Saturday, May 26, 2012

My New Goal Half and Recent Race Cancellations

Since I am currently en route to California with a lot of flight time still left on my hands (I can never sleep on planes), I figured I would once again grace the blogging world with my presence.

The reality of the matter is that it’s hard to keep up a running blog when you haven’t been running. Even more so when you’re doing anything and everything else to distract yourself from the fact that you haven’t been running. Shocking.

Rewind to a couple weeks ago on May 13th. I had gradually worked my way back to running 3 miles, three times a week. But I was still feeling that all too familiar twinge of ITBS here and there on my runs. Obviously, I was going nowhere fast on the road to recovery. So I decided to take three full weeks off of running and focus on strength training, yoga, and cross training (although since I loathe cross training, I’ve been doing mostly strength training and yoga). I’ve mostly been focusing on my core, hips, butt, hamstrings, and quads, and I’ve been seeing good progress in the strength department. Taking these three weeks off allows me exactly enough time to complete Hal Higdon’s 18-Week Novice I Marathon Training Program before Chicago in the fall. I picked this plan because the mileage starts small (15 mpw) and works you up to 40 mpw very gradually. There is also no speedwork, but I can work some of that in later once I’m back to 100%.

I also picked my new goal half marathon! I’ll be racing the Urban Wildland Half Marathon in Richfield, MN on August 4th. This race has been advertised as Minnesota’s “green” race and describes the course as “mostly flat and fast.” I’ll only have 8 weeks to train for it, and I’ll just be following my marathon training plan. The plan actually prescribes a half marathon the same weekend that this one takes place, so it kind of felt like fate.

Urban Wildland Half Marathon

The time of has been brutal- now I understand why people go nuts during their marathon taper. I’ve thought about lacing up my running shoes several times in the last couple weeks, but I just keep reminding myself that I’ll only be prolonging my injury rather than letting it heal.

In other news, the Midwest has been facing some uncharacteristically high temperatures for May, and as a result, race cancellations have been a problem. The Green Bay Marathon was cancelled after the start last weekend, the Madison Marathon was just cancelled, and there is speculation that the Med City Marathon (my original goal half) may also be cancelled tomorrow. The La Crosse Marathon was also cancelled, albeit for thunderstorms, not heat. I understand that the race directors take a lot of factors into consideration before they cancel a race, but it seems that a lot of runners are angry, and I totally get why. You can train for months and pay a hefty race fee, only to not be able to run or even get a refund. But at what point does it become the race director's responsibility to "save runners from themselves" and not even allow them to start?  

I am so excited to be on my way to California! We’ll be dog-sitting for the first part of trip while my sister-in-law, brother-in-law, and nephew are in Georgia. I foresee a lot of walks and lounging by the pool in my near future!

What are your thoughts on cancelling a race due to heat? Have you ever been registered for a race that was cancelled?

Taper time- do you enjoy it, or does it drive you crazy?

What are your plans for Memorial Day weekend?


  1. I ran Green Bay last weekend and was super-pissed about them cancelling it. Runner safety is the individual's responsibility,and I am pretty angry that the actions of some stupid people cost the race for the rest of us. I got the news at mile 18 (after over 15 miles of running at a slower pace so I could finish it all) and ran the rest AWOL. Nobody stopped us and that rocked.

    I do understand that an RD doesn't want someone dying from the heat on their race, so I think that letting those of us that felt safe choose to finish was the right thing (basically nobody yanked us off the course and medals were waiting at the end with some food and water).

    I am very disappointed that I trained for three months hopeful for a BQ and then didn't even get a chance to try, but that wasn't something anyone could change, so I just went for it. Running a full 30 min slower than expected because I'm not used to heat like that was fine, but I'm really hoping I can find a way to have a do-over in June.

    1. After reading your race recap, Karen, I was angry for you!! I'm glad they at least let you finish, but that's gotta be really disappointing after training that long for a BQ. I bet you'll be in great shape for a fall marathon though!

      I think the less experienced, less prepared runners need to hold themselves more accountable and not start the race. Those are the people that likely had the most trouble in the first half, and ultimately are the reason why the race was cancelled. But no matter how inexperienced you are, runners are just stubborn people in general, and that's why I think a lot of them had trouble saying no to starting in the first place.