Friday, November 11

Race plan: do everything wrong

T-minus 2 days and counting to my first half marathon in nearly two years. (My goodness. Has it really been that long?)

This is not to say that I haven't been racing. I have! But my races have been shorter distances - half a dozen 5ks (placing in 2) plus 10k and relay races. I spent two years focusing on speedwork. Then I got smacked with a Florida summer and barely kept my running head above water. I only really started building my distance back up two months ago.

All of this means: There is no way Sunday will be a PR. I wasn't training to make it a personal record kind of day. I signed up to get my butt motivated for Sunday morning long runs. That goal has been thoroughly accomplished.

This also means that I have no real race goals or ego issues for Sunday's run. But... Perhaps I've taken my lackadaisical attitude a bit too far, because I plan to race in brand new shoes.

I know. I know. Every running rule book starts with: "No new shoes or new clothes for your race!"
Hell, my own rule book starts with that rule!
But look at that broke-a$$ pair of shoes on the right. They have almost 700 miles on them. I should have started breaking in the new Mizunos sooner. I admit my error there. But for my feets' sake (and for my hip!) I refuse to race 13 miles in the old pair. So instead, I'll be racing in a pair of shoes I've worn for... wait for it... 6 whole miles!

At this point, the brand new shoes issue is so ridiculous that I've started plotting what other race-day "no no's" rules I can break and use this as a sort-of science experiment... I mean: how many races will I have in my life when I don't care what my pace is as long as I finish?

So... Should I:

  • Get a last-minute massage from a therapist I've never been to before? Oh wait... I've got that appointment in a couple of hours!
  • Leave my watch at home? This is mighty tempting...
  • Buy new shorts at the expo and run in those? Also tempting!
  • Run without Body Glide? Because that worked so well last time...
  • Celebrate the night before the race with a bottle of champagne, a pack of cigarettes, and some spicy Thai food? Because, you know, I'll wake up Sunday morning feeling GREAT for the race with a hangover, hacking cough, and port-o-potty "issues."
  • Do a track workout right before I go to the race expo? I can test myself to see how much of a beating my quads can really take!
  • Run my 5k pace for the first couple of miles to build up some "banked time?" Ha! That never works! All the more reason to try it...

What race-day rules have you always wanted to break?
Have you ever raced in brand new shoes?


  1. Honestly, I feel like the "don't do anything new" rule can be broken, easily, especially if you're not a novice. I wore a new shirt at NYCM last week, and a new armband at MCM. I have friends who intentionally buy their race shoes at the expo to keep them fresh. You know what you're doing and you'll be fine. Have a great race!

  2. I wore a new shirt for the pdx marathon last year, no problem, and i've run Hood to Coast in brand spankin new shoes before too. I don't know if I would go the champagne, spicy food, cigarette route though....

    good luck this weekend! Excited to hear how it goes!

  3. I signed up for a half in my hometown, about 12 hours from where I live presently. In all the chaos of leaving, I forgot to pack my running shoes, so I had no choice but to buy new shoes to race in. I bought ones that were similar to my old ones and I did a 10km test run a couple days before to see how they felt. I ran the race in them and it ended up being a PR for me. I didn't have any issues with the shoes, aside from a small blister on the end of one of my toes (and I didn't even notice it until afterwards - I had no problems during the race). If your new shoes are similar to your old ones, you'll probably be okay. Good luck!

  4. Thank you all for your insights!

    The verdict was: my race was FINE. I felt comfortable the whole way. (It was almost hard to believe I felt so good after weeks of hip pain... maybe those old shoes really were a big part of the problem?)

    My feet, however, are not in great shape... Bloody blisters galore!

    BUT since the goal was a good race, and there's no reason I can't wear flip-flops for a couple of days, I'm going to call this a success. ;)


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