Hi everyone! Today is an exciting day: It’s the first day of Her Tern Half Marathon training! The Her Tern Half Marathon is a women-only (and one lucky guy!) race here in Anchorage on July 19th. The post-race refreshments include cupcakes and mimosas in the rose garden downtown, and instead of medals we get pretty bracelets that were designed for the race! I ran this race last July and I did okay…but I didn’t PR, didn’t break 2:30 (my current half marathon time goal!), and didn’t end strong. This year, I’m going to try a bit harder so that I can get better results!
The Plan: The amazing people at Skinny Raven comped me a race entry AND an entry to the Her Tern Training Group to help me reach my goals this year! It involves a group run on Wednesdays and Saturdays, so I’ll have lots of fabulous runners to train with and to hopefully get faster and stronger with! I’ve never done a run longer than 4 miles with someone else, so long run Saturdays will be interesting. They’ll also be giving us guidelines for how to do our solo runs the rest of the week.
The Goals: A PR would be great. A sub-2:30 time would be even better 🙂 But my biggest goal is to train smart and not get injured. So no more crazy shoe situations!
How I’m going to get there:
- I’ll have 2 group runs planned for me, but I’ll be running the other 1-2 runs per week alone. Which means I won’t be joining the running group that I posted about a few weeks ago 😦 I feel that pushing myself hard on Tuesdays with that group and then pushing myself hard the very next day at the HTH group run is not a good idea, plus that group costs money. So I feel the need to skip the Tuesday group runs so that I don’t get hurt. I’m so bummed, but I know that I’ll meet lots of awesome runners through the HTH group instead!
- I’ll be using Pilates as cross training 2-3 times per week (look for an update on how that’s been going later this week!)
- I’m going to attempt to get my nutrition together for once in my life. The amount of pizza I eat is atrocious and I really need to eat better food before/after I run to properly fuel. Except for race day – I’ll be at the Moose’s Tooth eating a giant pizza after the race 🙂
- This race has two start times – an early start for slower runners and a later start for runners who expect to run under 3 hours. Last year I signed up for the later start and finished with a time of 2:34 so I definitely picked the right wave – but I ended up being one of the last 50 runners in my wave to cross the finish line and just seeing how few people were behind me while I was running at a pretty fast (for me) pace was so disheartening. I know it shouldn’t matter how many people are behind me, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I wasn’t doing well throughout the last few miles of the race. This year, I’m starting in the early wave! I’m hoping the head start will help give me the boost that I need to do well. Plus I won’t be one of the last ones in the finish area this time and might actually get a chance to enjoy my post-race experience!
I’m a bit nervous about launching into yet another half training plan only a month after the Zion Half, especially since I’ve only been running a few times a week (I definitely needed a post-race recovery period) and mostly focused on improving in Pilates. But with the warm weather and endless sunlight that we’re already getting here in Alaska I think I’ll be running like crazy outside. I’ve also been in the midst of end-of-the-school-year craziness and that will be over in 2 weeks so I can focus on running instead of work! I’m hoping that 12 weeks from now I’ll be feeling strong, confident, and fast. But if not, I just hope that I’m able to enjoy the race and get as much out of this experience as possible! Look for updates every Monday until race day!
Have you ever run a women-only race? Do you ever train for races with a training group?