Rogue Run Half Marathon: Final Fitness Test

My training for next month’s Chicago Marathon has probably been the strangest buildup to any marathon for me.  I have been hard at work these last three months logging miles and completing workouts, but the lack of racing and modifications to my training regimen have made it difficult knowing exactly where I am fitness-wise.  Although I can point to a few workouts that would probably indicate that I am marathon-ready, they aren’t the kind of benchmark workouts I have done in the past where I could sit down and easily compare workout A to workout B.  Also missing was the direct feedback that I normally get from racing.  I couldn’t read too much into my 20k performance in New Haven because of the weather and I cancelled my trip to Philadelphia for last week’s Rock n’ Roll half marathon.

photo[1]

So here I was 3 weeks out from a marathon, and though I suspected my fitness to be in a good spot, I still couldn’t tell anyone with 100% certainty that I was ready.  Until yesterday, when I was able to defend my title at the Rogue Run half marathon by running my 2nd-fastest half marathon of my career (1:04:39), and a full 3-minutes faster than I ran at this same race in 2012.

To be honest, the performance was somewhat unexpected.  I had just come off a pretty high volume week of training (131 miles) and was aiming for marathon goal pace (something in the 66-minute range).  bilde

Unlike last year, however, I was up against some good competition and it was clear early in the race that a 66-minute effort was not going to be good enough to win.  After a 4:59 opening mile, I aborted my pre-race plan.  What followed was an amazingly consistent race (see splits below).  I was being closely followed up through 7 miles or so, but was able to slowly pull away over the final 10k.  At one point around mile 8, I thought about trying to go after a PR, but ultimately decided against it, figuring that it didn’t make sense to go to the well this close to my marathon.  After the race, David Laney (2nd place finisher) told reporters that I was “like a metronome”.  Music to a marathoner’s ears with just a few weeks of training to go.

Now I can say, with 20 days remaining, that I am ready for Chicago.  When I look at the consistent training that I have put together over the past year, it gives me the confidence that a fast time is possible under the right conditions.  There is no way that I would have been able to run a solo 64:39 half marathon 1 year ago.  I just wasn’t strong enough to be able to do that.  What a difference a year makes.  I’m heading to Chicago with great fitness and a ton of confidence.  For any runner, that’s a recipe for success.

Watch out Chicago, I’m coming for you!

Mile Splits Powered by Renee Gordon’s pink watch (because I left my Garmin in Eugene):

  • Mile 1 – 4:59
  • Mile 2 – 4:59
  • Mile 3 – 4:55
  • Mile 4 – 4:55
  • Mile 5 – 4:50
  • Mile 6 – 4:52
  • Mile 7 – 4:53
  • Mile 8 – 4:56
  • Mile 9 – 4:54
  • Mile 10 – 4:55
  • Mile 11 – 4:57
  • Mile 12 – 4:45
  • Mile 13 and .1 – 5:43

  • Trackback from your site.

    Comments (4)

    • Avatar

      Tony Mollica

      |

      Nice “training” HM Craig! Have a great race in Chicago!!

      Reply

    • Avatar

      Brad Leis

      |

      Nice job Craig! GOOD LUCK in Chicago!! Talked to your Mom and Dad last Sat. at the Van Wert Co. CC meet. SO good to see them again; they’re just SLIGHTLY proud of you, just in case you hadn’t noticed. Brad Leis – OGHS CC

      Reply

    • Avatar

      Frank Youngwerth

      |

      Really enjoy your blog, Craig. Kind of neat to hear what’s going on in your own words. Rooting for a great race in Chicago.

      Reply

    • Avatar

      b2b industry specialists

      |

      We’re an organization of volunteers opening up a brand new support scheme in our neighborhood.
      Your website supplied us important information to work with.
      You have accomplished a great job and helped our
      neighborhood out tremendously. We would all wish to thank your efforts and information on this
      subject-matter.

      Reply

    Leave a comment