Friday, March 1, 2013

The Back-Up Race

I've been talking up doing the Rock CF Half Marathon to my running pals. I'm really looking forward to the race, but part of me is upset because I'm just not going to be "ready". By ready, I mean in as in-shape as I was for last fall's Brooksie Way Half Marathon, which has been the peak of my running comeback thus far.

I don't know how this lady made dresses out of my pictures, but I'm happy to know I have a fan.
For many reasons (or excuses, depending on how you look at it), my training has been less than ideal the last few months. Here are some of these reasons (excuses):

1. Weather - “There's no such thing as bad weather, just soft people.” - Bill Bowerman. Well, call me the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man because I'm a softy. Other than my weekly long run, which I have done faithfully, my outdoor running has been minimal, in great part because of the weather. I can't run everyday due to various circumstances, but when I have been able to run, the weather has been abysmal. I can do cold, but have refused to do cold + wind + precipitation. I want to enjoy my runs, but really have a tough time when it sucks outside.

2. Baby Time Baby - I have a warm baby who likes to cuddle and get "Daddy Time" when I get home and I am happy to oblige. Mama needs a baby break and I feel bad coming home after work and then leaving again.

3. Schedule Change - Last year, I had decent mileage in the winter. It was in part to good weather, but also because of my schedule, where I had Saturday - Monday off work. This would allow me to usually do a long run Saturday and a mid distance run at a faster pace on Monday. It worked out pretty well for that purpose.

4. Everything Else - Work, stress, kids activities, less sleep due to baby time, poor road conditions, etc.

As a result of my issues (here's a tissue!), I have gotten about half of the running in that I had planned and I am no where near where I wanted to be. I had dreams of a significant PR for the Rock CF Half Marathon. If I could get back to Brooksie Way shape, I would have a great chance of a PR because it is a much flatter course. That isn't gonna happen. Every time things seem to be ramping up, there is a long lull in my training. 

"There's 12 weeks 'til the race - time to commit myself!" No.
"It's February, now I can really work at it!" Nah.
"I'll really break out when the weather breaks!" Hasn't happened.

So... I'm still going to do the Rock CF race. I have been running 10 miles on Saturdays, so 13 shouldn't be a huge deal. I'll keep up the mindset that I'll work hard these next 3 weeks to get ready. I'll race, do my best and not fret too much if I don't do great because I have an ace in the hole, the Back Up Race (TM).

Rock CF was to be my only spring half marathon, but now I'm planning to run the Martian Half Marathon on April 13. The thought behind planning to do another race is that I hopefully won't beat myself up if my Rock CF performance leaves something to be desired. (Here's a tip I've learned: Unless you are on a college or national team OR unless you have a big sponsor, no one gives a hoot about how fast you run. Here's what I haven't learned: How not to care about how fast I run). If I don't PR at Rock CF, I can still have a good shot just 3 weeks later at the Martian Half. 3 weeks isn't very long, but it could make a significant difference. If it still doesn't work out, I can always find another race (I'm trying to learn that there's always another race, but it's hard).

Do you ever hedge your bets by planning to run another race?

If you have a "big race" coming up, will you ever try to arrange a "practice race" to get ready?

Do you really have anyone who really, truely cares how fast you race besides yourself?


  1. No practice race for me but I don't race all races. I've got a pretty filled schedule and have a half March, April, May and June right now plus Sept and Oct. along with other races. I'm not doing anything for time this year. However I feel that day is who I'll run. Nobody cares about my times.

  2. I'll see you at both! Deciding to do a million halfs this year really took the pressure off for me at Rock CF too. We'll all just be happy fun-running at all of our races. :)