A1A Half Marathon Goals

One week from today, I’ll be heading down to South Florida for some warm weather, family time, AND to run the A1A Half Marathon. Although I have been focusing on my training for the Colfax Marathon in May, I think it might be time to talk a little about my goals and expectations about this race.

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I’m not sure if it can get any better than last year’s race!

Original goal when signing up for A1A: 1:45:00

When I signed up, I had imagined that I would have had a full training cycle devoted solely to this half. I thought I would be fresh off the Chicago finish line and ready for some faster races. However, that’s not how it happened. I got hurt, sidelined, distracted, and a little discouraged by my ankle injury in September. I did not devote a training cycle to this race, and I am in the middle of my training for Colfax. I have been training for longer, slower times… not the quick ones that would get me that goal time. I have not been practicing 8-minute miles or anything close to it. And really… even if I could do that pace, I am not sure that I would want to. I think a very fast time would burn me out and make it hard to continue my training for Colfax the next week.

So what now?

My PR is 1:51:48. Now, you probably think (for all of the reasons listed above), that I am in no shape to go for a PR in the half. However, my current half marathon PR was in less than favorable conditions and during my training cycle for the Chicago Marathon. The race was in Estes Park (7000 ft above sea level) with 1000 feet of elevation gain throughout the race. The night before the race, I was camping and sleeping on the hard ground of Rocky Mountain National Park. The race was fantastically beautiful, which I am sure helped me get that time, but it was not a race most people would go for a PR at.

A1A is at sea level and is a pancake flat course. It runs along the beautiful Fort Lauderdale beaches AND my entire family is going to be there. I’ll also have the luxury of a good night’s sleep on a bed the night before. Although I am not sure if this is going to be a PR blow out, I think I have a chance to sneak just under 1:51:48.

These are my goals for A1A:

 A: 1:49:59 – 8:24/mi pace – a little unattainable… but maybe if I have a crazy awesome day

B: PR – so anything under 1:51:48 (8:30ish/mi)

C: Course PR – Under 1:56:48

The way some of my training has been going lately, a sizable PR is possible. But my legs are tired and I’m deep into my training for Colfax. This race suddenly isn’t as important as I thought it would be a year ago.

So, I guess next Sunday begins my race season for 2016. Hopefully it begins as well as 2015 did and that I nab that PR. Either way, I’m going to go out there and have a good time! I’ll be enjoying some much needed time with my family, some sweet weather, and I get to see Ally and Kristina! PR or not, A1A is going to be a ton of fun!

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11 thoughts on “A1A Half Marathon Goals

  1. I think these are some great goals! I love how you listed three goals. It is so beneficial to go into a race with a few options like that! I think you are going to really surprise yourself though – you’ve been killing it!

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    • Thanks! I wanted to have three goals, since I didn’t really know how I’d feel going into race day. I’ve had a few good runs this week at paces that would more than get me a PR, so that’s good.

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  2. Good luck Kerry! I think you are more than capable of matching and beating your PR. You’ve got the speed, you’ve got the training, and you’ll have the awesome memories from last year :-). Most importantly, my advice is to just enjoy the experience and run the best race you can on the day you’re given. You still have more more training and fitness to build for Colfax and at this point in your training, your half marathon finish time isn’t nearly as important as running at an honest effort that will give you a good indication of where your fitness stands and what you can expect going forward. I think you have the right mindset going in that Colfax is the priority, so try to relax and look at the bigger picture. I bet even if you didn’t look at your watch once you’d PR anyway, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself 🙂

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    • I think PRing at A1A would give me a lot of confidence heading into the rest of my training. However, I really dont want to feel burnt out after heading back from Florida. I just want to be able to hop right back into training without any hickups. Thanks for the confidence boost!

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  3. I’ve been in this mindset before, a race loses its importance. If the marathon is the main goal that has to be considered. I can totally relate to going after this PR and impacting marathon training. I just did that a few weeks ago lol. My suggestion would be run conservatively knowing the marathon is the big goal.

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    • I think that if I had devoted a full training cycle… or even just a few more weeks, this race would mean a lot more. However, I basically took the holidays off, and I am only in week 4 of serious training, so the importance really went down. I am going to run pretty conservatively. I just need to stay healthy and motivated for Colfax.

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  4. Your ABC goals are great!! I should put some thought into my plan for A1A as well, but I think I may end up running it like I did last year – with little preparation and ending up surprising myself! (I think the full is out of the question at this point…I need to do a post on it. Thanks for the reminder.) I can’t wait to see you girls! I’ll email you my phone number so we can keep in touch that weekend and figure it all out.

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    • That sounds great! I am definitely looking forward to seeing you. I’m sorry that you wont be running the full. It’s better to just play it safe though and not aggravate something that could turn into an injury. I’m sure you’ll do great!

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  5. You are going to do great! I’ve been checking the weather and it looks like the morning is going to be beautiful – the high right now for the day is only 73*F which means a nice, cool morning for us!

    Looking forward to next weekend!

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