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.
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.
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):
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