Overall, there are two main road racing seasons: Spring and Fall. Each has its advantages and disadvantages and my past 3 races are good examples of some of the pros and cons of Spring events.
Against any advice I’d give any of my runners, I participated in 3 races over 3 weekends. 1st was the Rugged Maniac Mud Obstacle 5K. Next the Wrightsville Beach Marathon. And, rounding it up, was the Cooper Bridge Run 10k. Hence the first dilemma with Spring running – how to decide what to do!?!?! Then to figure out if are any of them “A races”, or just all for fun?
While the mud run was a great time, in hindsight might not have been the smartest thing for my body a week before a marathon. I had no set expectations for the marathon, but in the
back of my head I knew I was in shape to BQ. I held pace for 21 miles, then went crashing down with a thud – literally. My legs locked and cramped and I was lying on the race course in incredible pain. I was able to recover in about 20 min and shuffled to the finish. But here lies a major pro and con to Spring racing:
- train in perfect conditions (cool temps with little humidity)
- often end up racing in warmer temps with higher humidity (Wrightsville was close to 70 with 95% humidity)
I learned several lessons in this race. 1. Carry a fuel belt when the water on course is few and far between. 2. Adapt for temps and don’t always stick with the pacer if it’s not your plan. 3. Take a two full week taper before a bigger race, or choose to do them all for fun!
So on to the Bridge Run. Literally it’s annually one of the best expos, events, and race days of any I ever do. Highly recommend! So just after a marathon, and just before Siobhan heads back to Boston, we decided to have fun and enjoy the race. We stopped to take pics and even made it into the local paper with our over excited finish line crossing. The best part of the event is the post race celebration that lasts all day in downtown Chaleston. Spring is in the air and 40,000 runners take over the city.
So while the con to Spring racing lies in often warmer than training temps for race day, the pros outweigh that with great training weather, a multitude of events to participate in, and perfect days to celebrate your accomplishments post run.
For the remainder of the Spring, Siobhan still has Boston, and I have two halves to enjoy. Then comes Summer and we will move on to swim and tri events. Because for us, there is always something in season.