Goals for the Buffalo Half Marathon

By Janelle @ Run With No Regrets | training

May 25

Disclaimer:  I received a free entry to the Buffalo Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

The big race is almost here.  As you can imagine, I’m full of so many emotions as I prepare to make my way to my hometown and run the Buffalo Half Marathon – my 12th half marathon!  I’ve been coy with you all for quite some time, but now I will finally reveal my goals for the race!

It's finally here! Check out my goals for the @buffalomarathon half marathon! #bibchat #runchat Click To Tweet

I'm so excited to be running the Buffalo Half Marathon for the first time! Check out my goals for the race!

Goals for the Buffalo Half Marathon

When I run races in the spring, I like to set my sight on 2 goal races.  The first goal race was the Love Run Half Marathon in late March where I hoped to reach my 2017 goal of a sub-2:15 half marathon.  Since that race exceeded my expectations with a 2:11:08, I revised my goals for Buffalo and now I’m shooting for a 2:10 finish.  This would potentially replace my 2:10:53 PR from my very first half marathon in 2011!

However, I hate putting pressure on myself so I have some other goals that are a lot less scary:

  • Soak up the hometown experience aka Buffalove.
  • Stay in control of my pace – no crash and burn!
  • No GI issues – smart fueling and hydration before and during the race!

Logistics

The road trip to Buffalo begins on Friday.  Hopefully, we don’t deal with too much holiday traffic!  The race expo is on Saturday with the half marathon and full marathon on Sunday.  I plan to have a short run sometime on Friday and show Bret the sights…he’s been to Buffalo once, but that was a few years ago.  I rarely visit the city myself so I look forward to doing some exploring!  One thing we MUST do is drive the half marathon course – it really adds to my peace of mind!

I also look forward to meeting the other BibRave Pros that will be running the race!  I’m still deciding whether Bret and I should do the race-sponsored Pasta Party for dinner on Saturday night.  I’m a little nervous about eating the wrong thing so I definitely want to play it safe!  Of course, I will also spend lots of time with my family and enjoy some Memorial Day BBQ on Sunday after the race!

Are there any Buffalonians/Western New Yorkers out there?  If you’ll be at the race, let me know because I’d love to see you!!

Racing Strategy

Coach Laura has trained me for this race and has really put me to work, especially after the outcome of the Love Run Half Marathon.  It’s been exciting and scary to continue to push myself each week.  Here’s what the plan is for the race:

  • First 5K:  The race begins with a gradual uphill. Start a comfortable, controlled effort – avoid the temptation to start out too fast. Try to start no faster than a 10:15/mile. Mile 2 and 3 are flat downhill, so use that downhill to gently accelerate into goal pace (9:55-10:10/mile).
  • Middle Miles (4-8):  Aim to stick at a 9:55-10:05/mile here – focus on running at a steady pace and conserving energy for the final 3-5 miles. You have a downhill portion here, so use it to stick to pace while saving energy – it’s okay if your pace picks up into the 9:40s, but don’t’ take the downhills too hard – conserve your energy and legs for the miles to come.
  • Miles 8-10: The course flattens out at this point – use the momentum from the downhill to keep going strong. If feeling good, try to pick up the pace a bit – keep it 9:50-9:55/mile if possible. Take it one mile at a time.
  • Miles 10-12: Increase your effort even more – whether this means maintaining pace or picking it up even more. Reiterate to yourself that you are capable throughout these miles. Acknowledge any discomfort and then direct your thoughts to how good it will feel run that 2:10.
  • Mile 13 – finish: Dig deep and give it your best. Try to increase your pace with each 1/10 of a mile until the finish.
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Can I reach a PR?  Can I do even better than 2:10?  It would be a dream come true if it happens, and it’s finally within reach – I really believe this is possible!  But again, don’t quote me on that LOL.

Fueling and Hydration

For this race, I’ll be fueling with my Honey Stinger Chews as usual, but I will have a new addition to my hydration plan.  On my 12-mile run a couple of weeks ago, I tested out the Vitalyte Natural Electrolyte Powder (affiliate link) that was in my Stridebox and it worked really well, so much that I’ve decided to make it a routine!  One packet of the powder will go in my 20-ounce water bottle (Orange Mud Hydraquiver) so that I have the electrolytes I need with every sip.

I’ve been stalking the weather all week as you can imagine, and as of Thursday morning, it appears that we may stay dry for the Buffalo Half Marathon.  Scattered showers are forecast throughout the day, but since the race starts at 6:30 am, I’m hoping that I’m finished before the rain really picks up!  Either way, I’ll be prepared for whatever the day brings!

I’m so excited for this race – this is the big one.  I am staying positive, focused on the work ahead, and just grateful to be where am today.  I appreciate everyone’s support and well wishes – I hope to come back with some good news!

What are your Memorial Day Weekend plans?  Any races coming up in June?

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