Training Stats & Plan for Buffalo Creek Half Marathon

Well friends, Saturday is the big day. Usually, my desire to run a race plummets significantly in the days leading up to it, and I swear to never register for another race again after this one is over. While I've definitely had some "Maybe I'll just skip the race" fantasies this week, I'm also kinda looking forward to it. I'm just really curious to see how all my training translates into race-day performance.

This week has been an exercise in positive thinking. I have had to stop myself so many times when I started thinking things like:
As much as I train, as well as I train, as confident as I get, it's so hard to completely banish the ghosts of failed past races that still haunt me as well as the fear of failure that makes races so stressful for me. So for this race, I'm eliminating the pass/fail mentality that comes with setting time goals. Goals are things I want to happen. Instead, I'm implementing the following plan so that I can make a good race happen. If I implement this plan, I should finish with a good time, but that's not my focus. My focus is to do the best I can and to use what I practiced in training. 

Race-Day Plan

  1. Ease into my race pace over the first 3 miles. I plan to start slower than my goal race pace and then gradually build to my race pace.
  2. Stay in each mile and strive for consistent splits miles 4-10. I will try to stay within a 10-second range of my goal pace. However, if the pace feels too hard too early, I'm going to back off. While I know from my training that I can push hard for 4 miles, I know that I cannot push hard for the whole race. My mistake in the Pittsburgh Half Marathon was not backing off my race pace when it felt too hard too early on because of the warm weather. I had a miserable experience, and I am not going to let that happen again! I would much rather have a good experience than try to run a pace that's too hard for the whole race.
  3. Put my music on at mile 5. One thing I love about this race is the beautiful course through fall foliage. I want to start without music, both to prevent myself from starting too fast and so I can focus on enjoying the course before I get to work.
  4. Push or hold steady at mile 10. I'm going to decide on my strategy based on how I feel. If I'm struggling and it's taking all I have just to maintain my pace, I'm going to focus on holding steady. If I'm feeling good, I'm going to start increasing the pace in miles 10 and 11.
  5. GO at mile 12. For the last mile, I want to push with everything I have to finish strong. This is where I hope all my training will help me.
This will be my third year running the Buffalo Creek Half Marathon and will be the third different finish line configuration. Last year they changed where the finish line is, and this year, just this week, there was an issue that made them change it again. The good news is that the change eliminates the hill that comes at the very end of the course before the finish line. So, no hill! The other thing in my favor is the weather. The forecast is 41 degrees but will feel like 35 at the start. The colder it is, the better I'll run, so I'm thrilled.
2013 Buffalo Creek Half Marathon

2014 Buffalo Creek Half Marathon

My next post will be my race recap. Until then, here are some fun stats from my training.

Training Stats

Weeks training: 15
Total runs: 80
Total mileage (assumes 13.1 for race; will update after the race): 500.35
Highest weekly mileage: 43.5
Number of weeks with 40+ mileage: 6
Highest mid-week mileage: 9.5
Number of 10- or 12-mile long runs: 7
Number of times my husband called my crazy for how much I was running: 1,000
Number of times I cursed the hot weather: 1 million

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