I am running a half marathon this Sunday (the Flower City Challenge). The race is held within the city limits of Rochester and is put on by the local Fleet Feet. I also ran this race last year, its inaugural year.
Last year I ran a 1:50. I was plagued with some "bathroom issues" midway through the race and I did a big ride the day before. The course is relatively flat except for one decent hill up Goodman St. (I have run this hill 100+ times since I lived in that neighborhood for 3 years) halfway through that brings you into a large cemetery that you then run though (sadly enough, this cemetery is actually an attraction of our city). (Check out the elevation profile). Seriously.. 100 ft elevation gain - that's it.
My current marathon PR is 1:41 from 2009. As is everyone else, I am always gunning for PRs. However, I am realistic and know that it's not always possible. Depending on where you are in a training cycle, the race may be better suited as a training run at tempo pace. Sometimes, you race either having run beforehand or knowing you have to add on miles afterwards. Sometimes, the weather sucks, or you have equipment failure, or you have an off day. Sometimes, it's just not possible to PR. Last year, it was not possible for me to PR. I was coming off a big bike ride and my legs weren't fresh. Add to that the fact that I barely made it into a porta-potty in time.. yeah.. not a PR day for me. And I didn't expect it to be.
But this year?
I am coming off a rest week last week. The week before that I ran 40 miles. 40 SOLID miles. I am practically tapering into this half-marathon with NO long ride on Saturday (seriously, how is that even possible). I am friends with the 1:40 pace leader.
I think I am gonna go for it!