Germantown Half Marathon Race Goals
My current half marathon PR (personal record) is 1:53:11, set on December 10, 2016, at the CASA Half Marathon (recap); the following spring, I tore a left hamstring tendon during the 2017 Germantown Half Marathon (recap) and spent the majority of last year as an injured runner.
After a five month running hiatus, boosted by my newfound appreciation for summer cycling and strength training, I cautiously began rebuilding fitness; returning from a running injury is very challenging, and I've experienced lingering aches and questions. It took me quite some time to find the right practitioner but, finally, I'm feeling better than I did a year ago.
What better way to celebrate my patience and progress than a return to the race that left me feeling heartbroken? I'm not quite to the fitness level I left behind last year, but I'm getting close, so the excitement has fueled a desire to push the limits on Sunday and see what I've got, both mentally and physically.
The Germantown Half Marathon course is more challenging than the course on which I set my current PR; nevertheless, I'm prepared to make the necessary adjustments and keep my mental game strong.
Here are my thoughts on tomorrow's race, using my dear friend Courtney's trusty A/B/C race goal strategy:
A Goal: Finish time of 1:53-1:54 - This is a stretch but not entirely unrealistic; it will depend on the day and, more than most other variables, my mental status.
B Goal: Finish time of 1:55-1:57 - Squarely within my strategy/plan for Sunday's race, this provides for a conservative start, a steady middle, and little quicker finish.
C Goal: Anything below 2:00 - This should be very attainable, given my current level of fitness, barring any unexpected mishaps.
I've got a few things going for me: I'll be in the company of some badass Oiselle teammates, like my friend Cecilia, who is gunning for a big goal (and will definitely succeed!), and Jana; my race playlist is only 1:55 minutes, so I need to get finished before the music runs out; and I've booked a massage for the beginning of next week and I've decided that it's only worth the expense if I actually earn the luxury.
After a quick PT session on Wednesday afternoon, an extra rest day, and short, easy runs for the remainder of the week, I am feeling cautiously optimistic and excited for the adventure that comes with each opportunity to cross the start line. If you're reading this, you've likely been cheering me on and encouraging me through training, post-injury, and I THANK YOU. I thank you more than I can thank you. I'll post a race recap next week!