Here’s the Game Plan

Last Saturday Barry and I were supposed to run the Blacksburg Classic 10 Miler. However, the race was postponed due to extreme cold temperatures. The race often gets rescheduled since it is an early-February race and weather is often a challenge. This year, they simply pushed it a week and so the race will take place tomorrow.

Here’s the tricky part: I had a 9 mile long run scheduled last weekend, so the 10 miler fit perfectly with my schedule. This week, however, I have a 20 mile long run on tap. That means I’ll be incorporating the 10 mile race into my 20 miler.

In some ways, it will be nice to share some miles with a race. I’ve done it many times before, like when I turned the 2013 Virginia 10 Miler into a 16 mile long run by running 6 miles beforehand. That time was actually pretty neat, because it was a new personal distance record for me. I haven’t run 20 miles since the 2014 Marine Corps Marathon, so tomorrow will feel much like a PDR as well. Plus this will be the first time I’ve pinned on a bib in 2016.

Approaching the finish line at the ’13 Virginia 10 Miler (and 16 miles total for the day). Let’s hope I feel this good tomorrow!

The race starts at 1 PM, so right now my plan is to run 5 or 6 miles prior to the race, run the race, and then tack on 4 or 5 more miles after the race. I’m a bit torn, though. Maybe I should just run 10 beforehand so that when I cross the race finish line I’ll be “done done.” I don’t know.

Here’s what I do know: Barry was in a similar situation several years ago. He also had to incorporate the 10 miler into a 20 mile long run, as he prepared for his first full. He ran 10 miles before the race, but the timing didn’t work out quite right and he had to wait around awhile before the race start. That turned out to be detrimental and he felt awful the entire race. So his big advice to me is to try not to have a long time between my pre-race miles and the actual race.

In 2013, at the Virginia 10 Miler, we timed it perfectly and only waited 5-10 minutes until the race start. Hopefully I can do the same tomorrow! If nothing else, I will probably do a quick outfit change before the race and then keep jogging around to stay warm until the race starts.

Runners, y’all. We are a crazy bunch.

Have you ever incorporated a race into your long run? How did it work out?

7 thoughts on “Here’s the Game Plan”

  1. I recently incorporated a 10k race into a 14 mile run. I ended up getting to the race location super early to get 8 miles in before the race. I had about 30 minutes between my early miles and the start of the race which was a little much. I would time it a little closer if you can or keep moving as much as possible. It did feel good to be “done done” when I finished the race. And I could get snacks with my friends after the race instead of continuing to run.

    Good luck and enjoy the 20 miles no matter how you split them up!

    1. Thanks for your input! I tried to time my prerace miles closer to the race, but ended up with about 30 minutes between them. It made for a tough day.

  2. I have done this, but not quite the same distance. I had to fit a 10k into an 11 mile run. The race was local, so I ran 2ish miles there, ran the race, then just ran home. I agree not to have too much time in between your miles. What about 4-5 miles before, and if you have any extra time, just jog up and down the corrals until it’s time to start?

    1. I ended up deciding to go for 8-10 miles before the race. Got in 8.3 before, then did the final 1.7 afterwards. I think it would have gone a lot better if I hadn’t ended up with 30 minutes between my prerace miles and the race itself. It was a tough day out there!

  3. You also incorporated a few extra miles before/after the first Hokie Half. I remember running about a mile after it with you and Barry after the race. Did you run a couple of mile before hand, or were 14 miles all that were on your schedule that day?

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