Baltimore Half Marathon Race Plan

Yesterday shaped up to be a really good day.  I took my new shoes for a run on the treadmill last night and it went so well!  Suze and I had a gym date and it was exactly what I needed to get over Saturday’s absolutely terrible-awful-no good-bad run. I’ve been straight up terrified to run for the last few days even though I knew I needed to get back out there.  But last night I finally braved it and faced my enemy, the treadmill, and had a great run.  I went for just over 3 miles and my legs felt amazing the whole time.  I used a walk-run strategy because the shoes were new and I haven’t run all week but I really just felt so good.  I wish I could have run the Baltimore Half last night!


My plan for the Baltimore Half is completely different than my plan for Virginia Beach.  Probably because I actually have a plan for Baltimore that isn’t “start the race, finish 13.1 miles later”.

Since the elevation at Baltimore is kind of like hell challenging, I’m planning a run-walk system.  I think the first mile will be fueled by adrenaline, even with that stupid hill right at the start. But from mile 2 on I’ll be on a 4 minutes run:1 minute walk schedule.  I definitely plan to adjust as necessary to make sure that I’m taking the 1 minute walk breaks only during uphills but I think knowing that there’s a reprieve from the hills coming will be big for me.  I actually used this system for my first 10K, the Rockville 10K which is also very hilly, and that race is still my PR – which I find amazing since I’d never run more than 3.1 miles before that race!

My other big plan for Baltimore is that I won’t be obsessing over my Garmin.  I’m setting it to display the interval timer only.  That’s it.  No time, no pace, nothing that is going to cause me to freak the heck out during mile 6 when I’m running up hill for a mile.  Unlike Virginia Beach, Baltimore doesn’t have a time clock at every mile.  They’re at mile 1, 5, 10, 13, 15, 20, 25 of the full marathon – which means I’ll only see them at miles 7 and 12 of the half.  I’m pretty sure this is going to be good for me.  After Saturday’s freak out and my obsessive math during my 5K a few weeks ago, I think some racing without constant time awareness will be good for me.  If it turns out I really hate it, I can always switch the Garmin display but I really hope I don’t. 

I’m not going to set a finish time goal even though I have a few ideas in my mind of how I’d like it to end up.  I’d rather just run a race that feels better than Virginia Beach – which shouldn’t be hard since it won’t be a million degrees (though it will be far warmer than I’d like.  Apparently it will be 61 at 9:00 and 67 by the time I’m done running. Where is fall?!).

How do you feel about racing without a Garmin?

11 Responses to Baltimore Half Marathon Race Plan
  1. Victoria (District Chocoholic)
    October 13, 2011 | 12:26 pm

    1. I missed waving to you guys at the track last night. It was soggy but uncrowded.

    2. I raced my recent half with a HR monitor only – no GPS/pace function, just time and HR – so that I didn’t freak about pace but could monitor my level of effort at the beginning to hold back. I could also check the time at a couple of mile markers if I REALLY wanted to, but no biggie if I didn’t. Worth considering, I think.
    Victoria (District Chocoholic) recently posted..Teuscher: Orange and Apricot MarzipansMy Profile

    • Carly D. @ CarlyBananas
      October 13, 2011 | 3:09 pm

      I was thinking about having the HR show on the screen too. Mine is so out of whack (and very high a lot of the time) I’m not sure if it would help. Everything between 160 and under 190 feels almost the same to me.

  2. Sarah
    October 13, 2011 | 12:37 pm

    Good luck this weekend and I can’t wait to meet you!

    I think the Garmin sometimes ruins my runs because I look at it took much. I just ran without it last weekend and had a really nice relaxed race.
    Sarah recently posted..Baltimore Half GoalsMy Profile

  3. katie
    October 13, 2011 | 12:54 pm

    Tons of luck this weekend! I go back and forth with looking at the watch. It seems like no matter what I do, it backfires on me. :\
    katie recently posted..three things thursdayMy Profile

    • Carly D. @ CarlyBananas
      October 13, 2011 | 3:13 pm

      Yea, I’m hoping this turns into one of my smarter idea. It has the potential for epic backfiring.

  4. Allison
    October 13, 2011 | 1:39 pm

    Good luck this weekend! I know from experience that those hills are no fun, but it sounds like you have a great stategy for tackling them.
    Allison recently posted..Army Ten Miler Race ReportMy Profile

    • Carly D. @ CarlyBananas
      October 13, 2011 | 3:11 pm

      I started making this ridiculous list of incline/decline for every half mile of the race and then I realized I was being kind of crazy face. I think I’m good with just knowing the gist of them haha.

  5. Liz
    October 13, 2011 | 2:40 pm

    I think racing without the Garmin now and then, especially on a hilly course, is a great plan. You’ll be able to enjoy the spectators and the race much more.
    Liz recently posted..How to get over a bad raceMy Profile

    • Carly D. @ CarlyBananas
      October 13, 2011 | 3:12 pm

      Thanks Liz. I’m really excited to see how it works out. It’s a really turny course and I think it will be nice to not stress about the extra distance too.

  6. sugarmagnolia70
    October 13, 2011 | 6:19 pm

    First of all, good luck!

    Secondly, I always run with my Garmin since I bought it in December. My races before I got it, obviously I didn’t use it. That being said, at Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego in June, it died—I hadn’t charged it enough. I had NO idea of time, and ended up PRing. Felt good to run by feel.

  7. Marianne
    October 13, 2011 | 11:29 pm

    I think this is an awesome plan, Carly! Get out there and have some fun!
    Marianne recently posted..WholeMy Profile

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