I'm running Surf City on Sunday! Unlike the last two years though I'm not taking on the full distance.
I'm going to shoot for a sub-2 finish in the half marathon. I've run six half marathons and I've done a sub-2 in five of them, so this won't be new ground for me. But it will be for my fellow Loper, whom I hope to pace to what will be a huge accomplishment.
Here's my plan in a nutshell for our sub-2 finish:
Miles 1-3ish - I want to keep our pace as close to 9 as possible. I don't want to go under 9 because it might set us up for a crash-and-burn at the end.
Miles 3ish-6 - Gotta start getting in miles in the 8-min range. Can't have too many 9-min miles here. Our legs have to respond and start carrying us.
Miles 6-10 - Make or break. If we're not on target to get to Mile 10 in less than 1:30, then we have to pick it up.
Miles 10-12 - If we're at Mile 10 in under 1:30... it's in the bag. Three 10-min miles would get us there. However, we can't think that. We mustn't think that. If we're there, we have to use it as motivation to go stronger. If we're not at the magic marker, then we have to reach deep down inside and work harder than we've been working.
Miles 12-13.1 - This is it. Hold nothing back. We're going to be tired and all that but this is just one mile. At this point, we must tell ourselves "One mile is NOTHING!!!" In a matter of minutes, we'll cross the finish and be done, so we can't conserve anything. The last thing we want to do is to miss our goal after having let up a bit in the last mile. If we don't reach our goal but gave everything we had at the end, at least we'll feel better about it knowing that we came in with a full head of steam.
Hopefully that works on Sunday. It's worked for me before.