The year of racing locally

RWstacks 300x300 The year of racing locally

Returning to Bethlehem, PA, for the Runner’s World half might be as far as I go for a race this year

I didn’t really intend this, but it is looking like 2013 is going to be my year of racing locally. I’m not sure, but I think having two big marathons (Boston and CIM)  tied to big travel last year have made me want to stay fairly local this year.

For instance, when it came time to pick a March marathon (I zeroed in on March for better weather odds) I didn’t even peruse options that were far flung, which is unusual for me. Then as I put together the rest of my year (for the most part) I again found myself looking locally.

I do love traveling for races and racing in new locales. I think, though, that when I travel for a race, it somehow makes it even more of a big deal. I’m sinking money and time away from my family into this one event, and that can’t help but result in it becoming a bit larger than life.

It just seems like there’s a little more (self inflicted) performance pressure in these cases. I mean, if I am going all the way to California to run a marathon, I’d just better have a good race, right? Um, wrong in this case, but anyhow…

It all leads up to my race schedule this year, which is more or less going to look like this:

  • March 16–B & A Trail Marathon in the next county over
  • April 28–IronGirl half marathon right here in town. This one is tentative. I’ve found if I don’t have a commitment hanging over my head post-marathon, I do a better job at recovering properly, so I’ll leave this decision until the last minute.
  • August–IronGirl sprint triathlon right here in town.
  • September–IronGirl sprint triathlon in Rocky Gap, Md (short drive)
  • October–Maybe the Runner’s World Half if I am lucky enough to be invited back
  • November–Rosaryville 50k in nearby Virginia

Of course, plans change, so not much of this is written in stone. But as you can see, I’ll be hanging close to home this year. I kind of like this–it’s nice to support the local race scene and around here, there’s no shortage of choices when it comes to racing. So that’s that–my year of racing locally.

Are your race plans close to home or far away this year? Which do you prefer? And if you have an amazing race that IS farflung, do share–I am always open to consideration!

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  1. I’m planning on staying local this year too and hopefully being able to do more races since I won’t be spending money on hotels or travel. Plus there’s something to sleeping in your own bed the night before a race
    Amanda recently posted..Being Comfortable with the UncomfortableMy Profile

  2. I think this makes perfect sense, really. I always feel less pressure when I’m running locally – specifically because I didn’t sink so much money into the travel. And I think that I don’t enjoy my travel *quite* as much if it’s for the purposes of racing, because I’m worrying about food, rest, time on my feet – AND seeing all the sites (since, after all, I paid to travel wherever it is I’m traveling).

    So if I run while traveling, I always make sure that the primary purpose of the trip is really THE TRIP, and the run is just an extra/bonus.

    So far, I’m taking it easy and staying “local” this year – but since I’m living in a new place, the races will certainly all be new to me. And heck, if you happen to change your mind and want to race in Southeast Asia, just drop a line. :)
    Holly KN recently posted..Night SafariMy Profile

  3. I like to keep it local. Supporting the local race scene, businesses, and just having tons of friends running it keeps it fun.

    That being said, a racecation is something that I want to do one day. Maybe in 2013, maybe 2014. I still need to map out my race plan for this year.
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted..I Jinxed MyselfMy Profile

  4. If drinking and eating locally is good, why not racing? :)
    Kovas – Midwest Multisport Life recently posted..Altra Zero Drop Superior Trail Running ShoesMy Profile

  5. Most of my races are local, well a short drive into DC. I am going to Chicago in May to run the Soldier Field 10-miler but my in-laws live there. I love living in the DC metro area because there are always a bunch of races to choose from.
    Natalie recently posted..First time running on paleoMy Profile

  6. I plan to stay local for all but Marine Corps – I want to get back to Bethlehem but the timing doesn’t look like it will let me :( it is the week before MCM and unless things change drastically, well you know – can only do so much.
    Harold recently posted..2 Part Treadmill Workout 1-17-13My Profile

  7. As in everything, I think there’s yin/yang in racing too. I traveled a ton last year as well and plan on staying much more local this year. Although if the RW invite comes up I am so there this year–still bummed it conflicted with MCM last year.

  8. Keeping it local is my favorite as well. Nothing like actually being able to sleep in my own bed!
    abbi recently posted..Discoveries at Eat, Sleep, Run, GrowMy Profile

  9. I have often weighed the *value* in the idea of flying to races. As I’m looking at ever increasing airline costs to get back over to Germany often to see family, I also see higher and higher costs flying stateside. At some point, the costs become too high to make the whole event a real value to me. Something like Boston is an exception, special races are definitely different. I have a lot of really good races I can run that are within a reasonable driving distance (but of course I live in the land of BQ’s so plenty to pick). Air Force Marathon, Chicago Marathon, Flying Pig Marathon, Indianapolis based marathons, anything in St. Louis … :) I am trying to get to the Marine Corps Marathon this year, but I have family that lives there and we are a military family, so it makes it special and worth the airline cost. I get to see family in the deal :) I do dream about that LA Marathon though … ending up on the beach … hmmm! But then I’d try to incorporate a whole vacation out of it to get more value in the airline and hotel costs. I think staying close to home is not a bad thing at all, plus most of us have many races nearby that we can get to.
    Christina recently posted..Compression running socks and a rest dayMy Profile

  10. I was just mapping out my 2013 races this week, finally. And I’m definitely thinking local as much as possible… I’m still looking for another spring half, and I’m hoping to see you at the RW half in the fall!
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted..Why Running Dreams MatterMy Profile

  11. I totally get the need/urge to stay local. I love your race calendar but do think that you need a race in New York. That’s local enough, right? ;-)
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..Friday Round-Up: Live.StrongMy Profile

  12. im only disappointed cuz I wanted you here :-)
    Miz recently posted..Fit Tip Friday: Chatting with MizFitMy Profile

  13. I went a bit overboard with the location of my “A Race” in 2013
    Scott recently posted..2013 Race ScheduleMy Profile

  14. Sounds like a great plan! Since, I started my year with a couple races at Disney, I would love to say the rest of my year is local. And for the marathon distance, they are…but I also got in to the Nike Women’s Half in DC…..and I’m climbing a mountain. Maybe, I’ll do more local next year. :)
    Mandy recently posted..Gone Goofy: The MickeyMy Profile

  15. I love that your schedule looks pretty varied with a couple tris, trails, and a 50k!
    I only have two big races on my list, and we’ll drive to both. The drives will be fairly long, but it’s so much easier and cheaper than paying to fly two bikes.
    Abby @ Change of Pace recently posted..Ice and running don’t mixMy Profile

  16. Oh day I would like to travel more for races, but while I am in school Local races are where its at. I think you should perhaps consider coming to Toronto though… To run Goodlife in May with me and Pavement Runner?! You know, if you are looking for a change of scenery!
    Krysten Siba Bishop (@darwinianfail) recently posted..Guest Post – A Step in the Right DirectionMy Profile

  17. The first half of the year is all local for me and so far most of the fall is looking the same way…debating a return to the Philly half, but that’s not until November and a lot can change. I love the family support of local races…plus cannot beat sleeping in my own bed the night before a race!
    Michelle @ Running with Attitude recently posted..3 Things: Almond milk, gym and PRsMy Profile

  18. I love seeing some tri’s in there! My goal is to get a sprint or two under my belt this year too.

    I like racing locally but I do find that it diminishes the excitement around the race. I just go home, take a shower and go about my day instead of celebrating the accomplishment.

    Love the race schedule! Can wait to see you kick some butt!
    Katie recently posted..You Got ThisMy Profile

  19. I would say any race plans I do make will be close to home. But I haven’t really made any yet. The Disney Wine and Dine Half would be fun though. That is definitely NOT close to home.

    The Kidless Kronicles
    Nicole@TheKidlessKronicles recently posted..The most boring train wreck I have ever seenMy Profile

  20. I generally stay close to home for races, especially now with young kids. I will be going to NYC though for a half in April. I’m really looking forward to that.
    Kristen recently posted..Starting to get the itch…My Profile

  21. When planning my races this year I had two criteria…driving distance and no hotel required! I run 90% of my races locally anyways and I really love it. It makes me feel not only very tied to the running community here but it also decreases my mommy guilt because I am home most of the time! New England is a great place too for runners since there are so many races around!
    Fancy Nancy recently posted..Fitness Friday….Best Body Bootcamp Week 2My Profile

  22. Denise P. says:

    I’ve actually been trying to be more selective with local races because I’m saving up my pennies to knock more states off my 50 states goal. I have a tendency to register for every single charity 5k in my area because I just like to contribute and they help keep me on track.

    So far this year I am flying to Dallas for a half in March. April brings another half about 2 hours away that I won a free entry to but I’m not totally convinced I’ll do it. Then a metric century bike ride an hour from home in May. And that is all I’ve got scheduled. Its kind of nice to not have a bunch of things lined up to stress me out, but I also worry I’ll slack on workouts without concrete goals.

  23. I am with you… sticking with local yocal this year or where I can drive and stay with someone I know. Last year was pricey and want to spend my money more wisely this year… when it comes to running!

  24. I’m thinking about trying to ease back into racing so I will stay local.
    And, I guess I’m totally stupid – I didn’t realize that you did triathlons. You really are a rock-star!!!
    Kim recently posted..New (Free!!!) Compression Shorts – Love ThemMy Profile

  25. I go back and forth on whether I like to travel or not for races. After driving 8 hours to run the Eugene Marathon last year and then flying to CIM, I have decided that IF I am going to travel for a race it will most likely only be for a 1/2 marathon. I love race-cations because it is the only way I can talk my husband into going anywhere. Going to Houston last year to watch the Olympic Trials and then run was one of the best vacations ever. This year my marathon will be locally and then I might do a fall marathon in Portland, but I can stay with my family. I am traveling to San Fran to run a 1/2 and then possibly Las Vegas and Vancouver, BC for 1/2 marathons.
    Tasha @ Healthy Diva recently posted..Friday Favorites: Guest FeaturesMy Profile

  26. We have a lot of local races here and for that I am grateful…should I decide to race again :)
    Kierston recently posted..#RECIPEFRIDAY: Protein Packed Berry Spread & Topping!My Profile

  27. Rosaryville is in MD actually…near Waldorf off of 301. :)
    Kara recently posted..Can’t sleep? Run.My Profile

  28. I think it’s a great idea, to both run locally, and schedule an earlier marathon. The weather hasn’t be too co-operative in the last year! I love the 50K you have scheduled for November as well. I’m pondering my first ultra in June, a 6 hour event.
    Robin recently posted..Cross Training and Winter (?) FunMy Profile

  29. Jeff Irvin says:

    Break out the lycra and aero helmets as Amanda is going triathlete again (-:

  30. Except for racing with my sis in WI (8 hour drive), I have pretty much only raced locally (within relatively short drive). I think I’m just too cheap to spend all the extra money to travel when I know I am still going to be slow and often struggling to just get through it. Plus, when I travel – I want to see the sights which often isn’t wise for before/after races.
    TriMOEngr (Christina) recently posted..Trainer TimeMy Profile

  31. I think wanting to run locally may be part of the cycle of a runner. A couple years ago I would fly to different states to run Ragnar but this year I think I’ll be turning down running Ragnar in Utah. Traveling for races obviously has the flight/car expense but it also has the expense of taking time off work to travel to those locations. When I ran Boston I took a week off to see the sights but afterwhile I find myself low on vacation time.

  32. It’ s good to change things up every so often. And why travel when there’s a plethora of good races right on your doorstep?! But having said that I’ll still probably go to Melbourne in October because that might be my only holiday all year.
    Char recently posted..The Power Of PurpleMy Profile

  33. I’ve mostly stayed local for most of my running, with the exception of going to Virginia Beach for Shamrock and a couple of Rock ‘n’ Rolls, but that’s only a few hours of driving. In the past 4 months I’ve now traveled specifically for racing and I’m not sure how I feel about it. The travel is definitely stressful and can take away from the experience, but running in a completely different place is also pretty cool. That said, there are a ton of races within an hour of me that I’ve never done but would like to.
    David H. recently posted..2 months ’til ShamrockMy Profile

  34. All my races have been local last year and so far they’re all going to be this year, with the exception of the MCM marathon – which will be my first race-cation. I think 1 race-cation a year is good for me :) Unless someone else is footing the bill!
    beka @ rebecca roams recently posted..Weekly Workouts Roundup + Christmas is never overMy Profile

  35. Other than Boston, I’m not registered for anything else this year yet. But I’ve got the major itch, and have been looking locally. Bear Chase Trail 50k in late september is looking to fit the bill nicely. Local, trail race, my first ultra.
    Efo recently posted..Friday Favorites and Tuesday’s To DosMy Profile

  36. I wish we had more options for races locally, but other than 5 and 10ks there aren’t many marathons or half marathons close by. I’m headed to Boston and then California for the Mountains 2 Beach Marathon.
    Beth @ Miles and Trials recently posted..The Itch to RaceMy Profile

  37. I feel the same way. I’ve been debating going to Milwaukee for USAT Nationals or Arizona for duathlon nationals but will be unhappy if I don’t make the US Team after spending all that money getting there.

    I’m so glad you shared your race plan though because I want to do IronGirl Rocky Gap but haven’t found anyone else who shares my love of hills! Do you need a roommate or are you driving there race morning?! Hope it’s still open.
    Alison @ racingtales recently posted..Professional Athletes Aren’t Heroes. THIS is a #RealheroMy Profile

  38. I think I’m going to be racing (relatively) locally for the foreseeable AJ…unless someone wants to cover airfare for me! HA. Too many costs for the kids/home for me to even think about spending that much on races.
    I am seriously considering doing RW hat trick this year =) Would LOVE to spend time with you again!!
    And yay for 50k!!
    Michele @ Nycrunningmama recently posted..Cold Weather RunningMy Profile

  39. I’m keeping it local this year, except for 1 race. I will be running the Rock n’ Roll Chicago half again, and while it isn’t close to home, it’s an inexpensive trip for us (BF and I) because we stay with friends. The other 4 races are local.
    I’m doing that, because my goal for next year is to run Goofy’s Challenge in Disney World, and Dumbo’s Double Dare in Disneyland. 2014 will be an expensive year!
    Heather @ Bake, Run, Live recently posted..Improv Challenge: Banana Bread Cookies with Streusel ToppingMy Profile

  40. I’m with you about the local races this year too. After my two destination road marathons had crappy weather (Cellcom Green Bay and CIM), I’m sticking with my running club’s races for the most part. I’m lucky enough to have a really great and cheap local running club that puts on many free races and two marathons a year (Avenue of the Giants and Humboldt Redwoods). At least if the weather is crap, it will be the flavor of crap that I’m used to, right?

    I’m still planning major adventures this year to Alaska and the Alps, but they are non-running. :)
    Karen recently posted..Prairie Creek RedwoodsMy Profile

  41. Sounds like a plan! I hear ya–travel throws a wrench in racing I think. I plan to stay local too–partially due to a baby in June! :)
    Jess @ Blonde Ponytail recently posted..My New Job!My Profile

  42. I like racing local. The only non local race I want to do is the Runners World event.

  43. Although race weekend holidays are fun, it’s also a nice change to be able to race near home more often. No travel worries, right? I usually end up traveling because things near me don’t always fit into my overall plan.
    Heather @ Better With Veggies recently posted..This Week In TrainingMy Profile

  44. I usually only race locally. I am going to a running camp in Colorado, though :) But that might change depending on my hip/ pelvis MRIs on Tuesday. We’ve got so many great races around! I do plan on adding tris back to my racing, too. If I travel more than an hour, it’ll be for a tri since there aren’t many too close.
    Erik recently posted..Another dungeon ride and a diet change.My Profile

  45. I am worried about this very thing going into Boston. I have no attachment to time, I have no attachment to time, I have no attachement to time. PLEASE remind me as many as you want come April. Local is good, like local produce, local race are good for simliar reasons. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
    LisaM@RunWiki recently posted..Boston Training and the Plump Orange BeanMy Profile

  46. I also have issues with race day pressure and therefore decided instead of focusing on one marathon a year, I will go for 13 half marathons in 2013. It’s a great and fun challenge!
    Christine recently posted..Race #2: Charleston Half MarathonMy Profile

  47. i’ll be traveling all over the place :) must check off the states!

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