A need to know

Back in December, when the Cherry Blossom 10-miler registration opened up, I decided not to sign up, figuring I could use that time to train for Boston since I was getting a late start after my injury. I did, however, plan to run a 1/2 marathon while we were in Arizona. Nursing a sore foot, however, I decided to skip that race.

Now here I sit, less than six weeks out from Boston, with absolutely no clue what kind of shape I am in. No, I am not shooting for a PR in Boston–that would be unrealistic this year. But I would like to know what kind of a pace to run there. Start out to fast and I’ll blow up. I do plan to be conservative on the front half, that is for sure. However, I don’t want to be so conservative that I run a race much slower than my current fitness level.

Of late I have managed to get in a tiny bit of speed work. A three-mile tempo run within a 10-miler last week, and three by one-mile repeats on the track this week. All felt pretty good, I have to say. So I’m left wondering if I might not be in slightly better shape than I think?

The only way to truly know, I think, is to try myself at a race. I decided to look around and see what options I might have on Cherry Blossom weekend, which is where most of my training partners will be two weeks out from Boston. There’s the Cherry Pit 10-mile race in Annapolis, an alternative to those who didn’t make it into Cherry Blossom. There’s also a 1/2 marathon in Baltimore to benefit Back on My Feet. Both seem like pretty good options. I’d likely add miles onto either one in order

One option I'm considering

to put in about 16 miles that day as I would were I just training.

I haven’t made up my mind yet as to whether or not I’ll race that weekend, but I think I’d like that benchmark before I go to Boston. Call me OCD if you will, but I always like to race with a plan and a warm-up race will give me a chance to formulate one.

What would you do in this situation?

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  1. says

    Aren’t you usually an early morning poster? I say they both sound good. I think I would prefer a 10 miler but do the one that you think gives you the better fitness gauge. I will be doing the Cherry Blossom much to my delight. Flight booked, days off and I know where I’m staying!

  2. says

    I’d totally say race! I’m a big fan of racing during a training cycle. Enjoy! 6 weeks til Boston?! HOly Cow. I remember this from last year when people were talking about Boston…seems like last week.

  3. says

    I just started reading your blog and enjoy it! I had to comment because I was just thinking of this exact thing on my run this morning- I have the Gansett marathon the same weekend as Boston and am trying to figure out my pacing. I did a half two weeks ago, I would say go for the half that you mentioned, it will give you a really good idea of where you are at. Looking forward to reading more!:)

  4. says

    I would probably feel better with a “tune up” race under my belt before Boston. Just had mine. :) Hopefully you can make one of those work. Just over 5 weeks to go, baby!
    marlene recently posted..Morning LoverMy Profile

  5. says


    I would choose the 1/2 mary because that is going to be a closer pace to the marathon than a 10k race would be.

    You could warm up with 1.5 miles before hand then run the race and cool-down with 1.5 miles afterwards and still be able to hangout with friends and family.
    Jason @ Cook Train Eat Race recently posted..Trust! When?My Profile

  6. says

    Okay, so I’m going to need to know what you’re wearing so I can cheer you on – well, if I can find you! I’ll be there cheering on the hubs. Hopefully I’ll be able to see him too! :) I’d race two weeks out. I’m sure it will help big time with the pacing.
    Jen recently posted..REDMy Profile

  7. says

    I can totally understand why you’d like to have a race under your belt. It’s all about confidence isn’t it. I’d just play it by ear. If you’re feeling good and have no niggles, race. If not, take it easy.
    Char recently posted..DisappointmentMy Profile

  8. says

    I always like to incorporate a race (usually a half) in the second month before my marathon. I find it a great litmus test. No races in the final month, though, just to be careful. I say you should absolutely do it!!
    Kathy R recently posted..Victory!!!My Profile

  9. says

    Yup, you need a tune-up race to help you figure out what you can do for Boston! Of course, I’d say to do the Capital City 10 Miler in Harrisburg (a couple friends help with it and benefit from it as some of the $ goes into an arts program in Harrisburg that one works for). I signed up for it a while ago, but it’s one I am not doing now because of the injury. We’re still heading out, though to join the fun, cheer the runners, and not care about what I drink the night before!
    Erik recently posted..Helping the fight against Cystic FibrosisMy Profile