I picked up my packet for the half marathon on Sunday- great goodie bag as expected, but zero expo aside from a rack of Brooks shoes. This race is going to be interesting because it is supposed to be just a training run with support, and my A race is the Austin Half Marathon in four weeks. But I keep hearing about how 3M is so great for PRs because it's a downhill course, and to plan on going 30 seconds faster per mile, easy. So should I try to go fast on this course, just to see what I can do? And it's so weird to actually try to go fast. Though really in my case it is to try to go less slow. My goal for running has always been just to participate and finish. That it doesn't matter my time as long as I'm out there doing it. If I now start to believe that I can finish, and that time is important, and that I want to improve my time, then I have to take into account the fact that I am SLOW. If time matters, then I'm way down at the bottom of the barrel. And that kind of sucks.
So I was playing with the marathon calulator here and if I do go 30 seconds faster than my last half marathon in November, then my time would be 3:30. Though, I can also improve my time from November by not taking two bathroom breaks during the race, and by not getting stuck behind a gazillion walkers. My A goal for the Austin Half is to go 3:15, which would be a 14:53 pace. To break 3 hours, I would have to go 13:44 per mile. And that just seems impossible for me. And yet I want to do it, I have to get faster if I want to accomplish the goals I've set out. But it's hard to imagine putting forth more effort to run than I already do. And that makes me depressed.
However, I can tell I've made some progress with the hill and track workouts, but that's hard to judge when I'm still so far behind everyone else. So maybe this race will be a good marker- to see how I've improved from November, and then also, with another month of training, to see what I can do at the Austin Half.