Monday, May 9, 2011

Good Race Strategy?.....Or a Lazy Runner?

After taking a brain numbing multiple choice test all day (Step 3 for medical licensing), I set out for what I hoped would be a 20 mile long run. I wanted to get at least one 20-miler in before my spring marathons and this was really my last chance since Rockford is on Sunday. So despite 20 mph winds and 40% chance of thunderstorms, I set out. Because of the storms, I chose an unusual route so I'd never be too far from home in case lightening became a problem. So 5 miles south, then the Northerly Island loop adding 3 miles, then 3.5 miles going north.

The run started off great. Nice temp, a tiny bit of drizzle for a few miles, and then the sun peaked its head out just a bit. It was a very fragrant run. Ew! Not that kind of fragrant. Why do you always assume the worst? It was the GOOD kind of fragrant. Lilacs, other flowers whose names I don't know, freshly cut grass. It was nice.

I was feeling pretty good, cruising along at an average 9:40 pace, when around mile 12 I ran out of water. I had my Nathan hydration pack and filled it about 1/2 way, but now that it's warming up, that's just not enough water. Fine for winter, not for spring. I ran a couple more miles but at 14 I realized there was no way I was going to finish 6 more miles w/o water. (I wish they'd turn the water fountains on on the path already!)

I had some money so was going to find a store and buy water and keep going. But then I started thinking. Rockford is on Sunday. That's only 6 days away. Since my training this cycle has been all screwed up, I was thinking I'd do 20 today, 26.2 Sunday, then taper for the Madison Marathon on 5/29. But then I thought, my 18 miler went well last week, this 14 miler is going well, maybe I could actually try to do decently well in Rockford on Sunday!?! Not with super high expectations or anything- I know a PR is not realistic- but maybe it won't be as bad as I'm imagining.

I went back and forth for a few minutes, trying to decide what to do. In the end I decided to trust my base training and stop at 14(.3) miles, hoping it will make for a more pleasant race on Sunday.

Good race strategy or a lazy runner? Probably a bit of both, but it's certainly the strategy that is most likely to keep me injury free!


  1. I think you did the right thing! Give yourself a bit of a break before you bust it out on Sunday. Good luck!

  2. I can't believe the fountains aren't on yet. Good luck in Rockford