Who is Ted?

I'm the father of two beautiful daughters and an amazing wife. For fun, I enjoy the long hours of seemingly endless suffering that endurance sports (mostly running, cycling and triathlon)provide. During my "down time" I'm an avid beer snob and self-described gourmet chef (in other words I like to burn things on a stove or grill).

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Georgetown to Idaho Springs Half Marathon Race Plan

This Saturday, I will be "racing" the Georgetown to Idaho Springs Half Marathon.  While it's been nearly a year since I've done a half, it's been many, many years since I last did this race.  If I remember correctly, it was sometime before my oldest daughter was born, meaning it has been at least a dozen years.  My best estimate is that it was during the summer of '98 or '99. 
Since then, I've completed countless half-marathons as well as a few marathons and one 50 mile trail run, not to mention about a dozen triathlons of varying distances.  Still, I'm excited to do this race as it is one of only a few events on my calendar this year.  It has also become a bit of a family event.  My wife, a couple of Uncles and Aunts, as well as several friends are participating in the race.
Melisa at the 2012 Start
Developing a plan for how I would like to run this race has been a bit of a challenge.  Initially, I envisioned shooting for a PR, but after doing a little speed work during the last couple of weeks, I realize that is probably not realistic at this point.  A PR would be right around 1:39:59, which translates to 7:38/mile, too ambitious for me.  Instead, I'm going to shoot for a slightly slower pace around 8:00 to 8:20/ mile.  My goal will be something between 1:44:00 to 1:50:00 total time.  Given the course and my current level of conditioning, I think that this is realistic target.
Race Warm-up:  Normally for a longer race, I don't "warm-up" for the event.  Instead, I use the first mile or two to get comfortable and get my pace settled.  I'm going to adjust this for the race on Saturday.  I won't do a huge warm-up, but I do plan to do a bit of running beforehand just to get loosened up a bit.
The first couple of miles:   The first portion of the race is run  around Georgetown before it turns down towards Idaho Springs.  I'm going to start the race a bit slower than my expected "race pace."  This will give me a chance to settle in, and will also allow for the anticipated congestion that usually occurs at the beginning of a race.  Despite the mountain location, this is a very popular race in Colorado and given that the registration was a mere $15 this year, the race quickly sold out.  A peek at the results from a year ago indicates that there were at least 2000 runners, so I imagine this year will be no different.
The next section: This portion of the course is a slight downhill so it's a good time to maintain a steady pace.  I'm hoping to be slightly below 8:00 per mile on this portion to make up for any time I may have lost early on.  After that the course climbs a bit, but winds up on some dirt roads for the next portion (good news for me!). 
The rest of the race:  Most of the race is a gradual downhill with a few risers here and there.  I plan on running most of this section at a steady rate.  If I get close to the finish, and I'm feeling stronger, I'll pick it up a bit. 
Here's a breakdown of three possible race splits:
In year's past, there has been some pretty nice "swag" associated with this event including pint glasses.  The finish is on the local football field in Idaho Springs which means that there isn't a beer garden, but there are usually plenty of good things to eat and a few giveaways. 
Mostly downhill
As always, look for a race report sometime after the event. 


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