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?