Tuesday, May 14, 2019

My Fall Plans

I realize we are still weeks away from the official start of summer (yes, I had to look it up... and apparently there is both an astrological start {June 21st} and a meteorological start {June 1st} - thanks Farmers Almanac), but I'm already thinking about the fall. Don't worry, I'm not looking towards autumn because I'm wishing the days away or anything like that (although, truth be told, this May Gray is getting real old, real quick and I may secretly be wishing for summer sunshine to come sooner than later), but because I'm planning my fall race schedule and need to make decisions in the near future.

Yep, in case you were wondering, I write out my training plan with pencil and paper and hang it on the fridge. 

If you are a runner, you may be thinking about your fall plans already as well. You see, most training plans for longer distances (say a half marathon or marathon) range anywhere from 12 to 20 weeks long. That means, if you are planning to race in September, October, November, then you normally have to start getting ready by May, June, July.


Well, here is where I am (literally) running into my dilemma. I'm not sure WHAT I want to tackle this fall. Originally, at the beginning of the year, I had made some goals for 2019 and two of them were specific time goals for my half and full marathon races. (You can check out my 19 Goals for 2019 HERE if you don't remember them.) The first half of the year was focused on ultra training, which means speed and time goals flew out the window. If I want to attempt to hit the time goals I set for myself, then my fall races are where I would need to do it. But the problem is, I don't know if that's necessarily what I want to do anymore. You see, I have really been enjoying the longer distances and taking the pressure off of myself by removing time goals. On the other hand, I love seeing what my body is capable of when I give it my all and push past barriers I once thought were unbreakable. So I'm stuck between choosing trail running or PR attempting.


Currently I have some races on the calendar for the summer and have scoped out some ideas for fall races. I think I have narrowed down my options of different races depending on whether I am sticking with the trails or trying to tackle PRs.

Remaining 2019 Races:

June 1: Fremont Canyon 28.8K
June 2: Rock 'N' Roll San Diego Half Marathon
June 29: Black Mountain 50K
July 27-28: San Francisco Ultra
August 3: Balboa Park 8-Miler
September 8: Hike Mt. Whitney
     *September 21: Dances With Dirt 50K/ 50M (Haven't registered, still deciding distance)
     *October 20: Ventura Marathon (Haven't registered, still deciding)
     *November 9: REVEL Big Bear (Haven't registered, still deciding)
     *November 9: Griffith Park Trail 30K (Haven't registered, still deciding)
November 17: Rock 'N' Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon

My thought is, if I were to stick with the trails, then I'd run Dances With Dirt as a 50-Miler in September and then the 30K in Griffith Park at the beginning of November. If I wanted to attempt PRs in the half and full distances, I'd run Dances With Dirt as a 50K and then shoot for the Ventura Marathon as my marathon PR attempt and REVEL Big Bear as my half marathon PR attempt. {There are always other races, these are just the ones I have checked out.} I've chatted with a running coach friend, throwing around both options and she thinks either is doable... it just depends on what I want to do...


I honestly have been enjoying the trails and longer distances, but in the back of my mind I'm not sure if I'm leaning that way because I'm nervous about putting in the work and then not hitting my time goals. If my heart isn't in the PRs, then I'm totally okay with not going after them, but if it's because I'm worried about the challenge, then I don't think that's a good enough reason not to run after them with everything I've got. Technically, if I'm able to run a half marathon PR of a sub-1:34, I could hit the time-standard qualifying window for the New York City Marathon and hopefully secure a spot for 2020 (that is, if they don't adjust the standards for next year's race). Other than that, the PRs are strictly personal (meaning I wouldn't be using them to get me into another race or better my starting placement in a corral anywhere). So now it's up to me to decide if the personal satisfaction of a faster personal best is worth the time and effort it'll take to chase down.


It'd be so much easier if I could just put up a poll and whatever "the people" decided I did, but I know that if my heart wasn't in whatever way you all voted that it'd lead to a lackluster training cycle with less than amazing results...


Let's be real, I thought writing this blog post would be a little more insightful and I would conclude by knowing what to do and which races to register for, but I am just as confused as I was to start. Maybe it's time to flip a coin... #RunnerProbs


Are there any other races I should consider for my fall schedule?


Organic Runner Mom said...

Wow! You have so many great races on your calendar. I am still trying to decided if I ever want to tackle a 50K but am thinking about sticking to shorter distances like the half and 25K. I need to start looking at fall races too.

Erica @ Erica Finds said...

I think you can do sub 1:34 on a non-Revel course. I'm a bit biased against those! I love me my net downhill race, but those seem a bit too advantaged. If I were you, I'd focus on marathon PR or 1/2 PR but not both in the same season. The training is different. Maybe shoot for the 1/2 PR b/c then you can get into NYC 2020??

Anonymous said...

Trails!!! I’d love to follow you training for a trail 100 miler and work up to something like Badwater 135!

Andrew said...

It'd be so much easier if I could just put up a poll and whatever "the people" decided I did, but I know that if my heart wasn't in whatever way you all voted that it'd lead to a lackluster training cycle with less than amazing results
I suggest using a poll to help you find your own choice. When I can't decide between two options, I'll flip a coin; but then I look at how the coin-flip makes me feel about that choice. And that usually helps me see what I really want.
So do a poll and see what the readers say, and then use those results to help you find your own way.

Lucy said...

I wish If I could make a fall plan like this!