A different approach to racing

I’m T-minus two days until my first race of the season, a 1/2 marathon here in the desert. The funny thing is, I’ve never felt less ready to race.

First of all, it’s February, probably my least-fit time of the year. I ran a marathon in mid-November and then spent December and most of January logging miles, but not speedwork. Towards the end of January my friends and I began adding in some hill repeats, but that’s about the extent of it. Oh, and did I mention the extra five pounds I’m carrying around?

Then there’s this week. I’ve been out here enjoying the wonderful weather and all that the desert surroundings have to offer. That means I’ve done lots of hiking as well as some trail running. Which means I’ve used lots of muscles I probably should have been resting leading up to this race. The warm temperatures (forecast high near 80) won’t help my cause either because I’m not acclimatized.

I’ve never nailed a good 1/2 marathon for some reason. I theorize that I either run them at this time of the year, when my fitness is generally lagging, or in the midst of marathon training, when my legs are tired and I can’t afford the taper time. Whatever the reason, I don’t think I’m going to break that trend this weekend!

And you know what? That’s ok. Getting back to the whole balance thing, I think mine would be out of whack if I were neglecting vacation time with my family in favor of tapering for a race.

What do you think? Have you ever toed the line when not prepared?

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  1. Barefoot Brandon says

    I've only "toed the line" for one half-marathon so far in my running career…and while I finished, I'm not sure I would have considered myself "prepared".

  2. Viper says

    That's how I feel when I get to the starting line of every race. But my upcoming 15-K is a truer example of not being ready. February sucks for training. Good luck, and if you can't kill it, enjoy it. Cheers!

  3. Barefoot AngieB says

    Just consider it a training run if you need to. I bet you will do better than you think you will. That race vibe goes a long way to having a better race than you anticipate. Good luck and have a blast!!

  4. Anne Marie says

    You'll have the adrenaline of the first race of the season to sorta pump you up, so ya never know what can happen…;-)
    and cool you're in the desert! Wow, fun to read all these blogs w/runners from all parts of the u.s., and world actually. good luck on the 1/2!!

  5. Dash says

    These races are almost as important, as you need to do them to get you back in the racing groove. Good Luck, you'll do great! Most importantly you can think about how lucky you are NOT to be here stuck on a treadmill or trekking through 30 inches of snow!

    That picture is fantastic and has me wishing for a warmer climate. Thanks for a mental image on where I can imagine myself running while I'm on a treadmill today! :)

  6. misszippy says

    Dash–Thank you. I have to say I am not looking forward to returning to all that snow. I know my friends are trying to make their way around back there…they say it's pretty dangerous b/c the cars can't see around the drifts/piles at intersections. Yikes.

  7. southofthecliff says

    Why do I get the feeling that I'd kill to race as fast as your mediocre pace?

    A race is just a big group run where food and beverages are provided, and you have to buy a tee shirt. Have fun!

  8. T.C. says

    I do a local 10 miler the first week in March each year. I'm not as fit as I am in other months due to the ups and downs of winter training outdoors. BUT…if I didn't sign up for this race I know I would slack off over the winter. This keeps me going when it's cold and sometimes it's fun to have a race without pressure. I run it with my friends to kick off the season.