No PR, No BQ, No Big Deal. Run Happy!

Could this old guy be slowing down?  Well, lately I’ve felt like my fastest running days are over.  Does it have to do with age, or does it have to do with guts and determination?

I turned my focus this past week on speed work.  Running distance in this heat (91 degrees right now), can be very daunting.  So, a nice change to my training has been shorter distances, and speed work.  I’m testing myself, to see if this aging guy still has what it takes to pull a PR at any distance.

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My immediate attention is on a 10k in a few weeks.  I am not gunning for a PR because it’s just not that important to me right now.  I haven’t PR’d the distance in a few years, but I don’t run 10k’s often at all.  But the distant focus is on a pair of races this Summer.  I’ll still go all out like I want a PR, that’s just my nature.

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I have decided that even though I am going to give it my best shot at the Rockies Marathon on July 19th and go for a PR, with high hopes for a BQ, that I will also run the day before.  A Half.

Too crazy not to try something I have never done.  Only once have I run back to back races.  Last Summer I ran a 10k and then a 5k 45 minutes later the same morning.  It was a 15k challenge which I gladly signed up for.  So, I’ve done that sort of race double, but nothing close to what I will attempt in July.

So, I am signed up for the Aspen Valley Half Marathon on July 18th.  I will be a pacer, and hopefully get in a nice much slower than normal pace for me type of warm up.  The warm up is for the next day, running the Full Marathon.  Going for my BQ.  Will I achieve that BQ?  Who knows, but I don’t think I really want to skip the challenge of back to back distance events like this opportunity presents.

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There will be so many opportunities to get my BQ, that I think I am loosening the reigns on the BQ wagon this Summer.  I would rather have a fun challenge of back to back races in two beautiful locations, than pinning all my hopes on one BQ race.  Sure, I am still going to give it my all, but if it doesn’t happen at least I won’t regret passing up on the second race to solely focus on the BQ.  Boston is not everything.  Sure, would I love to go and run Boston one day?  Absolutely!  But at least for now, it’s not the end all be all goal.

I had to do some soul searching of late, and figured out that I run because it makes me happy, makes me feel good.  I run for the health benefits, and for the mind and soul cleansing it provides me.  I run for the beauty around me.  I think if I run solely with a BQ in mind, that I lose many of the reasons why I run in the first place.  I don’t need all the pressure, running is supposed to relieve that.  If I happen to have the race of my life and qualify, then of course I will be thrilled.  If it doesn’t, I don’t want to be heart broken and full of regret.  If I run a 3:24:59 I will be ecstatic, but if I run a 3:50:00, I want to be happy for the experience of it all.

So that’s it!  I’m running a Half, then a a Full the next day.  I will give it my all, I will enjoy and revel in both.  It’s a pretty big challenge, but one I am happy about.  Have you ever tried a crazy running challenge?  Back to back races?  Back to back to back races?  I’d love to hear about your experiences.  Please share!

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15 thoughts on “No PR, No BQ, No Big Deal. Run Happy!

  1. Running to be happy and healthy is more than reason enough.

    The bling, the PRs and BQs, well that’s just icing on the running cake… which you can have a big piece of cake because you run so much. I look forward to hearing how your back-to-back goes (and hopefully seeing you at Revel Rockies… although I’m just halfing it).

    I did my crazy back-to-back-to-back last November (3 halfs in 33 hours in two states) and it may well be my most memorable running “event.” I didn’t run any of the races quickly, no I paced myself significant slower in the first two races (REVEL Canyon City and Avengers Half). As for the third race (Las Vegas Rock ‘n’ Roll), my only goal was to finish… which I did as I hobbled across the finish line for my third piece of bling and an ear-to-ear grin.

    What made it so memorable was that the whole weekend (planning and execution) of the races and travel was an event unto itself. Also, I had several friends who were doing the races alongside me and my girlfriend made the trek too (supporting me all along the way). It was awesome. Simply awesome.

    It sounds like you’ll have plenty of opportunities to BQ, so it’s great to take that weekend and try something new. You won’t regret it. In fact, it’ll be something you remember very fondly for a long time to come.

  2. I ran the goofy challenge at WDW in Florida in 2013 as my first marathon with a half the day prior. I ran the half super slow and had fun. I had no time goal for the marathon and finished 31 minutes away from a BQ. I got it last year and ran Boston last month. By the way, I am 61 and started running at 57. As long as you relax during the half you could still BQ the full

    • Very true. I am pacing the Half at a 2:15 finish time, which is quite a bit slower than my average of 1:45ish. Congrats on your Boston debut! Did you love it? Will you try to go back again?

  3. Great words of advice. I truly do just want to really take in the whole experience, and enjoy running two events in a new state on my running map. I’m sure it will be epic!

  4. Wow!! Way to approach the challenge!! There were a few back to back races I’ve wanted to do, but I never did for financial reasons. Sorta wish I did! You have a great opportunity to experience something pretty cool! And have fun with that speed work 🙂

    • Sometimes I lose sight of the reasons why I run. Sure, Boston is an amazing dream, would love to qualify one day, but also have to be realistic in that quest. 3:25:00 is no joke for a qualifying time, so would take a perfect race on my part. I don’t want to put all my eggs in that basket this time around and miss the opportunity to have more fun while there.

  5. You have a great attitude about this and are doing something incredible! I’ve done back to back racing but not the distance you are going to do. I did the Runner’s World Festival twice – it’s a 5K and 10K on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday. Super fun, super tiring, but would do it again in a heartbeat!

  6. I did the Dopey Challenge the first year. I found the 1/2 marathon to be tougher than the full. Maybe it was mental because I was almost done? Maybe it was because I felt like a total BA?! I think you will have a really good time – good luck!

  7. I also did the Dopey and the Full was my best race – but I took it very easy on the first three and just tried to really enjoy it. Good luck to you! (i know, I still need to donate, it’s on my list!!)

    • Thanks! I forgot that you ran those pricey Disney races. I don’t see any of those in my future. You loved it though didn’t you? Enjoyed the challenge of it?

      • Well, I do love Disney, but I wouldn’t have run the races if my sister didn’t work for them – I could stay at her place, she gets us into the Disney parks for free, we get discounts inside the parks, etc. etc. So while they were pricey races, it probably didn’t cost me more than any other destination race – probably cheaper!
        I did like the challenge, but I did not like taking it easy the first 3 races. If I ran it again, I’d try to “race” them – of course that means I’d probably crash in the full on the last day….

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