Sunday, April 17, 2016

Adrift in a Sea of Races

From a running perspective, I have essentially been without a goal since Marine Corps Marathon. For a while that was okay. I needed some recovery time at the end of the year. And this year, I've been focused on other people's goals while coaching Cherry Blossom training.

But coaching is over for now, and I am acutely aware of how unanchored I feel. I'm surrounded by others with goals, races, big plans! And I feel adrift in the middle of it.

Clearly, I need a goal. But it has to be a goal that is meaningful to me, something I want to commit to and strive for. And I don't know what that goal is. A mid-distance race in the fall? A faster 5K time? A focus on improving my running form? Nothing is clicking for me yet.

I do like the idea of a mid-distance race in the fall, and I've been compiling information about some possibilities that intrigue me...where they are, when they are, and relevant considerations.

A good spreadsheet always comes in handy!

Richmond Half was close to the top of my list, but for the past two years it has been the day after the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run kickoff party. If I continue to be a part of the social media team for Cherry Blossom, I want to be there for the party.

Runner's World Half looks like it would be a lot of fun. There are cool events all weekend and some race series, such as the Five & Dime (5K + 10K), and the Hat Trick (5K, 10K, + half). There is also a Grand Slam that includes a 3.8 mile trail run along with the other three races, but it is sold out.

Leesburg 20k & Perfect 10 are both part of the Potomac River Running Race Series, but I've actually never run either of them. Perfect 10 has the added attraction of a start line that is literally 5 miles from my house.

Freedoms Run & Battlefield Half are both reasonably close to home and are run on historic courses.

Bird-in-Hand, Harrisburg, & Lehigh Valley are half marathons in some scenic parts of Pennsylvania.

Chicago & Women Rock are half marathons in Chicago, where I went to graduate school. I never ran a race there and would like to someday. Also my friend Jane lives in Chicago and might be able to run with me.

Southern Virginia races there are a few in Newport News or Hampton that might be fun...but the traffic-laden trek down to Virginia Beach for Shamrock is still too fresh in my mind to want to get on 95 & 64 anytime soon.

Philadelphia races there are a couple of halfs in Philly that might be fun. I even have friends signed up for Rock 'n Roll that I could coordinate with. But would they be too similar to the Philly Half I ran in 2014? 

Baltimore Running Festival is not too terribly far, and I would like to run a race in Baltimore sometime.

Newport Half Marathon in Rhode Island is a dark horse candidate that was added to the list because Debbie is considering it.

Any advice?
My leading contenders are Runner's World and the local PR Races.
But nothing is really calling to me yet the way Marine Corps did last year.
I'll have to drift along a while longer...


  1. Always love how organized you are Kim. Even have the distances from and considerations. I don't even know how to use Excel and do a :)

    It definitely would help you come to make suitable choices for your race events.

    I have so far only done races fairly close to home with the furthest 100 miles away, but sometime in the future I would LOVE to do a destination race. Any race that is scenic are also my choices.

    Wishing you all the best this running season. Looking forward to following your journey! :)


    1. Hi Carl, it always makes me smile when you stop by and comment on a post! We have some scenic races here in Washington, DC. Maybe someday you can do a scenic destination race in DC :)

    2. Thanks Kim, hearing about you smiling is having me smiling! :) I have seen pictures of Washington from people's blogs. Absolutely gorgeous! :)

  2. It depends on what you're looking for in a half.

    I LOVE Bird-in-Hand. It's an incredible race. You can't beat the race atmosphere (bonfire and s'more party the night before, balloon launch at the start of the race, Amish children, horsehoe finisher's medal - you can read my race report here: but it is a HOT and hilly race. Not PR friendly at all, but great if you just want a good race atmosphere.

    Baltimore Running Festival half is fun, but hilly as well. Temperature was good last year when I did it.

    Don't mean to spam you with links,but I always like reading people's race reports when I'm considering a race.

    1. Thank you so much for the insights! I don't feel spammed at all. I read your BIH recap earlier today and will go check out the BRF one. I think reading recaps is the best way to learn about a race and what to expect. I love the summary details you put at the top of your recaps.

  3. I plan on doing The Reston Perfect 10! I'm with you on avoiding 95S at all costs!

    1. Reston appreciates your continuing to make the trek out here for our 10-mile races :)

  4. So many choices...tough! I'm in Philly and Rock 'N Roll is a fun race but I do think it's very similar to the Philly Half. Runner's World Weekend has been on my bucket list for years, it looks like such a wonderful time!

    1. Thank you for the Philly insights Janelle! Crowd support there is just amazing. I'd like to do another Philly race soon, but something a little different than the Philly half.

  5. I might do the Richmond Half myself! :)

  6. Kim--Very organized approach. The Bird In Hand half is a short drive. Nice race through Lancaster County. Should be on your bucket list in my opinion. The Leesburg 20K is uphill both ways--or so it seems like. I would suggest driving out and running that section of the W&OD trail before you see if you want to run the race. I was glad I had done that.

    1. Thank you for the insights, Tim! Very helpful. I've heard similar reactions to the Leesburg 20k course. It is somewhat telling that I don't even want to drive out there and test it out ;)