I have a race coming up on my calendar that I've been looking forward to for a while. It's a destination race for me, in South Dakota, in 3 weeks. I signed up for the race and made hotel reservations ages ago. It's a little longer than a 1/2 marathon, out on the trails.
I was making pretty good progress in training for the first 5 months of the year (averaging 25+ mpw), but have been struggling with some nagging injuries (knee problems) over the past 4-5 weeks. I cut back a bit mileage wise, and even took some time off (9 days, then 8 days) to address the issues. Physically I'm probably at 75-85%, and I don't think I'll get much past that between now and the race.
My main concern has been the time off and reduced training volume I've been dealing with. I've thrown out any time goals I had for the race, and am focused simply on finishing. I've got a decent amount of trail time, so that doesn't worry me. I've also become a pretty good power hiker/walker over the past year or so, so I can always walk it in. My time spent nursing injury has given me ample time to worry about things.
We're heading up there regardless, it's our only family vacation this summer. I'd hate to go that far and not even try to race, but am open to suggestions.
Should I race, DNS, cancel the reservations?
Trail and Ultra Running User Group
Considering you already have a level head about what your body can and cannot do, why not? Go out, listen to your body and enjoy the trails.
Jess runs for bacon
Go for it, just revise your expectations and take it easy (which sounds like you've already done).
How challenging is the course and what is the cutoff? Most people can get up off the couch and walk a half marathon in under 4 hours but a hilly trail race with a 3 hour cutoff might be difficult.
Short term goal: 17:59 5K
Mid term goal: 2:54:59 marathon
Long term goal: To say I've been a runner half my life. (I started running at age 45).
The course shouldn't be all that challenging for me, my average trail run gains 400' + per mile (I live and train in Southern Utah at 6,000'). The race has less than 175' change per mile.
The cut off is pretty generous, there will be a marathon distance race going at the same time, and the course will remain open the whole time for all runners.
I'm confident I could walk the whole thing and still finish before the longer racers come in.
I would go for it. South Dakota is beautiful. With relatively gentle climbs and a generous cut-off time, you should be able to enjoy the run, especially if you don't try to really race it. Just go and have fun.
Reading the cutoff time and the challenging course, I would attempt it and be ready to drop out if you feel you must. Good luck!
Damaris, Marathon Maniac, Ultra Runner, INKnBURN Ambassador
"The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire."
It's always fucking hot in Miami!
Follower of Forrest
Bring a camera!
6/21 - Manitou's Revenge 54mi
A man may never run the same trail twice for it is not the same trail and he is not the same man
i would go for it and just jog the flats and walk the hills. Take along a knee brace or whatever helps if the aches come back mid-race. And take a camera and have a blast!
3/17 Shamrock Marathon
4/20 North Coast 24 Hour
7/27 Burning RIver 100M
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Altra Zero Drop
Looking forward to your pic report!
"What if I fall?" Oh but my darling, what if you fly? - Erin Hanson
Funny you mention a camera, I had decided that I wouldn't carry a camera. If you're racing, you shouldn't have time to take pictures. But that was prior to my little setback so I may have to take it. It fits so nicely in the front pocket of my UltraSpire pack.
It's probably not a bad idea to take it. I originally signed up for this particular race simply so I could scope out the course as the longer race they do is going to be my 2014 goal race. I could take real picture of difficult spots along the way, and key course features that would help me next year.
Normally, I'd agree with you about a camera. However, taking one can reinforce not pushing yourself. I went to Boston this year and carried a camera and that helped me to just enjoy myself and the spectacle of the race. I also have pictures of every single mile marker.