Kelly the Culinarian: "It's Either Fast or Fun"

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

"It's Either Fast or Fun"

On the way to the F^3 Half Marathon Saturday, run club buddy Keith shared some valuable advice that I wanted to share (and document so I don’t forget it).

Something you should know about Keith: He’s run 57 marathons, and while his fastest was 3:30, he’ll regularly run marathons back to back and come in within seconds of his standard time. The guy runs. A lot. Consistently.

On the way to the race, we were raw nerves. Even after dozens of races, something about the ritual of getting up early and traveling to run concurrently with a bunch of strangers keys me up. Keith’s sage advice was this:

For some it was fast, for some it was fun, for all, there was beer
“There are fun races and there are fast races. But don’t decide a week or a month or even now which one it will be. Decide after the first mile, will this be fun or will this be fast? There’s always going to be another race. You’ll race better if you set out without expectations and see what happens.”

And that, friends, might have been the best race day strategy pep talk I’ve ever heard. It rings true with all my experiences – a mile six of Circular Logic last year, I knew I was toast. Despite all my preparation, it wasn’t going to happen. Then six weeks later at the Vermont City Marathon, I knew by mile two it was happening. I felt strong and started pulling away from my pace group.

How soon do you know if it’s going to be a fast or a fun day?


Amanda said...

So I didn't know Keith was in your run club group. Yes, he is a marathon crazy maniac for sure! Great advice though. I know what I'm trying to PR for...but I also know within a couple miles whether I should try or not. There are so many factors that come into running a race and sometimes you don't know until race day, what that will be!!

Maggie W said...

I feel like the worst races I've had, I didn't know until halfway through. For my first half, I felt great until past the halfway point, I think about mile 7 the wheels started to come off. The only time I ran the Hot Chocolate 15K, a few miles in, I had stabbing pain in the side of my knee (due to a tight IT band I believe ... never came back once I started foam rolling). The Rock 'n' Roll Half this year sucked, but I knew it would because of my emo knee. I think around mile 3 it started going downhill.

Otherwise, I usully start races pretty conservtively and ramp it up, so I don't have many bad races, to be honest. And I also generally don't have stomach issues, thankfully. It's just this stupid knee right now.

Erica A said...

Awesome advice! I do think mile 1 May be a bit early to call it though. I think for a half marathon mile 3 is when I know. Also, I always try for fun and happy even if fast ;) that weather was a miracle!

Unknown said...

Best advice ever! I love it! Will stick with me too :)

Losing Lindy said...

The best advice I have been given is to have fun, high five the kids and thank the volunteers.

Zenaida Arroyo said...

Definitely great advice!