Another Race, Another Test

This weekend, I will be headed to Amish Country in Pennsylvania to run in the Garden Spot Village Half Marathon.

After racing in the Bird-in-Hand Half Marathon last September in the same area, Garden Spot Village seems like it will be a similar race with a nice route along country roads.

Since the race comes at exactly the half way point of my 14 week training plan for the Copenhagen Marathon, it will provide a great opportunity to see where I stand.

Having a race or two in the middle of a training plan allows you to have smaller tests during the process to see how you’re progressing towards your overall goal or goals of the cycle.

Pre-Race Feelings

To be honest, I thought about deferring my registration in this race over the last couple of weeks. The issues that I was having with my hips were lingering on a little bit longer than I was hoping.

Because of this, I was questioning if I could even complete a long run. Never mind trying to run a race.

I would have a couple of good runs, where my hips felt alright and then my hips would bother me on the next couple of runs and I would feel like I was back at the beginning.

After going to the chiropractor and devoting more time to stretches and exercises to help my hips, things gradually started to feel better over the last week and, even though I still don’t feel 100%, I think that I could put in a strong effort this weekend and use it as a measuring stick of how much work I need to do before my marathon in May.

Unfortunately, with these relatively minor setbacks, the chance of a personal best time for a half marathon is unlikely for this weekend.

I know that’s not the end of the world and that the race can still be a positive experience and keep me on (or get me back on) the path that I want to be on as I head into the second half of my marathon training plan.

Race Strategy

As race morning gets closer, I am trying to have a good race plan in place to allow myself to focus on getting as much out of the race as I can.

So, with that in mind, I have three general goals for the race:

Start Slow

Over my last several races, I have started about 20-30 seconds slower per mile than my goal pace for that particular race. This helps me to work my way into the race and, in most cases, save some energy for a push during the last few miles.

I’ve found that doing this gives me a good idea of how I’m feeling that day. After a few minutes or miles, I can then adjust my pace as I see necessary. I think this can be even more important for me in this race given what my last couple of weeks have been like and the fact that this isn’t a goal race for me.

Think Long-Term

Sometimes races are the final step of a training cycle and you will have as much time as you need to rest and recover.

Other times, a race is in the middle of a training cycle and you need to consider what your upcoming training plan looks like.

Since this race falls in the second category for me, I’ll definitely consider what lies ahead for my training plan in the next few weeks. But that doesn’t mean that I won’t push myself if I’m feeling good in the last few miles!

Have Fun!

After all, this is what it’s all about! Everything else is just extra and not really that important. The weather forecast for race morning looks to be just about perfect, which helps to get me excited to get started a few days from now!

If you have a race coming up, let us know how you are feeling about it in the comments below!

More From RunPatRun:

  • Next Week: I’ll have a race report from my race this weekend, hopefully complete with some pictures!
  • As I said in my post, the Garden Spot Village Half Marathon and the Bird-in-Hand Half Marathon, which I raced in last September (and will likely do again this year), are both run in Lancaster County of Pennsylvania. If you are interested in reading my race report for Bird-in-Hand in 2021, here it is – RunPatRun Race Series – Part 2: Bird-In-Hand 5k and Half Marathon!

2 thoughts on “Another Race, Another Test

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