Boulder Half Beer GlassI’m gaining quite a collection of Boulder Marathon and Half Marathon beer glasses.  This is my fourth.  Each one is a different color.  Spring 2011 is red, spring 2012 green, and fall 2012 where I ran the marathon is orange.  And then of course the shirt colors match.  Time to start thinking about my race strategy.

I don’t feel the need to run aggressive like I did at Moab 3 weeks ago.  I’m still so happy with that performance, I could jog Sunday at my workout pace – around 8:30 per mile – and feel good about my winter half marathon season.  But then it would be a shame not to match my Austin performance in January and Moab race in March with an equally impressive run.  And that doesn’t mean I need to run quite as fast.  I believe it will be on par if I simply beat my previous times in this event.  And like previous Moabs, I’ve never run the Boulder Half especially fast.

I recall having a satisfying run in 2011 because of the negative split where I ran the second half 5 minutes faster than the first half.  The total time was 1:48 or an 8:19 per mile pace and is faster than my spring 2012 time.  I honestly expect to run under an 8 minute pace this weekend.  And I’ll play it according to how I feel the first mile or two, but I believe I’m in decent enough running shape that I’ve established a range that I can expect regardless of how I feel.  I think that range is 7:30 to 8:00 per mile.  Which is to say I will run a bit faster than my standard workout pace of 8:30.

I could be setting myself up for a disappointment considering I haven’t run all week.  But part of the reason for blogging this expected time ahead of Sunday is to commit myself.  Sure I’ll look foolish if I finish closer to 2 hours but I seriously believe I’ll break 1:45.  Question is, by how much?  Or what really has my interest is the strategy of the course.  The Boulder Half is essentially uphill on the 6.55 miles out and downhill on the return.  I’ve run a negative split on this course before and it’s apparent the elevation gain and drop lends itself to such a strategy.  I can’t commit to this but what I want to do is run the first half faster than the second.  I want to go out hard.  Not sure why since doing so suggests the second half will be work, but this is how I hope to run it.  We’ll see Sunday.  Karen and Ellie are talking about coming out to the Boulder Res to watch.