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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

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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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Comments

  1. I think gauging fitness with build up races are key!! you should definitely do one!
    Kristy (@KrisRunTri) recently posted..Do You Ever Take A Little Break?My Profile

  2. Agreed, I would need a prep race. The 10-miler sounds like a good bet.

  3. I think doing a race is a perfect idea! It will give you a really good idea of what to expect and plan for in Boston. Good luck, can’t wait to see what you decide!
    Beth @ RUNNING around my kitchen recently posted..I have a planMy Profile

  4. 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!

  5. The 10 miler sounds like a great way of gauging your fitness and still keeping some in the reserve tank for Boston two weeks later. Let us know what you decide!
    Raquelita recently posted..Thursday Threads: Sunny in San AntonioMy Profile

  6. 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.

  7. I’d run.
    But I love the thrill of a race…
    Just my 2 cents.
    Beth (i run like a girl) recently posted..Thursday thanksMy Profile

  8. I think a race is a good idea. I like having a half somewhere in the middle of marathon training just to remind myself of the difference between running and racing.
    Gracie recently posted..Window treatmentsMy Profile

  9. I would do it

    I like to do at least 1 10k during half marathon training
    so on the marathon scale the 10 miler would be the “test race”!
    Caroline recently posted..That’s what friends are for…!My Profile

  10. The ten miler sounds like a good plan. Generally I find that when I haven’t done the training I feel I need I am usually in better shape than I think I am. I’m sure you are too.
    Johann recently posted..Three Things ThursdayMy Profile

  11. I wish I had tips and thoughts—I just wanted to add ‘be still and listen to your gut and I know YOU know”

    xo
    Miz recently posted..Playground workout challenge sponsored by Egg Beaters.My Profile

  12. I’d definitely sign up for a race, sounds like there are some good options to do – nothing gets me more excited about running than doing a race!
    abbi recently posted..The North Face Endurance Challenge – D.C.My Profile

  13. A HM 6-weeks out is perfect. Go for it and then McMillian Calc your Marathon pace based on these results. How you perform in HMs are always a good indicator of fitness as well!
    Jeff Irvin recently posted..What is Harder?My Profile

  14. Hi!
    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!:)

  15. I’d do the Half – adding a mile and a half warmup and cooldown would be perfect.
    Kovas recently posted..Smells Like Teen Spirit – MuppetsMy Profile

  16. I vote for the half too, mainly to get more mileage. And remember, you had a great 20 miler last weekend, so you’re probably in better shape than you realize : )
    Molly recently posted..Thursday Three: Cancer, Running, Survivor DebacleMy Profile

  17. I love races for motivation and guaging progress so I will usually vote “race” as long as you are feeling healthy. The half seems to make the most sense as a guage.
    Christina recently posted..Kid at ChristmasMy Profile

  18. I have NEVER done a tune up race before a marathon.. well because I’m a walking broken bone :/ If you’re feeling it then you GO FOR IT!!!!!!!!!!
    Mamarunsbarefoot recently posted..Holding My BreathMy Profile

  19. I would do the half! I don’t think it’s OCD at all–it sounds like it will help you strategize (and it will be fun too!).
    Terzah recently posted..My Last Run and My First Spin ClassesMy Profile

  20. I’ll bet you’re in fine shape. : ) I’d do the half. I’ve always done a tune-up half pre-marathon. If nothing else it’s peace of mind and definitely will give you pacing ideas.
    Teamarcia recently posted..Random Friday StuffMy Profile

  21. Really, there’s a question here? YES, race!

    They all sound like good options. I’m sure it’ll be a great confidence booster for you.
    runblodnie26 recently posted..1st Race of my 31st YearMy Profile

  22. After your great 20-miler it sounds like getting a race under your belt before Boston would add another confidence boost. I agree with Marcia racing will help give you better a better sense of pacing.
    Michelle @ Running with Attitude recently posted..Figuring out the final tweeksMy Profile

  23. There are about a billion people giving away CB bibs if you still want to come and run that one. :) But I like the idea of the BOMF half!
    katie recently posted..the ground is rumblingMy Profile

  24. 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

  25. OCD……

    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

  26. I would totally do the race…I’m like that though…I NEED the race atmosphere to push me…and, it seems more of what you wnat for pacing right now…Go for it!!

    what’s wrong with being OCD??
    Caroline recently posted..How Would You Vote???My Profile

  27. I’d run one of the two. Definitely. Good luck deciding which one.
    MCM Mama recently posted..Help me choose!!!My Profile

  28. Always do a pre-run or warm up event before a serious race, unless your an elite superstar!
    rene@Boot camp brisbane southside recently posted..African Mango – Are you a sucker too?My Profile

  29. 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

  30. 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

  31. Hmm, seems like a half would be a better gauge of your capable pace. But I’ve never raced a 10 miler so I might be tempted to try that!
    That Pink Girl recently posted..Random Facts FridayMy Profile

  32. Race! I mean I want to read your RR. This virtual friend has a lot of emotion vested in this ;)
    Fueled by Spite recently posted..It’s officialMy Profile

  33. Racing is a great way to boost confidence and help determine your pacing for a bigger race. Do it. I think you will be surprised at how great of shape you are in!
    Missy recently posted..I have a teenager? What?My Profile

  34. 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

  35. 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

  36. I know the feeling– it’s so nice to have test races before a marathon… hope one of those would work out, I think the mental confidence alone from having a better idea of what to expect is worth it.
    Laura recently posted..Purposeful running- Kyria’s storyMy Profile

  37. i think it’s an awesome idea!! why not! go for it and let us know how it goes…
    marissa recently posted..these recipes are worth trying…and workouts too!My Profile

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