This Sunday, I’ll run my 8th half marathon, the Hotlanta Half Marathon. This will be my first time running this particular race, though the course is similar to other races I’ve done here in Atlanta.
I’ve mentioned many times that this is not a “goal race” per say, but I think it’s helpful to reflect on what I want to get out of a race. Some races are just about fun, some about time, and some about strategy. I think every race gives us lessons if we reflect on them after the post-race high has died down.
When sitting down to think about my goals for this race, I was haunted by my goal half marathon last summer, Rock n Roll Chicago. I went into the race thinking I could potentially pull off a huge PR. The weekend in Chicago turned out to be the hottest of the summer and much warmer than I had trained for in Atlanta. I did not adjust my expectations, did not adjust my strategy based on how I was feeling in the first mile, and completely crashed and burned. To date, it was the hardest race I’ve finished. However, I had many lessons coming out of that race, and applied them to my next half marathon just two months later. I ran that race, the Diva’s Half Marathon, virtually Garminless and unexpectedly PRd!
One impact I think that race had on my running is my desire to be extremely conservative at the beginning of a race. I recognized this after my unexpected 10k PR back in April. I realized that every race since Chicago has started way more conservatively than necessary in an effort to not crash and burn. This is an area that I want to actively work on, and I really want to race the Richmond Marathon in November and see what I can do. I don’t want to look back on the race and feel like I could have shaved significant time off of the first few miles.
This weekend, it doesn’t seem that the weather will be favorable for a stellar time. The highs will be in the upper 90s, with the lows only dipping into the mid 70s. Additionally, there is not projected to be any cloud cover. The weather combined with the ridiulously hilly course will make for a brutal race. However, this doesn’t mean I’m throwing in the towel before I even get to the start line. I mean, I did willingly sign up for a race called the HOTlanta Half! In a way, I feel like this race is a “do-over” of that awful race last year. I have grown so much in my mental game over the past year, and it’s awesome to see how differently I’m approaching this race with nearly identical conditions.
My goal for this race is simple: run the best race I possibly can based on these conditions. This race will be about testing my ability to run by feel and overcome mental barriers to success. It will also be about smart strategy on the hills and in the heat. I will be covering my Garmin again for this race, which is a little terrifying but exciting!
The business manager in me immediately goes to the question: “how will I measure my success?”. This race will be successful if I can overcome the voice in my head that says “I can’t”. Success means that no matter what happens, I have lessons to draw on going into marathon training.Goal for the Hotlanta Half Marathon: run the best race I can. Click To Tweet
I have no idea what time I will pull out on Sunday. My mileage this training cycle has been low and my training somewhat inconsistent. After many back to back training cycles, this little break is exactly what I needed. I’m going into marathon training with no aches and pains, and I honestly don’t know if I’ve ever felt this good before. I really do love running courses through Atlanta, so I’m really excited to enjoy the city on Sunday, no matter what the race holds! Atlanta is all about heat, hills, and humidity…and I say BRING IT ON!!
What’s the hottest race you’ve ever run? How do you adjust your goals based on the weather? Have you ever raced “Garminless”?