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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 11-15-11, 01:20 PM   #1
jeneralist 
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Half-Marathon: anticipation and goal-setting

(Yes, this isn't cycling-related. Oh, well.)

On Sunday, I'm signed up to participate in a half-marathon here in Philly. It's the day of the Philadelphia Marathon, and back when the days were getting longer and warm weather was but a hope, I figured out that even if I were the last one to cross the finish line for the half, there would still be a few folks running the full 26.2 miles out there to keep me company.

Goals for the event:
  • actually start
  • actually finish
  • finish without serious injury
  • finish within 4 hours, 52 minutes -- that's how long it took for the last person in my sex/age group to finish last year.
I had considered setting of goal of beating the slowest finisher in the women's 70-98 age group instead -- but since that group completed last year's race in a speedy 3:47, I'm not sure I can keep pace with the more experienced runners.
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Old 11-15-11, 01:24 PM   #2
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best of luck to you.

I did my first half marathon this past September. now I'm thinking of doing a full marathon, perhaps next year.

my anxiety leading up to the event turned out to be not necessary. It was much easier than I expected.
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Old 11-15-11, 01:29 PM   #3
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I did my first half-mary in Sept as well. I had two goals:

1. Not walk any of the course, including water stops. I met this one.
2. Average a 10 minute mile or faster. My final average was 10:04, so I fell a little short on that one.

Still, I had a lot of fun and felt like I'd accomplished quite a bit. I too would like to do a marathon some day in the future but for a clyde like me I'm happy I was able to pull off the half.

Good luck, and have fun. I think you'll surprise yourself.
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Old 11-15-11, 02:14 PM   #4
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Good luck.

Do you have any running experience/training, or are you planning on walking it?
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Old 11-15-11, 03:04 PM   #5
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I did a half last month and I hadn't trained enough for it. Finished fine and as fast as I wanted but it took a lot out of me, and I didn't get back on my bike for two weeks! My only recommendation is -- make sure you schedule and do a couple of recovery rides with no more than one day off after the race. Once you're riding again it's fine, but when you've used yourself up like that a ride may not be something you want to do. Do it anyway.
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Old 11-15-11, 03:38 PM   #6
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My final average was 10:04, so I fell a little short on that one.
Since my best pace ever in a lowly 5K was 10:27, and I thought I was going to die doing it, I'd say you did very well.
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Old 11-15-11, 04:06 PM   #7
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Since my best pace ever in a lowly 5K was 10:27, and I thought I was going to die doing it, I'd say you did very well.
Thanks!
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Old 11-15-11, 05:09 PM   #8
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2 of our ride parners do full marathons, Tammy and Aimee. Tammy had a bad experience with the lines on the road. Either they were wet and she slipped or she tripped on a reflector (center of lines). Either way , she fell and hit her face on the pavement. Only hard enough to bruise without any serious damage thank goodness.

But be careful out there. Watch your step and don't get forced into a bad position. Watch the wet lines and pavement at the water stations too.
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Old 11-15-11, 09:32 PM   #9
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Do you have any running experience/training, or are you planning on walking it?
I did some training back in the spring getting ready for a 10K -- but there's no way I can run this straight through. I'm planning on walking, jogging, walking, jogging, walking, shuffling, walking, limping....

Well, maybe I can skip that last part.
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Old 11-15-11, 09:54 PM   #10
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Best of luck to you! I did my first half marathon back in May. If I could give you one piece of advice from my experience, it would be to just keep moving - even if that means just shuffling along, keep putting one foot in front of the other. I was going strong for over 10 miles. I paused, leaning on a guardrail to empty gravel out of my shoe - when I tried to get going again I found the last 3.1 miles were HARD! I learned my lesson. Once I was finished, I could barely walk the rest of the day! The only other advice I have is to run your own race. Find the pace that works for you and go with it. Admittedly, it's tough - especially in a big race environment. But you absolutely CAN do it.
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Old 11-16-11, 08:08 AM   #11
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run your own race.
Agreed. Don't get "swept up" in the excitement of the crowd at the beginning and run faster than you're capable of sustaining. Start slower than you think you need to.

Your idea on how to handle the race is a good one: Run for 30 seconds then walk for 30 seconds (or a minute, two minutes, whatever works for you). When I first started running, I found this a good way to get more miles out of myself than by just trying to "gut it out" and run until I couldn't run anymore.

I don't know how much riding you do, but I have found that it is quite helpful to those long-distance runs. You may surprise yourself with how much faster you get it done than what you've mentioned in the OP.

As mentioned above, be very careful with wet lines on the road (and wet manhole covers, etc.), and be aware of water-stops... people tend to get tunnel-vision at those and they will run into you or cause you to trip. A tip: Instead of going for the first volunteer/person at the beginning of a water-stop, go for somebody at the very end, it's far less crowded, generally.


Have a good run!
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Old 11-16-11, 08:13 AM   #12
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Oh, and a great little tip for those cold rainy-morning race starts: Take a big garbage bag and cut a hole in the bottom for your head and wear it like a rain jacket until you get warmed up. Then you can just throw the bag away when you don't need it any longer, and not have to worry about carrying an un-needed layer for the rest of the race.
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Old 11-16-11, 11:56 AM   #13
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Buen suerte.

Current forecast is for a high of 63. Sounds like the morning will be cool, but not cold. Looks like good weather. I am a 4 minute walk from the museum. It's good to know that people are now picking up the thousands of discarded items of clothing and donating them to worthy causes. With my apologies to "Blondie" from The Good, the Bad & the Ugly, I have never seen so many sweatshirts wasted so badly.

Expect to hear a lot of "Woooo! Woooo! Great job runners!"
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Old 11-16-11, 12:23 PM   #14
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finish within 4 hours, 52 minutes -- that's how long it took for the last person in my sex/age group to finish last year.
That's about 2.7 miles per hour which is a fairly slow walk. If you're planning on running at all, you'll be able to finish in well under 5 hours.

Good luck. You'll do great!
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Old 11-16-11, 09:56 PM   #15
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Oh, and a great little tip for those cold rainy-morning race starts: Take a big garbage bag and cut a hole in the bottom for your head and wear it like a rain jacket until you get warmed up. Then you can just throw the bag away when you don't need it any longer, and not have to worry about carrying an un-needed layer for the rest of the race.
Cool idea. I've read that the organizers will be collecting any clothes that are discarded along the way and donating them to charity. I had been thinking about which of my jackets I wouldn't mind giving up. Your idea is has a lot going for it.
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