Gooooood morning! It’s another really cold one here in DC – in the teens with windchill. But, I’m proud because I dragged myself out of my warm bed and over to the track this morning! This is my “I made it back to the track for the first time in ages!” pose, apparently. :)
After the Marine Corps Marathon in late October I was reeeeeally burned out on training. So, since then I’ve been giving myself a break from any structured run training and haven’t been out at the track at all with the exception or one or two random pop ins to see everyone. You guys know I’ve still been running – usually 2 to 3 days per week – but just for fun and without any goals on distance or pace. I’ve also been doing a lot more strength work, yoga, boot camps, etc., which I’ve enjoyed.
Now that it’s the new year, though, I’m trying to decide what I want my spring of running/racing to look like. I’m planning to do the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler (<- recap from last year) again in April, and will probably try to race it because it’s such a flat, fast course and I love racing the 10 mile distance (although last year’s time will be hard to beat)!
The race I’m debating about though is the Rock ‘n’ Roll DC half marathon (<- recap from last year) in March! I LOVE that race and if I do it this year it would be my 6th time running it (well, including the year I ran it before it became Rock ‘n’ Roll). But I can’t decide if I’m ready to train for another half or not, and then if I do decide to do it whether I should just do it for fun as a training run for the 10 miler or try to actually race it. (It’s not a super amazing course for racing because there’s a massive hill, but it’s not terribly hilly besides that.) Let’s break it down into some pros and cons, shall we?
- I love the course.
- It’s one of my absolute favorite races and I think I’d be sad to miss out on it when race day came because I always do it. FOMO!
- A bunch of friends are also doing it, so, PARTY. Although I think everyone is racing/has different goals, so we’d all be running solo – but still fun to see people before/after.
- Did I mention I love the course/atmosphere? It’s just fun – great crowd support, cool tour of DC, so many friends out cheering, etc.
- Full disclosure: as part of my ongoing Brooks running blogger ambassadorship, I can get a free bib for the race (they are one of the main race sponsors). I know, I am very fortunate that the race cost doesn’t factor in here because it’s not cheap!
- Matt and I have a fair amount of weekend trips coming up in late January/February that might interfere with training well for the race (might require some weekday long runs, which I don’t love at all).
- The weather. March can be super hit or miss, although I definitely prefer very cold racing to very hot racing – but it just depends if we get a lot of snow/ice this winter that interferes with the race itself or training for it.
- I’ve been enjoying doing more strength training and classes and don’t want that to drop off.
- It’s the same day as my good friend’s wedding (the wedding is in DC, though, so I could definitely nap and rally – but something to consider).
- This means amping up mileage again – do I really want to do that? Not sure if my body is ready for that again or not…
- I always do it – I know this was a pro, but I think it could also be a con – might be nice to mix it up and do something different, like continue to focus on more of the strength classes, not deal with double digit distance runs, etc.
Decisions, decisions. What do you guys think? Should I run it? And if I do run it, should I race it or just run it for fun?! If I run it for fun and not speed, that would make some of the cons less of a big deal because I wouldn’t be so worried about snow/ice stopping me from running, and long runs would be more casual as well and I could skip a couple without it being a big deal. But at the same time, racing and having a goal is also nice – I’m just not sure I’m ready/care enough to put in the hard work to make a PR happen right now though, at least not for the half marathon distance. (The 10 miler is another story – that distance feels so much more manageable for speed, and the flat course makes a huge difference. Plus, that race isn’t so soon.)
I’m also trying to decide if I want to commit to going back to the track again consistently or not, which I would obviously need to do to PR – my track buddies make me much more inclined to because I love seeing them, but the cold weather and darkness do not. I will say, the track always sounds like a terrible idea when I think about it the night before and the morning of, but I do enjoy it when I’m out there. It’s a great group that I love getting to hang out with, and I always arrive home feeling awesome and super accomplished afterwards. Tough call!
The sunrises are pretty sweet in winter, too… here I am with my track buddy Diane attempting to get a jumping photo in between sets – our coaches were like um, what are you doing?
Seriously though – how awesome is this sunrise we were treated to about halfway through practice?
As for the actual workout, here’s what we did:
- Warm up jog (about 3/4 of a mile)
- 2000m (5 laps around the track) at mid threshold pace
- Rest 1 to 2 minutes
- 2000m at mid threshold pace
- Rest 1 to 2 minutes
- 1200 (3 laps around the track) at slightly higher mid threshold pace
- Cool down jog (about 1 mile)
My watch just shows the workout portion (not the warm up jog and cool down jog) – I probably covered about 5 miles total. This went by really quickly thanks to running with my track buddies and chatting most of the time! My cardio is still there, but my legs definitely felt a little rusty on the speed though, understandably, since it’s been awhile! That pace felt a lot harder than it normally should…
Anyway – I’d love any thoughts you have on the spring racing dilemma! Obviously this small decision is not particularly important in the greater scheme of things/life/the hot mess that is currently the world, but I figured you guys might have some thoughts and have fun helping me to decide which way to go. :)
Post-workout breakfast was my old fave Microwave Banana Oatmeal. Half way through cooking I stirred in some frozen wild blueberries, and then I topped it with whole milk cottage cheese and some walnuts once it was out of the microwave. Delish and protein packed!
I’m working from home today and have a bunch of meetings and calls, need to prep for my first day of volunteer English teaching tomorrow, and I’m also going to go have lunch with my grandmother for a nice mid-day break. Back to it!
Have a wonderful day, my friends!
What does your spring racing calendar look like?