Race Strategy – SF10

Need to get one order of business out of the way first and then I will move on to the actual post. I am taking a little stay-cation this week. After today, I have the rest of the week off from work. I am going to enjoy baseball and the lovely spring weather we are getting. I am also going run errands and do laundry and clean… and you know, be an adult. There will be plenty of fun mixed in for the week but I also really need to get some stuff done. I will be stepping away from the blog until next week. But I might do a picture Friday… not sure yet. Either way, hope everyone has a good rest of the week and wonderful Memorial Day Weekend!


When I signed up for this race last year, it went on my calendar as a goal race. All of my training through the winter months was with this race as the focus… as the end goal.

It is no secret that my training for the past 6ish weeks has pretty much stopped.

Before the training stopped, I was actually on pace to smash my time goal. And I feel like I would have done it with relative ease… well… with as much ease as running 10 miles can be. But the caveat here is I would have accomplished this had I continued with my little training plan.

A check of the weather shows that the weather will NOT be in my favor for this race. It will not be scorching hot but it will be sunny and far warmer than I prefer… Last year, the weather was in my favor – Overcast and cool enough to wear a long sleeve for the entire race without overheating. This year, a tank top will be worn and there is a good chance that I will be too warm for most of the race in that.

Now I have a decision to make… do I go for my time goal or do I completely bail on the time goal and instead just focus on finishing and having fun.

Truth be told, I have known with each passing week that my time goal was slipping further and further away from me. So mentally, I am already prepared for missing my time goal. But my heart still wants it.

But the weather is another factor I have to contend with… the warmer conditions make it more likely that going for my time goal will put my body through the ringer. And really, that just isn’t smart either.

My race strategy… go with the flow.

Last year when I signed up for the race with NO training for a 10 miler (because signing up for a distance race two days before is smart… note sarcasm), I went into the race with the strategy to use the first 6.50 miles as a training run and just go from there. If I was feeling great then I would keep going and if not then I would start a run/walk strategy.

Somehow my strategy last year worked… and it worked REALLY well. I ended up having an amazing race and getting a shiny new (Almost) 7 minute PR.

Not only was I utterly shocked after the race but with each passing mile DURING the race, I was surprised by how good I felt. Which ended up with a nearly tearful filled last mile… Where the shock of how I was faring and the knowledge that I was actually running a really good race started to overwhelm me… the number of times I almost shed tears for joy during that last day surprised me. I had never had that kind of race experience before but I imagine it is similar to the feeling of completing your first marathon.

I have no disillusions that this year will be the same. In fact, I think I have mentally prepared myself to have just an overall miserable race.

I know I stopped training. I know I am not as prepared as I would like. Hell, I know I was running better at this time last year than this year. I also know this race will likely hurt.

But I also still want that time goal

Let’s go with what has worked before… Run the first 5 miles as a training run. Go out slow and steady. Walk the water stations and walk the hills. After 5 miles if I need to go into a run/walk strategy then I will. If I am feeling good then I will keep running.

And if the heat gets to me early on then I will bail on my race strategy entirely and just focus on finishing the race while still being upright…. which could mean walking more than I want to.

Most importantly, this race will be entirely about listening to my body and how I am feeling. I know I can finish. I have no doubt of that. The only question is whether or not I can finish well by MY standards.

And truth be told, MY standards may very well change once I cross that start line.

Despite doing a large number or races every year, I rarely go into a race with a time goal. In fact, I would say there are only one or two races a year that I ever truly peg as a goal race. I usually see how I feel that morning and in the first half mile of the race. After all, if there is one thing I have learned about myself and my running over the years is that I can usually tell in the first half mile if my body will cooperate or if it will say, “screw you! Why the hell are you running right now?!?!?!”

My only hope is that my body doesn’t start screaming that until mile 9….


8 thoughts on “Race Strategy – SF10

  1. Last year’s weather really was perfect – I wore arm warmers for the entire race and felt fine. The race was a PDR for me last year, so I was hoping to try to PR (my last 10 mile run was about 8 minutes faster!), but with how my leg has been lately I’m adjusting my goal to having fun and finishing the race in one piece ๐Ÿ™‚ What corral are you in?

      • 16! I was in the same corral last year, which is a little weird since I registered with a faster pace this year, and have done it before (since they seem to put newbies toward the back).

      • I registered two days before the race last year and was in, I think, corral 18… I knew it was because of when I registered since packet pick-up was already in process when I registered.

        I have no idea how some races figure out corrals… maybe they have more speedy people this year???

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