No more races. So now what?

A month ago today, I was coming to the end of week 13 in Pete Pfitzinger’s 18-week, 70 mile-per-week marathon plan in preparation for the Milwaukee Marathon. I did 4 miles at recovery pace before work, and a quicker-than-easy medium-long* after work.

*Pfitzinger’s plans call for a ton of medium-long runs. These are between 11 and 15 miles, and 10-20% below race pace. You will usually do one or two per week in addition to the Sunday 16+ mile long run.

The following Sunday was to be my final marathon pace long run, 18 miles with 14 of those at race pace. I blew up after 10 RP miles - or 14 total - but that’s another story for another day. Only a few days later, the race would be canceled, and found myself with nothing to train for.

Before I randomly decided one day to run a marathon, I had my sights set on setting a mile PR this summer. I ran a sub-5 minute mile once in high school - 19 years ago - but I feel like I’m in at least as good shape right now. I had tentatively picked out the Wisco Mile in Milwaukee, WI as my goal race. It’s a 1600-only track meet in the middle of June, with 15 different classifications from middle school through local-elite with great competition.

I’m gonna to go for it, this is still goal #1. If the race doesn’t happen, I’ll find an alternate later in the summer or fall. If it doesn’t look like races will ever start happening, I will circle a date and do a time trial on my hometown high school track, and make my family sit in the bleachers and cheer me on.

What else? In unrelated news, I own a home that I want to sell soon. I don’t even live in it anymore, but I still have to pack some odds and ends, clean up, and make some minor repairs. I spend a fair amount of time over there working on this stuff, so a good chunk of my running happens nearby. What better way to leave my mark on the neighborhood than to own every single Strava segment?

So today, I present: The Colin Baker Memorial* Segment Rampage Half Marathon. It’s not going to be a traditional race, in which my goal is to finish the whole thing in the fastest time possible, though that will be secondary. It will be structured like a fartlek run, and the primary goal is to achieve course record on as many Strava segments as possible. I haven’t finalised the course yet, but I have a pretty good idea what it will look like. I’m thinking I may run it as threhshold workout in my mile training block, as I’d like to get it done before temperatures get too high. Plus, I’m antsy to race, even if it’s a fake race. My Vaporflys only have 9 miles on them, and that’s just wrong.

*I’m not dead, just enjoy using the word “Memorial” inappropriately.

And who knows how long this will go on. Maybe we’ll be racing again in the fall, maybe not. I’d love to get another shot at a marathon one day, and I’d like to think I’ll be better prepared next time. I’d like to get my 5K under 18 minutes again, or my 10K under 38. It would be cool to get some FKTs on some nearby trails. There may not be organised races, but there are tons of things to train for, and it feels a bit liberating to be running just for fun, just for myself.

Colin Baker Written by:

Colin is a network engineer, amateur/wannabe Porsche mechanic, and elite hobbyjogger in Madison, WI.