5 Goals for My Half Marathon This Weekend

(I just want to say THANK YOU so much to everyone asking about my biopsy test results. I called the doctor’s office first thing yesterday morning but they weren’t in yet. The wait continues.)

Last night’s speedwork kicked my butt. Literally.

Speedwork + dark outside + rain = Kristina falling down.

Unfortunately I won’t be able to get any medical marijuana to help alleviate the pain because Florida failed to pass the amendment. I have a lot of thoughts about this, but I’ll save that for another day!

Today I want to talk about my goals for the Fort Lauderdale half this coming weekend!

Hey taxi, get out of the way, I’m racing here on Sunday!

As you probably guessed from me mentioning speedwork, I am NOT tapering for this race. I’m treating it as my normal weekly long run. However, a race is a race and I have some goals!

1. Aim for consistent splits + negative split.

Ever since I wrote about being really bad when it comes to running consistent splits I’ve really been working on it. Over the weekend I was really proud to see most of my splits were pretty on point, and of course I was really happy to have negative split the run too.

One of my goals for the Fort Lauderdale half will be to run consistent splits and to negative split if everything is feeling good!

2. Enjoy every minute. 

Since I’m mostly running in the dark these days, I’ll appreciate the views on Sunday!

If my splits turn out to be all over the place and I go out too fast and can’t negative split, I’m not going to worry too much about it.

This is the first of five possible half marathons I can run within the next few months. I have plenty of opportunities to work on executing a great race – which was the whole point of signing up for three (of five) potential races before February.

This race I am going in pressure free and ready to enjoy every minute!

3. Practice mental clarity (and physical toughness*). 

While I thoroughly plan to enjoy every minute, I do still want to use this half marathon as an opportunity to work on my mental clarity and toughness.

During the marathon I remember feeling like my mind was in a total blur from the very beginning. I think at first I was just so excited about the whole thing I couldn’t concentrate, and at the end I was in hurting too much to concentrate.

This race I want to practice focusing my mind and being in the moment!

*AND if I end up deciding around the halfway point that I want to shoot for a specific time I want to practice physical toughness.

I think my mind is pretty strong in that it will always tell me I can get to the finish line, but as soon as my body starts aching a little bit I turn into a big baby and give myself the freedom to slow down/walk more. I want to stop doing that!

4. Earn a course and half marathon PR.


I mentioned the other day that I’m almost guaranteed a PR since my easy pace is a lot faster than it was last year. I hope I am not jinxing myself by saying that!

Based on my 10-miler over the weekend I think I am more than prepared to hit 2:59 on Sunday. That would not only earn me a PR and a time that I really want, but would also be a HUGE PR over last year. It would also mark my first time running a half marathon in under three hours.

To hit 2:59 I just need to average a 13:45 pace; during my 10-miler over the weekend I averaged 13:44 and felt great.

I’m not tapering this week as this half is not technically my goal half, it’s one I designated to run just for fun. But even without super fresh legs I think I’ll get it or come close.

5. Prepare myself to go for the gold in January.

I want to run a 2:45 half marathon. I don’t think that’s totally realistic for January but my “gold” will be getting as close to that as possible.

Baby steps.

Next year I hope these goals seem like distance memories and I’m working on even bigger and better things!

How do you set expectations for races that are not your “goal race”? Do you still feel pressure on race day?



  1. November 5, 2014 / 5:40 am

    I really hope you’ll hear something from your doctor soon, the waiting must be so stressful..

    Florida looks like such a lovely place to live, I’m so jealous of all the palms and awesome beaches you’ve got there! 🙂 Can’t say it enough haha 😀 And you’re also so lucky to have so many half marathons all the time!

    I’ll be cheering for you on Sunday! 😀 I KNOW you’ll set a new PR, and considering how awesome you run now just while training I’m pretty sure that sub-3-hour race will be in the bag too! 😀

  2. November 5, 2014 / 6:24 am

    Ahh waiting is so frustrating – fingers crossed for you Kristina!
    Pacing is difficult – I either start out too fast or am overly cautious and start too slow – I think the best thing is not to overthink it. I did manage a pretty good negative split yesterday though despite the run being really mentally tough – I just kept speeding up because I just wanted to finish!

    • November 6, 2014 / 8:25 am

      Congrats on the negative split and pushing through a tough run!! I think getting the pacing right is really something we have to work on before it becomes natural. I read so many blogs of people who have been running for years and they all run really nice splits so hopefully with a little work it will come with time for both of us!

  3. November 5, 2014 / 7:47 am

    Good luck on both the half and getting your results in. Hopefully everything goes well.

  4. November 5, 2014 / 8:10 am

    Those are excellent race goals and I know you are going to succeed! I will be thinking about you this weekend.

    Why the hell did FL not pass it??? Was this for the VOTERS to decide? I am pissed. I can’t wait to hear more about it when you write about it.

    Unfortunately, it wasn’t even on our ballot. And my state rep for my township (who is against the med mar bill) didn’t even have an opponent. So I did a write in vote… for myself. I was going to write in Christmas’s name but I didn’t know if I would get in trouble for that…

    • November 5, 2014 / 8:27 am

      It was up for vote! It needed a 60% majority to pass and it received 58%! I don’t know how anyone could have voted against it given the way it was written on the ballot.

      From our newspaper:

      Original polls showed an 80%+ approval for the amendment …

      “But on May 29, Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, the 15th richest man in the world according to Forbes, had poured $2.5 million into a political action committee called Drug Free Florida. The PAC had been hastily assembled in March with $100,000 in seed money from Mel Sembler, the founder of Drug Free America. The new committee was co-chaired by Carlton Turner, a former drug czar under Ronald Reagan who once declared that smoking marijuana turns straight people gay.”

      Turner sounds like a standup guy.

      • November 6, 2014 / 5:48 pm

        Omg. That is SICKENING. This is going to sound bad, but some day all those IDIOTS are going to die off. It is true.

  5. November 5, 2014 / 8:15 am

    A race is a race, you said it yourself. For me when I run races that I am not wanting to race, I always end up racing them anyway!! Darn starting line excitement, hopes, wants, what ifs….they all get to me before the race and everything changes!!! The hardest thing is to remember this is NOT your goal race. So, if by chance things don’t go as planned, you can make note of what happened and move on. You can then apply that to your actual goal race planning and be more successful in the future.
    But you are going to rock it anyway so I really wouldn’t worry too much!!!

    • November 6, 2014 / 8:27 am

      I agree! With all the other runners around and the crowd cheering it’s so hard to not go out too fast, and once you do it’s hard to reign it back in during those early miles when you feel so good!!

  6. November 5, 2014 / 8:15 am

    If I want to PR = all the pressure
    If I know I won’t PR = no cares given.

    I so wish I was in sunny Ft. Lauderdale right now!! I have a ton of family down there, so incredibly jealous!

    • November 6, 2014 / 8:28 am

      Come visit again soon! When you were in Miami for the wedding you were here for too short a time. We need to meet up so that I can make you cook for me …. I mean so that we can hang out! In my kitchen. 😀

  7. November 5, 2014 / 8:46 am

    I always like to set a few goals, and I actually have found that i do the best in the races that I put less pressure on myself! Your plan sounds great!

    • November 6, 2014 / 8:29 am

      I’ve noticed that seems to be the case for everyone! Of course just thinking “I WILL go in pressure free” puts some pressure on! hahaha

  8. November 5, 2014 / 8:46 am

    Yikes done follow my less with the falling, that is no bueno. Consistent solid is huge, being able to develop that will really help you in races. Add in the mental toughness and you will be dominating races. I am rooting for the sub the hour half this weekend, I know you can do it. It’s very cool you set your January goal at 2:45, aggressive but totally reachable, you can do it!!!!

    Expectations for non goal races is easy for me, I run with Mrs. Schlub and just enjoying running side by side with her :).

    • November 6, 2014 / 8:32 am

      I figured if I just do everything you do I’ll become a stronger runner, falling and everything included! 🙂

      I love that you can run easy with the Mrs. If I want to take it easy chasing Adam around is definitely not the way to go. He’s too speedy!

  9. November 5, 2014 / 10:14 am

    On non-pressure races I run with a friend and chat faster than we run, or run with my girls (soon, those will be the hard races, and I will need to try and keep up with them. Next year, Delaney’s cross country races will be 5k’s. I am preparing to get my butt kicked!–and she is really looking forward to beating me!)
    You will do great this weekend–I will be thinking of you! YOU CAN DO HARD THINGS!!! Embrace the pain!

    • November 6, 2014 / 12:20 pm

      I wish I had a friend that I could chat with during a race! That sounds like a great way to keep the pace comfortable and have a great time.

      Delaney will push you to run those 5Ks even faster!

  10. November 5, 2014 / 11:32 am

    I think you are gong to surprise yourself when you go into a half to really race it and see a huge drop in your time. Just the fact that now your easy run feels so much easier than the pace that used to be hard for you is incredible.
    Still hoping that you get only good news on the biopsy!!!

    • November 6, 2014 / 12:21 pm

      Thank you Kim!

      A part of me feels sure I’ll get 2:59 this weekend, but another part of me will be super surprised if it happens because I’m just so used to being extra slow!

  11. November 5, 2014 / 1:14 pm

    Great goals. I think going into it without pressure is so important. I also really like your strategy of working on mental toughness. Those are both things I need to work on too!

    • November 6, 2014 / 12:22 pm

      Thanks Jenn! I’ve been reading about so many people PRing by just running pressure free. I really hope when I get to the starting line I can think of this as “just another training run!”

  12. November 5, 2014 / 5:58 pm

    Love number 2 most of all!! Enjoy it Kristina, have a ball, oh, and at the same time you’ll get your new pr, woop-woop, go for it!!! Oh no, that sucks you’re still waiting to hear. Thinking of you. Hope your results are back soon.

    • November 6, 2014 / 12:23 pm

      Thank you, Lou!!! And thank you for your email, I haven’t had a chance to read the article yet, but I am so excited you sent me the link! Scott Jurek #1 lol!

  13. November 5, 2014 / 7:30 pm

    I think these are reasonable goals and very attainable. I’ll be interested to hear your thoughts after the race about not tapering and treating it like another normal training week/run. You might surprise yourself, as you never know how the pieces will fall together on race day.

    You can come to Oregon and buy some marijuana, since the majority voted yes to legalize it. I have many thoughts about this too.

    • November 6, 2014 / 12:32 pm

      I think these are probably the most reasonable goals I have ever set myself besides “just finish”!

      I heard that Oregon and DC both legalized marijuana on Tuesday. I am surprised that Florida was the only one that didn’t! One of the main concerns expressed by folks down here was that the law seemed too loose and they were worried we would end up with a dispensary on every street corner. Also we had some false advertising that eventually got pulled for being blatantly false, that said the new law would allow for children to receive marijuana from doctors without parental consent.

  14. November 5, 2014 / 7:42 pm

    I think these are seriously great goals. I love the idea of wanting to enjoy it but leaving yourself the option to push it if you start feeling really strong! I know you’re going to have such great race and I cannot wait to hear how it goes!

    • November 6, 2014 / 12:25 pm

      Thank you Ali!

      I really hope I can avoid “going out too fast” syndrome so I can execute the plan!

  15. November 5, 2014 / 9:35 pm

    I still feel pressure but mainly because I have expectations for my performance for each race. 5Ks are becoming less of a big deal to me but for the half I definitely want to see improvement over my race in August. I plan to build up to a solid steady pace and maintain that…reel it in a little if I need to towards the end…and then push out a strong finish. hopefully we both meet our goals!

    • November 6, 2014 / 12:26 pm

      Me too, LeAnne! This is the first race I have ever gone into pressure free!

      5Ks stress me out the worst. I was planning to add a few of them into my race schedule this fall but instead I think I’ll just add one or two. They are so intimidating! I’ll take a half marathon over a 5K any day! 🙂

  16. November 6, 2014 / 3:45 am

    Eeks I hate when I get the answering machine to a doctors office. I hope they returned your call.

    Good luck good luck!! Hope you have a great race this weekend.

    • November 6, 2014 / 12:27 pm

      I was able to speak with the receptionist but she said the results weren’t in yet and that they would call when they are in. It seems odd to me that it’s now Thursday and they aren’t in yet though! Hmmmm! I got that feeling I was bugging her by calling, but I am going to need to call again soon!

  17. November 6, 2014 / 11:08 am

    I hope you get good news soon!

    I think you’re going to have a great race. Sometimes when you take the pressure off and run for fun you can really surprise yourself, especially with the less tangible goals like being in the moment and staying tough. Have you ever tried meditation? Some of those techniques can be helpful for staying in the moment on a run.

    • November 6, 2014 / 12:28 pm

      I have never tried meditation – on the run or otherwise! I will have to look up some information about that and give it a try during my next run. I think staying present in the moment could really help. During training runs I’m usually pretty focused but on race day my mind always feel so cloudy! Like I’m in a daze for the first few miles!

  18. November 6, 2014 / 2:31 pm

    I hope you hear something soon, waiting stinks! I think you can reach that sub 3 for sure! and you can meet that Jan. goal 🙂 You just have to start working on a few miles at a time! Knowing you have 5 events to run is awesome! I would probably do just what you are doing. Treat some as part of my regular week and really train for a few to speed up 🙂

    • November 6, 2014 / 4:55 pm

      That’s the plan! 🙂 I’m excited about all of these racing opportunities!!!

      You got it! My speedwork earlier this week (aside from busting ass) went really well!

  19. Susan
    November 11, 2014 / 12:14 pm

    Hoping you hear something very soon. I have been there a few times and it’s stressful and scary.
    Love your goals for your race. I am somewhat new to your blog but I was wondering do you do a straight run or running with some walking breaks built in?

    • November 11, 2014 / 3:42 pm

      Hi Susan! On some shorter runs I will run straight through but on longer runs I do 2 min run / 1 min walk intervals!