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Saturday, October 17, 2015

To race or not to race?

The half-marathon I've been training for is coming up in two weeks. I still haven't registered for it, despite the whopping price increases, because I try not to register early given my recent injury history. In the end, late registration averages out to less money than skipping races or dropping to shorter distances!
Now I'm wondering if I should go through with the race. I don't feel like I'm any faster than I was a month ago at the half in Bar Harbor!
I missed several days when I first strained my hamstring, then the following week I mostly slowed my pace and shortened distances. Those were two key weeks of important workouts missed or edited. I really only got back on the training plan this past week; even then, I'm a little hindered by my hamstring, which is still healing. As long as it feels pulled, I am running with a shorter (slower) stride. As a result, I feel like I'm almost exactly in the same place as I was for the last race, which ended with a disappointing 1:37.
So I'm wondering if the race is worth it, or if I should count this training plan toward base building, and refocus on some upcoming shorter distance races in our area. The local race calendar features the Crescent City Fall Classic and the Middendorf's Manchac Race; since Middendorf's now offers a 10k in addition to a 10 miler, both the Fall Classic or Middendorf's could be used as qualifiers for next year's Crescent City Classic. I want to run a qualifier, but I'm faced with a debate: the 5k, which distance I dislike? Or the 10k? I enjoy the distance, but I love the 10 mile option, too, and I'd hate to miss it!
If I run the half marathon anyway (which I'm still leaning towards at the moment), I'll have no time at all to train for a 5k or 10k, and the 5k is just the next week, so a fast race probably won't happen. Lots of factors to consider for this decision.

Thoughts? Should I stick to the plan and do the Jazz half, or move on to other races?


  1. I'd personally ask myself: why do I want to run this race? Would it make me feel good in any way? Obviously it's not going to be a PR, so how would you feel if you injured your leg further trying to go faster for a result that would be more satisfying for you? I always tend to look forward to the end goal... eyes on the prize. If the qualifier is your A goal, then do what makes sense to get there. Would the 1/2 help or risk that goal? I think it adds to the risk, unless you run it nice and easy (maybe pace someone to a slower time)? Just my 2c.

    1. Oh, I wasn't very clear...the qualifiers are not at all goals, which is why I haven't even thought about them until now. I'm not in the shape to run an "A" qualifying time, and the "B" times are well within my current speed, so I'll be happy as long as I get in a seeded corral. I do have to run one of those races, though: the 5k is the only 5k allowed as a qualifier, otherwise you must have a 10k time; the 10k is the only local 10k before the race.

  2. I'm probably the worst person to ask because 99.9% of I lean towards racing! I race for a variety of reasons and many times I know going into any given race that even with my best effort it won't be a PR. Whether it's my fitness level, course, weather or some other factor i still race because I know it will benefit me. 1.) I know it will be a great workout and I'd push myself more than I would on my own. 2.) I know it's good practice and I'm putting myself in race situations they I can learn from for the future.

    My exceptions for not racing are: 1.) Injured or distance is too risky for my recent injury 2.) Too expensive and not worth travel time/ money to not run a PR worthy performance.

    If it were me I'd probably go ahead and run the half and then switch gears with shorter race training. Exception- if it were crazy expensive. To me $90+ on a half would be out of the question.

    1. It's $100! I can't believe these pricey half marathons these days!

  3. I wouldn't do it. It's expensive to race so if you aren't in the kind of condition where you can give it your all, I personally don't think it is worth it... Unless you had already signed up and paid for it - then I would probably say to do it but be very very very careful and try not to push the pace and risk injuring yourself.