Fall Racing and Tackling Our 18-Miler

Hey, guys! I know I’m overdue with a New York City Marathon training recap (what else is new?) but I wanted to drop in because I felt it was time to announce a few of our plans for this season’s racing schedule!

Because now that it’s FINALLY fall, I’m starting to get pumped about running (and racing!) again. This is my most favorite time of year and I can’t even STAND my excitement! :-D

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A 70-degree run…YES!!!

In October, we’ll be running the Halloween Half Marathon, which is a new race and pretty much just another excuse for us to dress up like idiots. And I still have some big news in terms of our November racing plans, but before I get into that, I have an inquiry for you all!

So, this weekend, Todd and I will be running the Ocean City Half Marathon. It’s not too far from where we live, and as excited as I am for fall, I’m jonesing for one last beach weekend. :)

Photo credit: OCNJ.us

But the other reason is that this weekend’s training schedule calls for our big 18-miler…and I thought it could be kind of interesting to try tackling a long run as part of an actual race. The current plan is to run 5 miles before the race, and then complete the half marathon for a grand total of 18.1 miles. :)

Now, this is something we’ve never done before. For starters, we’re the type of runners who are always scrambling around the morning of a race, and typically arrive to the starting line just as the gun is going off…so getting up ridiculously early to log a couple of miles before a race has always seemed pretty much out of the question. And I DEFINITELY don’t want to continue running after the race is over because completing a half marathon = excuse to stuff my face with bagels or pretzels or chocolate milk or whatever delectable goodies happen to be awaiting me at the finish line. So, needless to say, I don’t think it’s a good idea to run 5 miles with post-race food sloshing around in my belly.

This was actually my cockamamie idea, and Todd told me I was batcrap crazy at first…but I think he’s warming up to the idea. I want to try this because I think it would really boost my confidence to see how I perform on a long run in a race-like environment. I’m obviously not planning to bust it or try to set any PRs or anything like that, but I think if I can prove to myself that I can keep a fairly solid pace for this race even after running 5 miles beforehand, then that will give me to confidence to tackle our final 20-mile long run and KNOW that my hard work this summer has paid off.

These guys will apparently be waiting for us at the finish line, haha
(Photo credit: Ocean City Half Marathon)

The race takes place on the boardwalk, and it’s a quiet little shore town, so I feel pretty comfortable about running on the boardwalk early in the morning before joining the other runners…even though it’s technically a new environment for us and I’m unfamiliar with the town. We’re staying in a hotel that’s practically right next to the starting line, so we don’t have to worry about parking or transportation on race morning. Since the race starts at 8:30, I figure it’s totally doable to head out for 5 miles around 7:15, fuel up with some Clif Bloks, maybe take a quick potty break, and then line up with our fellow runners to tackle the last 13.1.

I’m not saying it’ll be easy, but it’s something I think I need to do for myself. Plus, I’m hoping that the spectator support and water stations and bathroom facilities and the excitement of the race atmosphere will make tackling this 18-miler a little bit more manageable (and even fun!) than running around the park countless times only to collapse on the living room floor afterwards. I know that I will push myself harder during an actual race, and probably not take as many walk breaks…and I think it could be excellent practice for us and a way to gauge where we are after all those grueling, HOT summer runs.

Oh, and let’s not forget that we’ll get a shiny new medal for our efforts! :-D

They still won’t reveal the actual medal…damn them, lol
(Photo credit: ocnj.us)

Bottom line? I crashed and burned during last year’s New York City Marathon. I want redemption. And I want to do everything I possibly can to avoid the meltdowns and panic attacks that are so often my downfall when running a marathon.

I think tackling one of our final long runs in an environment that more closely simulates race-day conditions will be good for me, mentally speaking…and will hopefully prove that I am READY for my next marathon! :-D

My question to you all is — who has added extra miles to a race for the sake of completing a long run, and do you have any tips/words of wisdom for us?!

Would you ever log miles before or after a race for the sake of completing a scheduled long run?

Be honest…have I completely lost my damn mind? ;)


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