Friday, March 13, 2009

Caesar Rodney - Putting My Streak on the Line

I've got a little streak I've been building up over the last few years.
Every race I've run, I've established some sort of record or PR. In the trail races, that just means breaking my time on that same route, since the times there vary so much. But in road races, I've actually gotten a PR at every race I've done, at every distance. Ever. From some perspectives, that's quite a streak.
Of course, there are some tricks to maintaining a streak like that. Staying (relatively) healthy, training consistently, etc. But that's not what makes the streak possible. Really, what makes the streak possible is that I didn't start racing until I was 35, and I race infrequently. I've never done a stand-alone (i.e. non-triathlon) 5K. My only 10K was the Wissahickon Trail Classic, so even that's a PR, even though the course was way long and super hilly. I've done one ten-mile race, so I got a PR there. I've done two marathons, and the second was faster. And I've done one half marathon, so I got a PR at that one. But I'm doing a second half marathon this weekend. So the streak's on the line. And at this point, it's going to be tight.
I did this race last year, too. It's a hilly course (but of course it was just as hilly last year). My preparation was very different, though. On the one hand, it wasn't my A race. I was busy training for the National Marathon, I didn't really taper for Caesar Rodney, and I raced very conservatively for the first ten miles. On the other hand, because I was training for the marathon, I'd been doing a ton of miles in training. I came into the half marathon with a bunch of 18-20 mile runs behind me. And I was just more structured in my training then.
My times in track/tempo workouts have been similar, if shorter and less structured. When I signed up for this, I was hoping to knock 5 minutes off of last years time of just under 1:30. I can't see that happening, though. 1:27-1:28, that seems doable. But it's going to be tight.

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