In the past I’ve run two road half marathons, both downhill. One was the AF Canyon Half and the other was the Provo Halloween Half. My times were 2:08 and 2:25 respectively. Neither were really “awesome”, but the first one I’d never run 13 miles before, though I had done 10 mile long runs as part of 20 mile weeks for the previous 5 weeks. For the Provo run I was doing 6 mile long runs in 15 mile weeks, due to some injuries.
Also for the Provo run I was in recovery mode from the Aspen Backcountry Marathon in late August 2011 (with a 7:30 finish), after which I promised I would never run again (above picture was my medal at the end of Aspen). That lasted about 6 weeks and then I slowly got back into it, with some nagging IT Band issues. That was pretty frustrating, to say the least.
For this one though I’ve been working my way up to 40 mile weeks, and training on road surfaces, since this is a road half. Maybe the last one I ever do. I’ve been enjoying my trail training runs a lot, and of course, Aspen 2012 is a trail marathon, and Steamboat is really just a milestone and intermediate goal on the way there.
A few weeks ago, I had been considering a 2:00 finish for Steamboat, working toward a sub-6:00 finish for Aspen. We’ll have to wait till tomorrow to see if that’s reasonable or not. I’ve actually tapered for the first time ever, and have been doing a few dietary mods for pre-race eating that I’ve explored over the past several training runs. I ran a decent downhill 12 mile last week in 2:08, so unless I missed my taper and diet, I should be able to at least equal my PR, and hopefully set one.
I’ll let you know in the next day or two, as well as how I feel about what worked and didn’t for my taper. I will discuss my shoe and clothing choices and talk about how I feel trail running is an optimum training option for already fit mountaineers.