Date: October 27, 2018
Time: 7:30 AM
Start & Finish: HEB Center, 2100 Avenue of the Stars, Cedar Park, TX
Weather: ~ 60 degrees & sunny
Course: Rolling small hills with 3 significant climbs at miles 3-5, 7-8, and 10-12. You’ll climb about 350 feet throughout the 13.1 mile race.

RACE STRATEGY: Let’s break this race down by 4 x 5Ks & one last kick on the final ~ 1K.

0-5K: I would recommend running the first 5K at your goal pace – not faster and not slower. We have a long climb coming after this 5K so take advantage of the energy and fresh legs now. Keep your mind calm, arms relaxed, and thoughts happy! 😊
5K-10K: Back off your goal pace for the first 2 miles of this 100+ foot climb by about 10 sec/mile and keep your effort steady. Eyes up and use your arms during the last steep section of mile 5. Once you have crested the top, let your legs go on the decent. Don’t hold back but keep your effort steady and relaxed. You should be able to make up 20 seconds on mile 6 which keeps you on pace.
10K-15K: Mile 1 of this 5K should be faster than goal pace by 5 sec or so. Stay relaxed and push a little on the downhill. You are now at the top of the course and heading back to the start. Everything is easier when you are heading to the finish! Mile 2 of this 5K is another hill so keep your breathing in check and don’t get too aggressive with your effort. I would expect to be about 10 sec slower than goal pace during this mile. Keep your thoughts positive and take it one mile at a time. Okay…last mile of this 5K is back down a nice decent where you can make up some time! Get what you can – 5 seconds or more is ideal.
15K-20K: Time to dig and use your positive race mantras!! Take it step at a time, celebrating each mile marker you pass! The first mile of this final 5K is a short up and down so you should be able to stay on pace. The next 2 miles are a gradual climb. Remember your goals, how hard you’ve worked, and push through this section. Try to maintain your goal race pace even through the steady climb. It’s time to breath hard, push with every step, and give 100%. Keep your shoulders & face relaxed and thoughts positive! “I am fast! I am strong! I can do this! I am the best hill runner!” etc.
Final .7 Miles: It’s time to kick it in and give everything you have! You’ve got this!!! Pump your arms and focus on your form when you start to feel tired. Don’t forget to smile during the final stretch! 😊 It’s time to celebrate your hard work and great race effort! Congratulations!!

~ Jen Harney