For those who are following my saga closely, or if you’re a runDisney fanatic like me, you realize that my next race is rapidly approaching. A week from tomorrow night I will be starting my 7th race ever (or 8th if you count the untimed – but fun – Castaway Cay 5k. This will be the inaugural Tower of Terror 10 mile race.
This race poses a few challenges for me.
1st, the race starts at 10pm. I am a surgeon. Which almost guarantees that I am a morning person (my husband is somehow a rare exception to this rule). The Operating Room at my hospital begins at 7:30am. Which means the 1st patient should be in the OR before 7:30am. Which means I need to be in the holding area signing paperwork by 7am. On my OR days I’m up by 5:30 and out the door by 6:30. I’m often in bed by 10pm, not starting some crazy 10 mile run.
2nd, I’m signed up to run a half marathon on Sunday, October 7th. Or the Sunday after this race. I’d I push myself on the ToT race, I’ll be toast for the following weekend. So what should my strategy be?
Early in my e-coaching Jeff Galloway suggested that I treat the ToT race as a training run instead of trying to race. During this week’s email I asked him about race strategy. His response, ” When running 2 half marathons in a row, it’s best to run the first one more slowly — as close to training run pace as you can. Even if neither are race efforts, running two moderate efforts can interfere with recovery. Let me know your thoughts about how you’d like to do in each race.”
What are my thoughts? Hmmm.
Although it’s not popular to admit these types of things, I’m a bit of a competitive person by nature. I can’t help it! I started competing in gymnastics by age 7 and was a top student in school. Part of me feels that if I’m running a race, I should – well – RACE.
Despite the fact that Tower of Terror is the bigger race (10,000 runners vs. 700), I think I care more about the half marathon. First of all it’ll likely be hotter for ToT and heat is not my strength. And second I’m less likely to perform well at a night race due to my inherent morning person inner nature. Also, the ToT race has many 1st time distance runners while the half marathon is a more serious field of runners. My 2:42 finish time last year put me firmly in the rear of the field while it would be closer to mid-pack at a Disney race.
I’ve also never run a 10 mile race so, whatever my finish time, I will PR this race. I’ve been trying for a PR half marathon this year and fell short in April. Assuming I’m not foolish enough to get injured at ToT, I’m the best trained I’ve ever been and could likely break my PR. It’s not an easy race but I run the path next to the Parkway for most of my long runs so I know the rolling hills.
Here’s what I’m going to email Jeff Galloway on Tuesday:
I’d like to run ToT as a fun race. Maybe a 13 min/mile pace, which is only slightly faster than my 13:30 min/mile long run pace. My 14 miler from last weekend was at 13:12 pace and I felt recovered in a few days. I’d like to try for a 2:30 half, even if it means taking an easy week to recover. I’m thinking I should do the first half around 12:30 pace and then speed up the second half?
I’ll have to wait to hear his answer….

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