an athlete photographer's blog

Moving Forward with a Race

A lot of people run a race to see who is fastest. I run to see who has the most guts, who can punish himself into exhausting pace, and then at the end, punish himself even more.  – Steve Prefontaine

The Run
6.00 miles

The PictureBirds in Row

The Recap

On May 23rd, the Manhattan Running Company is hosting their one and only half marathon of the year, the Bill Snyder Highway Half Marathon and 5K.  Ever since I found out about it several months ago, I’ve been resisting the itch to sign up.  My 2015 training plan does not have me running a half this year.  This is a building/growing year.

Part of the reason I don’t want to run the half is because I haven’t been training for it and because I know I wouldn’t finish with a time even comparable to my previous races.  I’m too competitive to just jog it and try to “just finish.”  But then the other day I had the hair-brained idea that I could Picture Run the half and then I could just take pictures on my walking breaks.  I wouldn’t finish in a good time, but I’d be taking pictures in a race.  I let the idea simmer for a few days.

I decided I needed some sort of metric to see if I was actually ready for 13 miles.  If I was going to do the half, I needed to be able to control my pace and just run at a steady pace so I could finish.  I decided to do a 6 mile run and to try to keep my pace at 10 min/mile.  I figured if I could run 6 with my pack now then in 5 weeks I could probably push to 13.  It seemed like a good plan at the time.

Here’s how I did:

1  –  9:47
2  –  13:15
3  –  9:32
4  –  9:30
5  –  9:46
6  –  8:52

Can you tell when I stopped to take pictures? 🙂

This came in at 10:07/mile which is not too bad.  I was kind of trying to make up for the 4 minutes I spent with my camera.  My legs were tired during the run, but I forced myself to run up all the hills.  (Yes, Kansas has hills.)

Kansas Hills

I was really pleased with my run.  I haven’t run this distance in a while so it was nice to see I was able to do it – in the middle of a humid day even.  I was almost completely set on running the half at this point.  I still wanted to talk it over with a friend of mine though who is signed up for the race.

I’m so glad I did.

After talking it over with my friend and listening to her tell me about her 9 mile run that same day, I just knew I wasn’t ready.  Five weeks out is just not enough time.  So instead, I signed up for the 5K.  I know, it sounds like a let down when I write it like this, but it really is the smart decision.  And one I’m super excited about.

The 5K is right at my level right now distance-wise.  With this distance I could actually be proud of my time and possibly work towards a PR.  I dug out a 5 Weeks to Your Fastest 5K training plan from an old Runner’s World and I have just enough time to implement it.  Will it really be my fastest??  I highly doubt it, but I think it will be faster than if I ran it tomorrow.  I officially signed up this evening so I’m committed.  Can’t wait!  Nothing like a race to motivate training!  More to come!


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