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.
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?