Healdsburg Half: My Next Race + New Perspective

August 7, 2017

Racing can be about fighting for a PR, but it can also be about enjoying the miles with friends.

healdsburg half

I just finished up the SF Half Marathon a couple of weeks ago, and I’m ready to start prepping for my next race.

Before I talk about the next race, here’s the quickie recap of the SF Half: The race was hard! Felt super hilly, hillier than last year somehow. The Golden Gate Bridge, which was the portion of the race I was most excited about, was totally fogged over, windy and rainy. Overall though, I had a good experience and while the race felt hard, I felt decent running it. Finish time: 1:54.

I sort-of trained for the SF half, pretty much in line with my standard training. At least one run a week, sticking to some sort of schedule and getting to the starting line feeling confident enough that I’ll get through it without too much of a struggle–though no expectation to hit a PR. I even met with a run coach a couple of times, which was really awesome.

Next Up: Healdsburg Half Marathon 

The next race on the agenda is Destination Race’s Healdsburg Wine Country Half Half Marathon on October 28th (spots are still available and you can get $10 off with code SHAPINUP). I’m approaching this one in a new way. I’m not really running this race for me. Instead, I’m running it for two of my friends who have never run a half marathon before and I’m running it to motivate MM to get back into running. My friend on the east coast expressed interest in running her first half marathon, and I easily convinced her to do it in wine country. What better setting can one ask for? We quickly convinced our husbands to join in the fun, luring them in with the finish line wine festival.

While I haven’t tried to PR in the half marathon distance basically in forever, I do always approach half marathons with a goal of under 2 hours. In fact, I’ve never run a half marathon over 2 hours. My fastest time is 1:45 and my slowest time is 1:59, with about 8 or so finish times landing somewhere in that range. I take pride in my “always under 2” finish, but I’m okay letting it go for this race, if it means I get three people in on the fun.

Healdsburg Half Training Plan

I’ve made myself and MM a relaxed training program, it only has us running 2x a week (which is what I usually end up doing no matter how intense a training plan I make for myself), with a day of cross training and a day of stretching/yoga. I usually work out 6x a week, but these are the workouts I’m going to ensure get done, and will stay on MM to get him doing them as well.

Healdsburg Half

My focus as we train for this race is to get us both in good running shape and to explore new running routes. It’s to get both of us to the starting line feeling excited about the 13.1 miles ahead, whether it’s an under 2 pace or a 2+ pace.

Let me give MM a little credit though. He’s run a full marathon and a handful of half marathons, some under 2 hours. So I’m not saying we won’t go under 2 hours on race day, but if we don’t, I don’t care. A lot of people ask if my husband is into fitness as much as I am. And well, he’s not. And that’s okay. Actually, often it’s quite nice. He’s my #1 crowd support when I run races, and when I have to wake up early to train, he’s home walking the dog and brewing the coffee, so I really can’t complain.

But sometimes running solo gets boring. There’s so much to explore in SF and driving to a run route and doing it alone isn’t so motivating or fun. I’m excited to bring a partner along. Also, I usually don’t mind lining up for a race alone, but it’s so much more enjoyable with people you know by your side. I kind of miss that. When I ran in NYC, I usually had a few friends there with me. Here on the west coast, less so.

healdsburg half

We’ve done some races together, I think this was the last one, a 4-miler, July 4, 2015

I’m also looking forward to having a little cross-country motivation going between us and our east coast counterparts. Obviously, I’m also excited that signing up for this race meant our friends would spend a weekend out in wine country with us.

Normally I’d make my goal to be under 2 hours. My goal this go-round is to keep myself and MM running. I want to enjoy race weekend at whatever our shared pace is, whether it’s under 2 or not.

When you train for a race, do you have a goal in mind, or do you run to enjoy the experience?

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