Fit Friday - Should I Race?

It feels as if the holidays get here, and everything gets crazy. No idea why, but my schedule gets pretty out of wack and I feel like I'm trying to get in a run wherever I can. My BFF is in town for work so I've been trying to see her when I can, I'm at the peak of marathon training again, work is super busy, and I'm just not feeling all that well or energized. The time change has been an adjustment. It finally brought us some cold weather, but I'm sad my evening runs will be in complete darkness. My morning runs, on the other hand, allow me to watch the sunrise :)

Sun's out during my morning runs finally!

Sun's out during my morning runs finally!

I rarely get sick - watch. Now that I said that, I'm going to get the worst cold! - but I just haven't been feeling 100%. As I've gone up in my marathon training during this bridge program, I've not increased my sleep time at all. It's probably decreased! But, I can't complain because in just 4 weeks I'll be attempting to qualify for Boston again. With how close I was in Portland on only my second marathon to date, I'm excited to see what I can do on this next marathon.

Now the question that has been on my mind this week is whether or not to participate in another race that is already on my schedule between now and CIM. I originally started signing up for lots of races because I knew it would help calm my nerves when it came to the big races that really mattered to me. After running Portland and then pacing the Long Beach Half and the longer time it took me to recover, I've been a little wary about overdoing it before CIM.

I signed up for the Malibu Half Marathon when registration first opened back in January I think! Long before I signed up for any of my marathons after Big Sur. I've looked at this race for the last couple years and wanted to run it because the majority of the course is right along PCH, which makes for a beautiful run. But I'm trying to figure out the purpose of racing it now. The weekend of the half falls on the same weekend I should run a 20 miler. I could use the race for training and try to race it hard after a 20 miler to really push myself, or I could use it as an easy recovery after my 20 miler. I could also drop out.

I've never dropped out of a race I've signed up for. It makes me feel like a quitter. I know people do it all the time because of injuries and illness or what have you, but I am a stickler for racing what I commit too (probably the reason why I've run more than a few races with a hangover!). I want to prioritize the marathon distance so I can accomplish my goal of qualifying for Boston in the next year. I want to avoid distractions and a chance of injury by running races outside of that distance, but I can't imagine not running a race I've signed up for. I looked at the possibility of transferring and that's not an option either. So, it's been a struggle to think about and I have a week to decide. Any input?

My long run on Saturday was weird. I did really well from a pacing standpoint and felt strong the first 17.5 miles. I had to stop at mile 18 for more water to finish up the run. I ended up chugging too much and ran the last 2 miles with a really upset belly. I did get to go trick-or-treating with my adorable nieces and nephews that evening. I was more pooped out than they were at the end though!

My brother in law and all my nieces and nephews! So cute!

My brother in law and all my nieces and nephews! So cute!

On Sunday, I went to a United LA meetup where we teamed with Alleviate Skid Row to collect and pass out clothing to the homeless folks on Skid Row. We met in downtown and ran a mile and a half to Gladys Park where Alleviate was set up to pass out the clothing. It was an amazing and eye-opening experience. I have a few photos here, but please be sure to check out Alleviate Skid Row and all they are doing.

Alleviate Skid Row
Alleviate Skid Row

The rest of the week was a little off from a schedule standpoint and fitting in enough running. I did a lot of 4:30 wake up calls to fit miles in the morning so I could make another event or activity at night with friends:

Saturday: 20 miles @ 8:14 pace
Sunday: 6 miles @ 8:15 pace
Monday: Legs, Shoulders & Triceps - 90 lunges, 75 squats and I could barely sit down for the next 3 days! Plus a spin class at night. Yowza!!! My legs were hurting.
Tuesday: Rest. Because squats killed me and I was feeling sick.
Wednesday: Morning 6 miles @ 8:31 pace; evening 5 miles with GRVL @ 7:31
Thursday: 5 miles @ 7:49 pace. Finally recovered from those lunges :)
Friday: Rest

Only 41 miles this week. A bit low for where I should be in my training, but I'm feeling rested for tomorrow's 22 mile run. Then it's time to work back down into taper and get marathon race day ready.

Let me know your thoughts on whether I should run the upcoming Malibu Half Marathon! Do you think it will hurt my training, help, and if you think I should race, should I race hard or use it for a recovery/training run? All feedback is greatly appreciated!

J