Monday, May 06, 2013

The Long and Short of It

Andrea texted me yesterday saying she wanted to go back to running marathons because they were "easier" than racing halfs.  I returned the text, laughing, because I said I didn't plan on running a marathon until after the age of forty because I wanted to spend the next few years working on my speed.  We both laughed knowing we would change our minds.

That took all of less than 24 hours.

I haven't done a race, racing or participating, since November.  I've got the itch really bad.  I don't care if it's fast or slow, long or short, I just want to get out there and race again.  But, I do have one race plan for this year.  I was hoping to train for and RACE a half marathon this fall.  Leading up to this I was hoping to do 5Ks, 10Ks, 10 milers, etc. to work on being fast, fast, fast. 

But I've also had this pull to do some trail running even though it's not easy to find a trail around here and well, I've not really done any trail running.  And I can't get it out of my head that I'd like to try a 50K.  Yeah, I don't know, but it just interests me.  There was one locally last November that would have been perfect for me because it was mostly on roads (I would consider myself a road runner).  I'm not sure, though, if they're going to have this one in 2013.  Then I got searching the internet and I started to find some races.  First I found a marathon on November 3rd.  Then I found a 50K on December 7th.  Hmmm, interesting.  I could train to race the half marathon and yet still be able to do these races.  Then I thought, but I've never done a true trail race (I've done two races on towpaths - not exactly the same), so I though maybe I should find something shorter to start with and I found a 10 miler in Dave's hometown on August 17th.  Dave and I could both do this race if Dave's parents were in town and willing to watch the baby for a while. 

Honestly, I have no idea what my running plans should be for the rest of the year.  Remember when you used to be able to decide, "hey I want to run a race this weekend" and then go and sign up the day of?  Yeah, that just doesn't happen anymore.  Plus, I have to do a little more planning with photo booth events and now that we have a baby.

What do you think?  Do you think you can gain speed by going long?  Have you ever done a true trail race?  Have you ever gone longer than a marathon?


Colleen said...

Tom and I just had this conversation today over lunch. He's doing a 70.3 in September with the hopes of going 4:59:59 or under and then wants to try to beat his PR at the Columbus Marathon. He knows that means more and more speed work to get those two goals. But he also has his eye on a 40 mile trail run in December and doesn't know if training long for that will affect his speed. It's a constant battle. :)

We've done some trail running around here and LOVE it. Something about just getting lost in nature (I sound all granola, don't I?) If you do it, don't get caught up on pace though... you WILL be slower on trails. It just takes more concentration!

Andrea Hill said...

I'm happy you're excited about events again!

M said...

I have no idea about gaining speed by going long - long for me is the half distance (13.1) as I have had no desire to do any more than that. With that being said, I PRed my 5K distance purely through training for my half iron distance race last year. So, maybe you can get some speed by going long?

As for trail races, there are actually quite a few around Central Ohio, they are just small and not well advertised. One of my faves is the Hocking Hills Indian Run, held every September (this year it is the 21st). They offer everything from a 5K to a 60K. Well run race, beautiful scenery. There are also some trail races out near Mohican, Circleville, and the great "Mudman Triple" at Kenyon college in October. Search, and ye shall find!!! I love trail running - just seems a heck of a lot more fun than trudging it out on the road.

Melissa C said...

My friend Erin worked on going long. Not really sure that she noticed any speed gains bc she had to slow down her pace a lot to do her race (50 mi trail). 50k isn't that much further than a marathon, but trail running is a lot slower than road, but you still get strong, and your endurance transfers well.

Personally, I stopped trail running when I had children. I couldn't take the jogging stroller on the trails. When I had a chance to get on the trails, I opted to bike. I have done a 100k trail relay where I ran around 15 mi in 1 day. It's tough. I'm sort of thinking of trying to get back into trail too. I want a big belt buckle :)