This Sunday I will be running in only my second half-marathon of the year. I’m looking forward to lining up with my fellow bloggers during the Rise.Run.Retreat at the Leaf Peeper Half Marathon race in Waterbury, Vermont. The one word that I have repeated over and over in my head while training for this race has been “timeless.”

While I can’t sit here and type lies about how my finish time will not matter (it always does!) I can tell you my race plan does not involve time.

Not pace time.

Not finish time.

Not age group place time.

None of it.

How exactly do I plan to accomplish this throwing of time out the window? I’ll tell you in three easy steps…


1. What Watch?

I’ve become exceptional at not looking at my watch. I was never really a watch looker so it wasn’t that far of a stretch but now, I make a point of not looking and running by feel.

This technique worked for me at my first half-marathon of the season in Colchester, CT where I set a three minute PR and, I fully intend to do it again. Well, not the three minute PR but the “running by feel.”

The issue with looking at your watch is that your pace is always going to vary. We’re not treadmill running here and, most of us are human so, there is going to be a lot of pace changes. The problem arises when you look at your pace and it’s “slow” so you speed up then, you look again and it’s “fast” so you slow down. All of this slowing down and speeding up over the course of 13.1 miles only makes you physically and mentally exhausted. Plus, it’s kind of fun to be surprised at the end.


[Tweet “Have a #timless #race goal! You may surprise yourself. #train4life”]

2. What Pace?

In case you haven’t noticed, all I have been racing are triathlons. I know exactly what my 10k and 5k paces are after swimming and biking in either the sprint or the olympic distance triathlon race. What I don’t know is what the hell my half marathon pace will be and how that may translate from one sport to the other.

I’m pretty excited to find out and, since I think my pace is probably somewhere in between 6:50-7:10, but really could be much higher so, what is the point of setting a goal pace?


3. What Pressure?

This is my first race without the pressure of a qualification or rank so why would I ruin that by putting undo pressure on myself? I also know this course has a three mile uphill start and is 75% paved and 25% dirt. We all know how much I love to run on dirt, right?

I never used to be able to fathom running a race “for fun” because fun for me meant winning and/or achieving a PR. This entire weekend is about so much more than a race time and I intend to truly enjoy it.

For seven months out of the year I live in a pressure cooker of goals. I have a huge goal already lined up for 2017 that I think about on a daily basis. I believe I owe it to myself to simply enjoy this race and this weekend, to lose the watch and the expectations, and get lost in time.

Last year's Rise.Run.Retreat was about so much more than a race!

Last year’s Rise.Run.Retreat was about so much more than a race! It also was about me wearing this dorky hat. #nerdalert


Do you race for “fun?”

When is the last time you lived timelessly?