What is Professor Badass up to? I thought that chick loved the marathon with an undying passion and yet she’s posting a whole series of race reports for shorter races?
Good question! What am I up to?
When I looked at my running schedule for the year, I had a break between the Boston marathon in the spring and the Chicago marathon in the fall. The next race on my schedule was the Boilermaker 15K on July 14th, thirteen weeks post-Boston; after that I start training for Chicago. Including some genuine post-Boston recovery and at least some time to prepare for Boilermaker, that wasn’t enough time for a full training cycle, but I wanted to do something. Coach Mick emphasized that I should be sure to have FUN whatever we decided to do and I like to race. HPRM#1 is always on my case to run more shorter races, though “shorter” seems to be a moving target. My New Year’s resolution was #more5ks #morebrewpubs and yet I hadn’t done a 5K since January….
And thus, the Short Distance Spaghetti Project was born, a series of five races at four distances in five different states, including the Boilermaker (hey, from my perspective, 15K is short!). Jack Daniels says it’s important to understand to goal of every run so what’s the goal with these races? Basically, I am throwing some spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks. I am trying some shorter races to see what I can learn, knowing that the lessons will not clear ahead of time. Sometimes the way to get better at something is just by doing a lot more of it. Just get out there and toss some spaghetti. See what happens.
Race selection was mostly a matter of triangulating between life-schedule, work-schedule, and running-schedule. I ended up with the following list:
May 5th, Providence 5K, in Providence, RI
May 25th, Delaney Dash 4 Miler, in Old Saybrook, CT
June 8th, Race for the Pies 5K, in Jacksonville, FL
June 22nd, Westfield 10K, in Westfield, MA
July 14th, Boilermaker 15K, in Utica, NY
I’ve been learning a lot. These races have not been unmitigated successes by a long shot. I went out way too fast at Providence in spite of planning to do it as a tempo run. But I learned something about control at the beginning of a race and my pacing for Delaney Dash was much better! Stay tuned for updates on how Race for the Pies and the Westfield 10K turned out. Now I kind of wish I had thought calling this undertaking the Short Distance Spaghetti Project ahead of time so I could have had a t-shirt made with a spaghetti picture. There’s a lesson right there.
Do you have a goal for every race you do? Care to share any of the lessons you’ve learned from shorter distances?