Tuesday, November 22, 2011

To Race or Not to Race?

Scheduling races on back to back weekends - ambitious or just plain dumb?

I'm trying to decide if I can do another race one week after Run with the Turkeys or if I need to instead focus my energy on training for the next race at the end of December. The upcoming race in question is The Elf Run - the first in the RACC Great Lakes Running Series. During the series, racers can accumulate points, based on how they place. The best four of five races count toward series awards. While it's possible to skip this one and just do the remaining four races in the series, I would have to run hard at each and every one to have even a small shot at winning one of the series age group awards.

I don't race for fun
You're probably thinking I should just do the race for fun and see what happens. After all, it's just a 5k, right? Small confession: While I have fun racing, I don't race for fun. I race to see how far I can push myself and how fast I can go. Run to just finish the race? Never. When I race, I'm out to win - even if the only person I'm trying to beat is myself.

Risk versus reward
Based on last year's results, I'll need to run sub 22:00 to place in the top three in my division. While not impossible, I'll say it's highly improbable given my 5k PR is 22:53. Will not placing in the top three (or even top five) in my age group be too disappointing/discouraging? On the other hand, if I can pull off a great race, it will be a major confidence booster and take some of the pressure off during the remaining races in the series.

So there you have it - my running dilemma of the week. What do you think I should do? Also, have any of you ever raced back to back weekends? If so, how did you end up doing?

- ST


  1. RACE!!! I have been in series events before....you never know what can happen. I am doing all 5 races too. I like to do all of them to give myself the best shot. Here are some facts: You don't know who is racing this year. You don't know who is competing in the series or just doing 1 or 2 races. You don't what to be haunted by the "what ifs." They are giving out medals for 10 deep in the age groups. It will give you an idea of who your competition will be for the series. It will give you something to work for! I don't have great expectations for myself on Sunday. Just hoping to place in the top 10 in my AG. I would like a medal. My goal is to get faster over the course of the series (of course, dependent on weather and the the course profile). Plus, it will feel good to do something after Turkey Day!!!

  2. All good points, Anna! I can't believe they are giving out medals for 10 deep in the age groups. I think getting faster over the series is my goal as well but we'll see - this is my first winter season running!