Navy-Air Force Half-Marathon: Testing 1,2,3

After three full training cycles, this will be the first time I’ve put a half-marathon (well, any race distance) test right in the middle.  After four months away from the starting line, my legs are like uh, finally!  Sunday’s test of choice? The inaugural  Navy-Air Force Half Marathon (added on to the Navy 5-miler).

The actual tests themselves…

1. Race PaceWhen I registered for MCM, the 3:30 number came to mind and set up camp. I knew it would require some extra work, but all would come together. A spring racing season would check all the systems, and make sure we were set up for success.

My brain can remember a solid goal (3:30 – 3:30 – 3:30) but not always how we’ll get there. I’ve checked pace charts at least once a month since clicking “register”, yet never seem to remember that magic number.  To prep for this weekend, I checked in again yesterday.

8:00 min/mile pace – flat = 3:29:45

….no 7’s? Really? Oh. We’re good! (And the head-math will be so easy!)

Yes, I can run an 8:00 min/mile average for Sunday’s half. That’s not the goal. I want to race and see what it takes to make things hurt, and at what point that happens. Sunday’s goal – 1:38:xx .

2. Timing / Negative SplitsThis is normally not my issue – if anything, I start out too cautiously and end quickly – but last year’s MCM handed my negative-splitting legs an ego check. We’re working on that.

3. No Garmin, No tunes – The rules say no music, and my ears are used to the silence anyway (exception: long runs). But Mr. G has been on the fritz for a few months now, and I’m lazy. I don’t like to mail things or call “Customer Support”, and he’s just been sitting around the apartment with a blank screen.

I’m almost liking the Garmin-free (no pace-beeping) runs, and just using the old-fashioned MapMyRun + stop-watch method to keep things in check. Almost. On most days.

Then, I realized (this week) that I’ll have no Virtual Race Partner. No way to check what kind of cushion I have or time I need to make up. I’m shaking my fist in the air at the fact that a small piece of technology wrapped around my wrist could be so useful!

But, there was the Garmin-Fail of 2012 at the National Half. (Good times, G) So, it may take some more distracting head-math and clock-watching, but I think we’ll survive.


Navy-Air Force Half, 1:38:xx, tech-free and goin’ strong.

What’s on your goals/test list this weekend?



Filed under DC, Goals, Races, running, running gear, Speed workouts, training

13 responses to “Navy-Air Force Half-Marathon: Testing 1,2,3

  1. I knew you were giving up the music…but the Garmin? Bold move, my friend.

  2. Have an awesome run! I can’t wait to hear about this 🙂 And I really love that you are not running with a Garmin but listening to your body! You can totally get 1:38!!!

    • Heather C

      Thanks, J! I’ve enjoyed the Garmin-free running for the most part, but notice it a lot on the “speedwork” days (the few of them…;) )

  3. Oh- exciting! I’m looking forward to reading about your Garmin and music free race!
    My husband completely stopped using his Garmin over a year ago, in training runs and races, and loves running without.

  4. Woot! Go get it, lady! I can’t imagine not using the Garmin for a race. That would make me crazy, although not being a goal race, that would be fine. I’m still trying to take it easy from the 50K. My goal for the next few months is to balance my life between school, work and running/fun. I don’t want to be spazzed out and stressed to the max at all moments.

    • Heather C

      Thanks, Sass! I think my attitude might be a little bit different about it as MCM gets closer, but if I’m still in G-free mode at least they have pace groups 🙂

  5. Chris

    Hoorah! A plan and a watch are all the tools you’ll need. You’ll crush this test no prob. I see you’ll receive a finisher’s coin. Very appropriate. As a Navy vet myself I still carry my unit coin around with me. This weekend I’m going to finish off the Strava Challenge, 100 miles in 16 days. What a grind.

  6. I hope you have a great race. The weather looks like it has decided to cooperate – couldn’t ask for much better weather in mid-September. I’ll be racing the Philly Rock n’ Roll half. Not quite ready for a 1:38 though. 🙂 Hopefully there are lots of PRs to go around.

  7. Whenever you decide to fuss with it, Garmin’s customer support is REALLY good. Just FYI. Have fun this weekend! EAT THE PAIN!

  8. Good luck speedster! I haven’t learned how to “race” yet for road/trail races. I can either go all out for a short sprint to a mile, but after that I have a “don’t be stupid, save your energy” mindset that tends to have me finishing races thinking, “I could have gone faster”. I need to learn how to find a pace that is “pushing it” but yet “maintainable”.

    • Heather C

      Thanks! Racing is definitely a tricky hand to learn to play well – I’ve almost always been in the “start too slow, reserve too much energy” camp, fearing I would burn out too quickly. After a few races where I really pushed it and finally realized what that means and what it feels like, I’ve grown used to the (mostly manageable) discomfort and learned to set more challenging goals so that I don’t get too comfortable. 🙂

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