The one in which I don’t listen to myself and let my ego take over.

So remember my post in which I waxed poetic about my approach to running, specifically races? You know, the post I wrote yesterday?

I’m signed up for a 5K race tomorrow evening. And I’m not sure how to run it.

Sensible Me, the one who wrote yesterday’s post, reminds me that my goal right now is the train for the marathon. I should use the race as part of my training plan. The fastest I should allow myself to go for 3 straight miles is tempo pace.

Big Ego Me says race it. It’s only 3 miles. It’s early in my training cycle (week 2 of 18). It won’t derail me.

But practical me says if I’m not going to PR, what’s the point of racing it? So stick to a tempo run.

Let’s think about it …

  • My 5K PR is 23:18. I did that on a chilly morning back in March, when my legs were fresh because they hadn’t raced in over a month.
  • Tomorrow it’s looking like 82 degrees at race time. I’ve raced two half marathons within the past 12 days. Do I really have a 5K PR in me? Have I really improved that much in three months?
  • I probably shouldn’t set myself up for disappointment. I should do a tempo run.
  • But …. but …. I want to know what kind of 5K pace I’m capable of right now …….. it’s only 3 miles …..
  • Can I handle the disappointment if I race it and don’t PR?
  • Maybe one of my friends who will be there will be trying to PR around my tempo pace (around 8 minute miles … anyone?) and I can just pace them.
This is why I’m forcing myself to not sign up for any more races between now and October 7 (plus the 3 weeks after I’ll use to recover). I can’t deal with the disappointment ofย not racing a race. Maybe my ego is too big. So unless I’m pacing someone else to a PR (in which case I have justification for not PRing or coming close), I should not do any more races.

What would you do?ย 

Also, race time is 6:30. What should I eat beforehand and when?

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8 Comments on “The one in which I don’t listen to myself and let my ego take over.”

  1. There’s no reason not to sign up for any more races between now and the marathon. I’m goal driven and I need those races to keep me motivated. However, I’m pretty attached to 5ks and they do tend to get in the way of marathon training but I do them anyway. Neither I nor my brother waited 3 weeks to race after the marathon either. You need to play it by ear. We were jonesing to race within 2 weeks. To me, the bigger question is how your legs feel after the 2 halves in the past 2 weeks?

    Eating for an evening half (Las Vegas RnR) was my biggest issue that I never did figure out completely. I dont’ seem to have that issue with a 5k. Pretend you’re racing in the am and eat the same amount of time out that you would for that.

  2. I think it wouldn’t hurt to push a little harder than tempo. Don’t restrict yourself!!

    I keep filling my schedule with more and more 5k’s this summer. I sort of love it because they’re little milestones to keep me going during training. For me, it’s totally necessary.

  3. I’d probably push a bit harder than a tempo pace, however I don’t have much success with pushing my pace on evening runs. I’m going to try and make the blogger meet-up before hand to cheer you all on!

  4. Do what you feel is right for you. It’s very much so about your mentality and if you suspect that adding in more races during training will only add stress, then skip those races! Good luck with training…I’m sure you’ll figure it out ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. There is a huge difference between “being able to PR” and “being able to PR on that particular day under those circumstances”. Regardless of what happens (or how you choose to run it) Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t make a certain time goal. Its not because you can’t, its because your body doesn’t feel up to it at the moment.

  6. I can’t offer much wisdom on what to eat before hand, other than not to eat within a two-hour window. My stomach is wimpy, and this seems to help.

    All I want to say is SMOKE ‘EM SISTER!

  7. Go for it! But I’m with gingerfoxxx – if you don’t make a PR don’t get too disappointed. The conditions are so different and there’s no reason to kill yourself if halfway through you can tell you’re not going to beat 23 (which is a pretty sweet PR). But why not go as fast as you can when you have a perfectly measured course, water stations and some magical computers keeping exact track of your time for you?

  8. You’ll know best how you feel once you get out there. It can always be a game time decision too with a few different options depending on how you’re feeling once the race time comes around (you kind of have that luxury in an evening race). If the gun goes off and you’re feeling fresh, go for it. If your legs feel like jell-o and/or dead, then adjust and just have fun with it. That’s my advice!

    I LOVE your “bad” race photos. They are still awesome. When it is a million degrees out and you’re running a half marathon, anything goes. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Is it dorky to say that I’m excited for all my friends to start marathon training? I can live vicariously through them and I’m already excited for all the cheering (and running) I’m going to do on race day! ๐Ÿ™‚

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