>> Wednesday, April 21, 2010
This idea of having an "A" race or a "B" race can be an issue for some people, and I thought I'd open this idea up for discussion.
About couple of months ago, Rural Girl told Pharmie and I about this small half-marathon race in her hometown. She invited some blogger buddies (and real-life buddies) to her town to run the race with her: Simply Stu and Robby B were planning on coming over to race. She invited Pharmie and I, and we thought it'd be a fun way to see our internet buddies again! So we signed up.
I signed up thinking it'd be a "B" race: I'd be trained to go the distance, I'd have a fun race hanging out with friends, I MIGHT just PR (only because my other 3 half marathons have been in the dead of winter here in MN), but I wasn't going to drop all of my other races to train SOLELY for this race.
A few days after that, I thought it COULD turn into an "A" race: Because all of my other half marathons have been in the winter when I've been less trained and wearing lots of extra clothes, this could be a chance to DESTROY my PR. And it's before multi-sport season in the midwest, so I wouldn't be skipping real important bike rides to make sure I got my long runs done.
After my real decent long run last week, this could definitely be an "A" race: I ran a 12 miler pretty hard, but not quite "all out," and I finished in under 1:19. My 13.1 PR is 1:28. That's PR territory, folks.
I think it's only natural that some races are more important than others to most people. I'm really training up for Liberty Oly Tri in June (an "A" race), but I may be throwing a small tri in the works in a few weeks (a "B" race). I won't drop my training plans and taper off for 2 weeks for that "B" race if I decide to do it; I'll just tackle it and treat it like a hard training day.
In fact, the MDRA Mudball (the race report seen in my last post) was only a "B" race. I was telling Chris before the start that I was just treating it as a hard tempo run. I just took a rest day before the race to be somewhat "fresh" for the run, and then ran as hard as I could. The outcome wasn't super important to me, so it was definitely not an "A" race.
Here's the big deal for some people with regards to "A" races or "B" races: if we are running together in the same race, only it's a "B" race for me and an "A" race for you, and I BEAT you, is that super insulting?
If I say, "Oh, this isn't that important of a race to me," and then I beat someone who trained hard for this race, that can be degrading. To some people, this is a big slap in the face. And I have to say that I can see their point. Everyone just needs to keep in mind that someone else might have a different idea of what "success" is at any given race.
So what's your take on having "A" races and "B" races? Is it just the necessary manner in which we train and race? Or is it something that can be disrespectful to other athletes? I have my thoughts, but I want to see if I'm with the majority of people.
So I can't wait to be able to hang out with Rural Girl, Simply Stu, and Robby B this weekend at the half marathon! Here's a slightly embarrassing photo of each of them from WIBA last summer: