Thursday, December 1, 2011

Urgent! Help Me Decide....

Yes, I'm freaking out.  It's marathon week.  Sat.,  I'm scheduled to "all out race" The Baton Rouge Beach marathon.    The low this morning was 27.  Most of this week, the prediction has been a low of 40 degrees on Fri. night.  I've been so excited, feeling super about it, and READY to RACE.

Yesterday, BAM - the low changed to a low of 50 degrees for Fri night. 
(may increase again - South winds bring warmer temps) So just like that, a kick in my gut. It's typical, the weather changes quickly, and the current forecast for Sat. at Baton Rouge is as follows:

7:00 - 52 degrees w/ 86% humidity
8:00 - 54 degrees w/80% humidity
9:00 - 60 degrees w/ 75% humidity
10:00 - 65 degrees w/ 67% humidity
11:00 - 57 67 (edit 57 was a typo) degrees w/ 65% humidity

So 7:00, 8:00, and 9:00, I would be fine, but "my race" starts around 9:30 am.   So I've already gone through the panicked search for another marathon.  My best other option would be Jacksonville, FL Dec. 18th.

So now I must decide and would like your opinion.
I have worked so hard for this one.  I stepped up my training to the next level.  Everything that is in my control has been right on target. 

now the freakin weather.... 
what to do?, what to do?, what to do?

1. go ahead and "race" Baton Rouge 26.2,  and give it all I have, knowing the weather will impact my time.

2. jog the half, or part of the full, and gamble on better weather in Jacksonville  (recent lows for this race - 41, 41, 55, 44, 59)

3. race the half, and go for that PR - first 2 hours will be PR doable, I think.

Ok, I'm going for a run and maybe some focus and answers will be found on the run.  "Breathe Ginny Breathe!"

What would you do? 


Gracie (Complicated Day) said...

I am running this after all, last minute! I think I would race the full - you have invested a lot of training time.

misszippy said...

I was in this exact same situation last year with Richmond. I was considering switching it up for a more favorable race condition the next day in Harrisburg, PA. My friends talked me into sticking w/ Richmond and it all turned out ok. Still a bit warmer than I would have preferred, but not terrible. I don't envy you this dilemma--good luck with the decision.

mfranks said...

Wait till the very last minute to run it. Can you switch the the half last minute? Monitor the weather everyday. Keep your taper the same. Another idea...if its super hot on race day, make it a long run with a few good miles at tempo, and run the Marathon on December 18. It could actually work out as a good race prep for the Marathon. Plan to take gels and salt the same way you normally do during a race, and pull to the side when you reach your target long run length. If you feel goood....keep going.
Hope this helps.

Tri-James said...

Two options –

1. Race it, put it all on the line, and race the race. You cannot control the weather. I realize that you have to have to have optimum conditions to PR (not just you, me and everyone). That is why they are PR’s. You can race the full and be happy with your results – be happy with your performance - PR or otherwise.

2. Run / Race the half and use it as a very hard tempo run – maybe a PR. You could have a great half. However, you have been tapering and planning for a Full marathon. During taper, your peak fitness starts to slip. You can only hold that peak for so long. Jacksonville is 2 weeks away. I know you are planning on a short / no taper but I am sure your volume has dipped. You could put up a couple of intense runs and try to hold the peak for a couple of more weeks but the tradeoff would be lots of anxiety.

What would I do? Research the heck out of Jacksonville. Make sure that it is a flat and fast course. Hold off on the final decision for Baton Rouge until Friday night. If I did not race the full then I would race the half and throw down a good time. Recover for a full couple of days and then straight back into speed work and short tempos for the next 10 days.

You are in a tough spot but you will do great regardless. You are running your best ever.

Tlaw262 said...

AARGH. This is especially cruel since the weather was supposed to be perfect. Oh well. Since at Baton Rouge you have the benefit of a double loop course, I believe what I would do would be to run the race at the pace I trained/planned for. Then at the half-way point just assess how you’re doing. You've run enough marathons to reasonably predict the next 13.1 miles. If you aren't feeling it just bail and call it a good training day. If you’re doing fine just keep going and see what happens. I've looked at the Jacksonville Marathon before (I have a good friend from high school who lives there). It is flat, but like Baton Rouge, it sometimes is "hot". No guarantee the weather there will be any better (and could be worse).

Ana-Maria RunTriLive said...

Such a personal decision here! You can't know how the weather is going to be for the next marathon should you decide to switch.

65 in december is different than 65 in the summer, for example. The earth is not as warm. I think you need to mentally prepare for the race, take extra salt, and race it. However, I like what MF said, if it is SUPER HOT than run the marathon (or part of it) slowly and bring it to the MP toward the end. Then hope for the best for the 12/18 marathon.

Darn it, sorry you have to deal with it. Try to relax once you decide on a plan. Yes, you can't control the weather, but the weather is only one factor that can influence the race:) Good luck! I will be cheering you on!

Matt Holton said...

Take on the marathon and the weather. If you have done the work and the timing is right, make the most of it. Stay hydrated and enjoy. Sammy Wanjiru was able to set the Olympic record running in the afternoon in Beijing at the end of a hot summer - he just showed up to race.

Jenn said...

Oh Ginny! Tough decisions. You are getting some great advice here though! Really, it all comes down to you though.....Personally, with the taper etc, I would likely stick to my original guns and just race but of course this is me. No gaurantees with Jacksonville either.....if I decided NOT to race, I would still do the half. Or, if I decided to do the full, I would have a good idea early of how the race was going for me. If I approached it as my goal race and I felt terrible around the half, I would likely pull the plug, not finish the race and "save" it.

I'll be thinking of you the next couple of days with your tough decision here. Best of luck to you Ginny. I know how hard you've worked and I know how much you want to run a marathon to the absolute best of your ability and reap the absolutely best possible time for it. Please let us know your decision (if you make one before the gun goes off). Put me down for mile 22. Go get'em!!!!!

Runblondie26 said...

Heat and humidity totally wreak havoc with my running, so I'd say make this a easy half and go for the marathon later. However, I'd worry abouth Jacksonville being a crap shoot with the weather too. Metally, would you be ok hanging out an extra couple weeks?

Christine said...

I'm very sensitive with heat and humid weather and understand your issue. For me 50-60's is still ok and I would stick with it. Anything higher I would probably use it as a training runs and race FL.

Good luck!!

Katie said...

I say go for it. At least that's what I'd do...race it baby! You worked for it and there's no guarantee the weather will be better for the next marathon. And knowing that it will be warm, you can plan to take salt or more sports drink. Best of luck!

lindsay said...

i think i'd go for it. mid 60's isn't that bad maybe? good luck!

mfranks said...

Hey, I looked you up. 3:49 to match your PR, 3rd in age group, 20th overall. A good run, even if it wasn't what you wanted. Nice work.