My Goals for St. Louis Go! Half Marathon

First off, thank you all so much for the support and kind words regarding our move. We get more excited with each day and I just have to pinch myself sometimes because after searching for jobs for so long (we started this process back before Christmas) it seems surreal that it’s finally happening. 

I’m also totally running around the house with excitement and joy as I realize that I will only see snow again if we seek it out in the mountains (or visit the Midwest during winter). 

This weekend is the St. Louis Go! Half Marathon, which will be my second half. Part of the reason I chose this race was to visit my family right around my mom’s birthday. It works especially well now because we get in a nice visit with them before moving gets hectic. The course is another reason why I chose the race. It used to be a hilly race, but they changed it in order to draw in more people. This year, the course is supposed to be flatter and faster than in previous years, which fits my goal of running a fast (for me) half.

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It’s honestly also exciting to run this because after our move, I don’t know when we’ll get to St. Louis before Christmas! St. Louis is such a fun city with so many great restaurants, breweries, and museums, not to mention family and friends, that it’s definitely exciting to have a race-vacation there. I’m already dreaming about post-race beers. 

Life Lately March 9

 

Instead of choosing “A,” “B,” and “C” goals, I’m setting a goal range for this race. I can be a total type-A and know I would probably be disappointed if I set A, B, and C goals and missed my A goal, so a range works better for me because I won’t stress myself out as much about a particular time. Here are some factors I’m taking into consideration:

– Weather: It might rain that day, which could work against me (humidity!) or in my favor (keeping the temperature cool and I usually run faster in the rain because I want to be done). St. Louis is rarely as windy as Valpo, so at least I won’t have to worry about 25 mph+ winds like I faced at the Valpo Half Marathon. (Seriously, I am NOT going to miss the Lake Michigan winds when we move.)

– Allergies: These haven’t been affecting me as much in previous years, but every once and a while I get stuffed up from allergies. That feeling of not being able to breathe all the way from allergies can make it hard to push the pace. Thank goodness for Claritin! 

– Training: My training cycle didn’t have as many speed workouts (mile repeats or shorter) as last time, but I had plenty of strong threshold intervals and longer tempo/goal pace runs right in the 7:25-7:35/mile range. I also increase my weekly mileage and did more 12 and 14 mile long runs. Overall, training went well, so hopefully that sets me up for a strong race.

– Race size: So I’m naturally obsessive a research and numbers driven person, so of course I’ve been looking up everything I can about the race, including corral assignments, distributions of finishing times, etc. This race is definitely bigger than the races I’ve run here in little Valpo, so the change makes me a bit nervous about getting stuck behind slower runners. From as best I can determine, I’ll be in the first corral, so the race itself should not be super crowded for me. I think between the full and the half last year they had about 8000 runners. Relatively, it’s a small race, but I’m not used to racing in races that have even over 500 people. 

So, all things considered, my goals for St. Louis Go! Half Marathon include first and foremost running a 1:38-1:41, so a 7:30/mile to 7:45/mile pace. Since I ran the Valpo Half in a 1:46, even a 1:41 is a 5 minute PR and sets me up for strong training for BQ marathon in the fall. I really do think I have a 1:38 or 1:39 in me, it’s just a matter of the external factors (weather) and my mental game. 

Image From Runner's World Website
Image From Runner’s World Website

I also try to set goals beyond my finishing time. I want to run mostly even splits with a fast finish over the final mile; I want to follow my hydration and fueling strategy as planned; and I want to most of all enjoy the race because that is after all why I race. 

Wow. So that was a lot of rambling, which I attribute to race nerves/stress from apartment searching. I promise tomorrow I’ll have a less-focused on me post! 

I want to hear from you: 
How do you set goals? Do you choose A,B, C goals, a range, or just focus on doing your best?
What factors do you take into account when setting your goal time? 

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