri_oddities
Good luck on the race!

I'm running Shamrock half this weekend. Pretty much, I'm untrained. And anything better than 2:30 will be good for me.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-03-15 11:09 am (UTC)
blnchflr: Captain America Civil War (Runner-in-spe)
From: [personal profile] blnchflr
Stupid wind, extra poundage, and period! Hope it's a good race, even if things conspire against a PR!

(no subject)

Date: 2014-03-16 08:58 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
From FB, I know that you ran exactly as predicted and even predicted your AG place! Nice job! Keep up the good work. It looks like you had fun with friends, too. That's always a plus.

Rebecca :)


ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (Default)

August 2017

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My running PRs:

5K: 21:03 (downhill) 21:43 (loop)
10K: 43:06 (downhill)
10M: 1:12:59
13.1M: 1:35:55
26.2M: 3:23:31

You can reach me by email at heyheyilana @


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