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A Tale of Two Races

by Carilyn on March 13, 2012

Recently, I’ve been getting some heat for not running the North Coast 24 Hour in May, which will once again serve as the National Championships.  The reason I hadn’t planned to run it was that it’s usually held in the fall.  This year, however, they are holding it in the spring because Worlds will be in the fall.  (I think they may actually hold it again in the fall, but I’m not sure).  Anyway, before I was aware of the change, I signed up for, and got into, Western States 100, which will be held about 5 weeks after North Coast.  This causes some problems.

I am not one of those lucky people who can run over 100 miles and then run another race a few weeks later.  It usually takes my body about 3 weeks to fully heal.  In that recovery time, I do little to no running.  As it stands, I only have a few months left to get ready for WS100.  If I do North Coast, I will really be unprepared.  I have no illusions that I’m going to do anything but finish at WS, but I still want to finish!

Plus, let’s keep in mind that I fall down.  A lot.  I need as much time on trails before WS as I can possibly get.  I need to practice that little hoppy gallop good trail runners seem to innately use when they are hauling down a trail.  If I’m training for a 24 Hour road race, I will not be spending a ton of time on trails.  And I don’t think my “road shuffle” is going to get me through 100 miles in the Sierra Nevadas.

So, right now, I’m trying to decide what to do.  Do I scrap my WS100 plans, which was a race I was just doing for fun (but how fun it will be!), so that I can go race to try to solidify a spot on the US National Team?  Or do I just ignore Nationals and hope that 130.92 miles is good enough?  Which decision will I regret more if things don’t work out?

So which is it?


Or road?

Just for fun?

Or to reach a goal?

How do you make a decision between two things?


Happy Running!


{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Kent March 13, 2012 at 11:16 am

Go for the fun! Isn’t that what running is all about? Unfortunately, all of us sometimes fall into the “I should” mode of thinking when it comes to our running; instead of the “I want too mode”. What an awesome race to get into, and run just for fun! Wishing you the best whatever one you choose.

Carilyn March 13, 2012 at 11:24 am

Thanks, Kent! Fun is exactly why I signed up for WS, and I know I will be sad to miss it. Such a hard choice for me. I will keep you posted. Thanks for stopping by!

olga March 13, 2012 at 12:27 pm

I can’t believe there is even thinking! Not that NC24 isn’t a worthy goal, but getting into WS100 is such a rarity nowadays that forgoing it will hurt all those thousand plus folks that didn’t get in. And when you decide you want to see what’s it all about – you won’t be able to get in yourself. Why risk?

Carilyn March 13, 2012 at 1:13 pm

Great points, Olga! If I decide to drop, I would have to do it soon so that someone from the waiting list could take my place. I’ve been so psyched about doing WS, I would hate to miss it!

Marcia March 13, 2012 at 1:37 pm

The minute i saw WS I thought WOW! Of course you must do that. But now I don’t know. Would you regret not doing the other? Personally I’d stick with WS but listen to your heart.

Carilyn March 13, 2012 at 2:14 pm

Thanks, Marcia. It is a tough decision for me. I want to do both 🙂

olga March 13, 2012 at 5:16 pm

FYI: there is no wait list at WS100. So if you drop, nobody benefits. But someone who really wanted to get in as a life-long dream didn’t. I know my husband will be sad…

Carilyn March 13, 2012 at 6:54 pm

So glad to know! You just made the decision easy. Now, if you could just teach me how to race trails 🙂

olga March 13, 2012 at 6:59 pm

You just have to relax and trust your feelings:))

Rob March 13, 2012 at 10:36 pm

Do both! Isn’t that so easy for me to say?
But I know you will excel at both, and you can consume twice the calories!
If you do pick just one, I’d pick the one you think you will enjoy the most.
Good luck.

Carilyn March 14, 2012 at 5:26 am

Thanks, Rob! My head is wiilling, but my body doesn’t agree! 🙂

SteveQ March 14, 2012 at 8:18 am

Everyone tells me, when I say I have no interest in running WS, “It’s different from all the others. You have to do it, just once, if you get the chance.” You could always try for a 50 mile PR at the 24-hour and call it a day.

Carilyn March 14, 2012 at 8:53 am

That’s how I feel about Boston, Steve. But I know it’s other people’s favorite race. I hope I don’t regret not running it, because someday I probably won’t even be able to qualify!

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