This weekend I am running a half marathon on Sunday. The Germantown Half Marathon. It is a very good race and I ran it two years ago and set a PR of 1:56, so this year when I run I would like nothing more than to beat that PR and go 5 for 5 on races in 2012, but I am not sure that is going to or can happen.
All year I have really been focusing on the Memphis in May Olympic triathlon which has a 10k run on the end of it. So none of my runs have been over 9 miles. I really should have planned better for this race, but I didn't. So now I am torn about my race strategy this weekend.
I was able to hold an 8:36 pace on a 10K trail run a few weeks ago and I really feel like I am good for 8-10 miles at that pace, but after the 10th mile, it's a crap shoot. I am not really worried about not finishing the race, inasmuch as I want to have a good showing and keep the PR streak alive.
So I pretty much see me having two strategies on Sunday.
Strategy #1: Go as hard as I can for as long as I can and hope I do not burn out. Only problem with that is that I do not want to risk any injury that would be an obstacle to my MIM training. It is a race and I will be racing it, so....
Strategy #2: Run comfortably and bank any time I have. I figure I need to run an 8:50 pace to meet my previous time. So if I can get into that comfortable 8:30 pace (which is doable on the road, last 10K was a trail run) and hold it for 8 miles or so, that will put me at the 68 minute mark (1:08) that will leave me to run a 9:20 minute mile or so for the remaining 5 miles. If I can hold the same pace throughout the race, then I will, but knowing I can ease back a little and still beat my time would be good to know.
Or would it become a crutch? Am I giving myself an out if I look at a race this way? Thoughts?