Half Marathon PR Quest – Week 6

Half Marathon PR Quest Oh man, this big scary PR goal is creeping up on me awful fast! You want to know my big fear? I’m afraid of failing spectacularly not once, but twice. See, I’m signed up for the Brooklyn Half for May 17. I’m also running my goal race, the Covered Bridges Half Marathon, in Vermont on June 1. I need to discuss with my coach pretty soon whether I want to go for the 1:45 goal in Brooklyn, or Vermont. Here are the scenarios (can you tell I’ve been thinking about this A LOT?):

1. I treat Brooklyn as my last long run before tapering for the Vermont Covered Bridges Half. This means all my eggs are in the VT basket, so the pressure will be ON for June.

2. I go for the PR goal in Brooklyn. If I nail it, AMAZING. If I don’t, I’ve kind of shot myself in the foot, since it would be difficult to recover from an all-out effort only two weeks before the next half marathon.

I’m going to check in with my coach this week, so I’ll let you know next week what the big plan will be – stay tuned!

In the meantime, here’s how my current week of training shaped up:

Monday: Strength training. Keeping those hips strong and flexible! 🙂

Tuesday: Off

Wednesday: Lactate Threshold run, just under an hour. 15 minute warm up, 10 minutes at 4 mile race pace, 2 minute recovery, repeat of that interval, then a 15 minute cool down. This was less horrendous than I would have guessed, but I definitely didn’t feel fresh as a daisy during the cool down. If I hadn’t planned it so I was exactly a 15 minute run from home, I probably would have cut it a little short.

Thursday: Off

Half Marathon PR Quest

Friday: This was supposed to be an easy, short recovery run, but I switched and did my long run instead. 90 minutes, with the last 15 minutes at a medium/hard effort. I was so happy with how this went and how I felt – I didn’t have one split slower than 8:50 and I was super happy with my splits for the last 15 minutes. I tried out Clif Shot Bloks on this run – margarita flavor. They were super salty – I think I would have had a real problem with it if they hadn’t named them margarita. I’ll try them again on a longer run, to make sure they don’t upset my stomach.

(Oh, P.S. I told my coach I’d done the long run after I changed it up and did it, only because I realized so late that we were heading to Philly and I’d probably not want to get my long mileage done while we were visiting friends).

Saturday: 40 minute easy run in Philadelphia, on a gorgeous trail by the water in Mt. Airie. So lovely.

Sunday: I was planning on a 40 minute easy run in Brooklyn when we got home from our road trip, but it didn’t happen.

Half Marathon PR Quest

Miles for the week: 22

 What would you do if you had two races close together? Go for the first one, or wait?

Half marathoners – do you fuel during the race? I’ve run them with and without fuel.


Don’t forget you can still donate to the amazing charity I’m running for:

David's House fundraising imageDavid’s House offers support & somewhere to stay for families of children receiving treatment at the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. It was founded by the family of David Cyr, a little boy who passed away at age 5, after battling cancer for 3 1/2 years. David lived close to the hospital. When he realized that other families couldn’t go home to sleep & shower & eat – that they had to sleep in chairs, in hospital rooms – he wanted his parents to invite them to come stay at his house. After his death, his family founded David’s House to realize his dream. Families can sleep, shower, relax, prepare meals & have one less thing to worry & think about while their little ones are being treated nearby. I’m proud to be running 13.1 miles for this charity.



  1. I kind of like option #2! Running in your own neighborhood might be beneficial because you’re familiar with it. I’m biased though because I love Brooklyn 🙂
    Heidi @ Idlehide recently posted…UpTate: 3 MonthsMy Profile

    • Carly Pizzani says:

      I know, and I do know a lot of the course really well. I have to say, though, both times I’ve raced the BK half I’ve loathed the last half, where you just run the long, flat stretch, watching the lettered avenues tick away.

  2. Chris Strong says:

    Races are for racing. You are going to kick yourself if you hold back in Brooklyn and realize halfway through that you have the legs for a PR. So much goes in to having a good performance on race day, only some of which you can control. If it’s forty degrees and raining, or eighty and humid, or if you just aren’t feeling it you can shut it down and jog to Coney Island, but don’t waste a chance to race!

    • Carly Pizzani says:

      That’s a good point, too, that you can’t control race day. I’m in your camp when it comes to races (except when I was preggo). I just really don’t want to miss the PR on BK & screw it up for the second race. We’ll see!

  3. I say use Brooklyn as a training run and go for it in Vermont! I did the Nike Women’s Half this weekend as a long training run for Brooklyn and ran the last 5K as a tempo run. I think that having done 13 (and then 15 this coming weekend) will give me more confidence to race Brooklyn because the distance won’t feel like such a big deal. I know I could never recover between half marathons in two weeks, but everyone is different. I guess there is something to be said for racing Brooklyn though, since it’s your home turf and you know the course well. I’m curious to see what your coach says!
    Gabby @ Marathons and Macarons recently posted…Weekend in Washington DCMy Profile

    • Carly Pizzani says:

      I’m yet to ask him about it, but I’ll keep you posted. I loved your Nike Half recap! It really looks like a fab race – maybe a road trip for me next year!

  4. I would go for the first one! If you’re halfway through and realize you won’t get your PR, you could always back off and save your legs for Vermont. Good luck! 🙂
    Karen recently posted…yurbuds and 16 milesMy Profile

    • Carly Pizzani says:

      You know, I never even thought about the option of backing off if I didn’t think I was going to make it in the first race! Good call, Karen.

  5. I would probably run the first race in hopes of the PR and then if it didn’t happen turn around and really push for the 2nd one. But, I don’t really follow conventional training programs and theories.
    Kim recently posted…Driving and Running, Business and Sleeping, Babies and BloggingMy Profile

    • Carly Pizzani says:

      Hee hee hee, I know you’re unconventional! I remember you sharing you don’t fuel during long runs, which blew my mind!! 😉