Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Santa Cruz 2013 Half Marathon Goals

(Note: I ran this race and did PR 8). Race report is here)

So back in 2009 I had run my first marathon (napa) and was all full of beans.

I ran the Santa Cruz Half and I nailed it with a PR of 1:51:26. I have only run a couple of half marathons since and never for a PR. In that race I actually paced fairly well:

You can see I got up to about 60s under my actual finishing pace and then lost this time back over the 2nd half. I think this is pretty good.

The are some mild hills on this course:

You can see there is about 80' rise in the middle of this out-and-back course. Not enough to be killer ...just enough to give some other muscles a chance to help out. Not worried about it.

One difficult thing: you bomb down Cliff Drive to the finish which is ON THE BEACH. Yup you heard me: you split off the road and run about 20 meters IN THE SAND. It sucks, but I plan to use a powerful lifting arm swing and high knees lift as well  to power through this crap to the timing mat.


The primary goal is to reach 8:30 m/m and show I'm ready to run a 3:55 marathon. I did time trials just before both of my peaked marathons last year at this pace. Running a 3:55 is my primary goal at Tacoma on 5/5/13 and reaching this pace in the half lets me know I'm ready to do it again.

The secondary goal is to PR in the half...beat 1:50:26...that would be great!

The tertiary goal ..the super uber wonderful to get in at 1:4x..... this is an 8:23 pace..and would be so SWEET. 

Typically the garmin reads 5s higher than actual so that would mean 8:18 on the garmin. I really don't think I'm quite there, but I am probably going to give it a try if I feel good and the weather etc are good on race day.

The Plan

The picture is from my 2009 run. I will post any pictures I get from this year and I look forward to comparing the two. I feel like I have more muscle than I did then (no mean feat when going from 53 to 57) but we'll see 8). I ran a 4:15 at San Francisco in July 2009 after this race.

Sunday I will be wearing my fleet footed Kinvara 3's. After training in the heavier Brooks Launches it feels so fast to run in them 8).  I think it's perfect to train mostly in the more cushioned shoe but do enough in the faster shoe to be ready to harvest the benefits in a race. We'll see how that works out!

(BTW: In the photo I was wearing  Nike *F*King* Vomeros  and about to get massive Achilles Tendonitis in a few more weeks)

Anyway, I always take a mile or two to get rolling at full pace, and the first mile has the pop-up to Cliff Drive level (about 50 feet) I plan to not worry too much about the first couple of miles. I'll probably have  10-15s to make up.

Last time I ran this race, the Garmin noise factor was very very as soon as I get a split at mile 3 and compare with my pace band and see how the noise is going I will adjust to run the 8:23 actual pace via the Garmin.

I run with a Garmin 610 and show the current mile split as well as the running average. I work to make each mile split exactly as planned and therefore keep the average exactly where I want it.

I plan to hold the 8:23 (actual) pace as long as I can. If I have anything else to give I will deliver it in the last 4 miles and hopefully I will do well and get down to 1:4x.

There you go! 

This week I am running light with a little fast running but mostly bouncing back from my 50 mile week and previous hard hitting weeks. I want to be a bit tapered for this race so I can do really well. I will have so many miles ahead of the game vs Eugene and Cim that I feel I can still nail Tacoma.

The forecast for Sunday is looking pretty (48F in the morning) and overcast. Perfect! There is some wind forecast (8mph) but the course is an out - and - back so it's not that bad. The temps being low and no *Sun* is the main thing.

Gradually I'm getting psyched up for this race. 


  1. Good luck on the race. I hope you PR. I just started running in Newtons which are a lot lighter than my Brooks or Sauconys. So far I have only been running short with them. I wonder if I should do longer runs in heavier shoes too??

  2. Yay! Sounds like you've got a good plan and the weather in your favor. I'm excited for you. Sending good thoughts for a speedy run and I look forward to hearing about it.

    Hey -- you weren't by some chance in Crepevine in DT MV on Tuesday lunch were you?

  3. Good luck! I was NOT expecting to hit that sand last year and almost fell on my face. Good to know it's coming. :)


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