An Unoffical Track Half Marathon- aka A LOT OF LAPS!!

An Unoffical Track Half Marathon- aka A LOT OF LAPS!!

This morning I ran in my own little half marathon….  Around the track.  Yeah, it was A LOT of laps.  Thanks to my Garmin at least I did not have to count them!  Once again I veered off a little from my NYC Marathon training to do a half marathon pace run.  First of all, let me say that I have NEVER run this many consecutive laps around a track and I don’t know if I will again.  I can’t say that I’d really recommend this workout.  It was more of a mental workout that I needed to do for me than anything else.  A few weeks ago I did a 10 mile timed HM pace run at the track and I really wanted to do one more of these workouts before my upcoming Half. Originally I was going to make this a 12 mile HM pace run but yesterday I decided to make it the full 13.1 to help me mentally.  I need to KNOW that I can go this pace for this distance in my upcoming HM.  Trying to time this workout was a little tricky because I had a 20 miler a week and a half ago and then I had that 5K this past Saturday. I wanted to have at least a week and a half between this workout and my actual Half Marathon (9/29).  Saturday’s 5K left me really sore- especially my quads.  I ran an easy 6 Sunday and another easy 7 yesterday.  I wasn’t sure if I would make this workout today or tomorrow but my legs felt a lot better by last night.

Why the track?
When I am running for time like this I do not want to have to deal with traffic.  The bike trails by my house are good but every few miles they stop at major road intersections. I don’t mind this for everyday easy runs but not when I’m going for time! When I got to the track to start my warm-up it was around 5:45 and still completely dark.  In fact, it did not get light out until mile 5! There are others that use the track so I feel really safe there.

I jogged a nice 1.5 mile warm-up (like I will for my HM) and then I stretched and reset my watch.  I had to prepare my mind that I was going to be running for the next hour and a half at a pretty steady pace.  Right now my HM goal pace is 6:45 but this gives me a few seconds cushion to break 1:30.  According to McMillan, I should be able to crank out a 1:28:44.  McMillan is so close- within seconds on all my race distances and times (with the exception of my marathon) so I know I should be able to do it.

Miles 1-3 went by fairly easy. (6:53, 6:43, 6:44)
5K- 21:something
Miles 4-6 still felt fine. (6:41, 6:40, 6:45)
10K- 41:46
Miles 7-10 I struggled during these miles.  My stomach didn’t feel so well and I let myself think about stopping (briefly). But I had already invested myself into half of the workout so I was not about to stop and do it over again on another day.  It was now or never. (6:49, 6:52, 6:49, 6:55)
Mile 10- 1:07:58 (I just like knowing my 10 mile time so I know what I’ll need for the last 5K.)
Miles 11-13 went by a little easier because I knew I was almost done. (6:49, 6:48, 6:44)

13.1 miles in 1:28:58 (6:48 avg.)

Then I did a short half mile cool-down before heading home.

My new {unofficial} half marathon PR happy smile!

I got home just in time to fix Anna’s hair and put Abi and Anthony’s lunches in their backpacks. Then John took them on his way to work.  Fortunately, Ashton cooperated and let me take an ice bath. 

Post “Race” Thoughts:
My legs are tired.  I will be taking tomorrow completely off and then the rest of the week will be easy runs.  The outside of my left ankle is a little sore from all the turns.  I probably should have switched track directions halfway through the workout but I just didn’t want to mess with my momentum.  I tried to stay in the outside lanes so that I would run less laps around the track but it was still 50+ laps around the track if you count my warm-up and cool-down and 13.1.  And can I say that many laps around the track is VERY BORING!! There’s only so many times you can look at the bleachers or the lines on the track. But I accomplished what I set out to do today so I feel good about that.  I know I can run a sub 1:30 HM now- it will just be a matter of pushing myself to do it on race day. 

Once again McMillan predicted another right-on time for me.  Now if I could just get my marathon time to match his- 3:06!! It seems so fast to me but I know I need to believe in myself and make myself follow through.  I had to talk myself through miles 7-10 today when I felt like I couldn’t do it.  I just kept telling myself that I could do it physically- it was just a matter of making myself follow through and run it.

Do you find McMillan’s times accurate for you?

Have you ever timed yourself in your own race?

How do you talk yourself through the “hard” miles?

17 thoughts on “An Unoffical Track Half Marathon- aka A LOT OF LAPS!!

  1. Way to go! That’s such an accomplishment! This post is so timely for me…it’s almost weird. My schedule calls for a 15k this week and since I’m not racing that distance I want to do a pace run for 9 miles. Like you, I’m shooting for a McMillan time I’m not sure I can pull off. My choices are either to get up super duper early and hit the nearby track while it’s still dark out (6 times around for a mile!) or do it on the treadmill. Both will be VERY BORING. Ugh. Thanks for pointing out that it’s a good mental exercise.

    1. You can do it Carissa! I think pace runs are SO helpful in preparing for race distances. I will have to check back on your blog to see what you decide to do and how it goes. Good luck! 🙂

  2. I am still in awe of this performance. I continued to think that running is almost more mental than physical. I think our bodies are capable of more than we believe at times, but for you, you know you can do it!!! How exciting!

    1. Thanks Kortni. Yes, this was way more mental for me. I needed to actually run this time so my body will not have an excuse on race day. Or at least I hope it won’t.

  3. Honestly I’m not great at talking myself through the hard bits any more. And sometimes I even walk. But that can be my guilty little secret.

    If you can do a half marathon on a track you can do that 3:06 marathon. You’re obviously mentally tough enough.

    1. Thanks Char! It’s been 2 days now and my poor ankles are still not fully recovered from all those turns. I will probably think twice before my next HM on a track!

  4. WOW! I’m not sure which I’m more impressed and inspired by : your mental or physical stamina.
    I will definitely by channeling this workout, next time I want to quit one. (which is way too often, lately)
    Congratulations on such an awesome step in an already successful training cycle, Tia!

  5. Your WORKOUT half is faster than my PR! Awesome!
    McMillan is off for me because I am very bad at short distances and speed. My 5k PR per McMIllan should be 19:07, a good 45 seconds faster than my 5k! But since you excel at all distances it ought to be spot on for you.

  6. Amazing, Tia! As others said, I don’t know if I’m more impressed by your mental strength or physical strength… that is an incredible half pace, especially on your own and around a track! I’m feeling inspired to keep working hard. 🙂 Can’t wait to see how the rest of this racing series goes for you!
    Oh- and about McMillan, my paces seem to get slower for each longer distance, so I’m assuming I have slightly more speed than endurance… but I’m working to get my endurance up there to match his predicted times!

  7. Great run Tia! I think this put you in such a good place for a great race! McMillan is mostly accurate for me except for my marathon time. I should be running between 2:5x-3:06 based on my 5K and HM but my PR is 3:14:XX. You seem to be ballanced at all distances though. Love to see your hard work pay off. Good luck!

  8. Wow! This one takes a lot of heart and a lot of mind strength. Way to go. I just read about your 5k as well. So awesome that it was a family thing. You inspire me so much to get my times down and to push myself harder.

  9. Ok, not only are you physically tough, but you are mentally a giant! Wowzers–that’s seriously hardcore on the brain. I am impressed.

    I do think McMillan is good and hopefully you are going to see a big ‘ole PR at NYC!

  10. Wow, what a mental feat! You’ve got the sub 1:30 in the bag- especially in race conditions, you’ll be even faster. And I also think you have the 3:06 nailed too – I need to go recheck McMillan, I didn’t pay too much attention last time I checked, probably becasue I wanted it to predict a 2:59:59 marathon for me and it didn’t 😉
    Great run!!!

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