• Juan J. Arrieta

New challenge: Half-marathons on consecutive days

Updated: Mar 4, 2018

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Alamo 13.1 half marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I have a different and fun upcoming racing/training challenge: Running two half-marathons on consecutive days. They are The Woodlands Half on Saturday, March 3rd in and The Alamo 13.1 on Sunday, March 4th. They are both held here in Texas, in The Woodlands and in San Antonio, respectively.

One of the reasons why this is a new challenge for me is that I am generally quite conscious of overloading my race calendar and avoid signing up for either somewhat conflicting events or those that represent more workload than I need or want at the time. However, after coordinating with my coach Ronnie Delzer, with these two races I felt that it would be fine to make an exception to race on consecutive days because I have a couple of other events coming a few weeks later that will undoubtedly test my endurance in different ways, and I feel that completing these two races back-to-back will help me be better prepared for both of them.

The first of those events is the Texas Independence Relay (TIR), a 200-mile race held over the span of two days (March 24th-25th) from Gonzales to Houston. I have participated in TIR for two straight years now and it is a big test of endurance because each runner on the relay team takes a turn every few hours completing a distance ranging between 3 to approximately 7 miles over the 2 days without much sleep or comfort (last year I was assigned to run 5 times, combining approximately 21 miles).

The other event is the Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati, Ohio, on May 6th. I have not attempted a full marathon in more than a year (last one coming in December 2016), but I feel I have turned the corner with my running both mentally and physically and have an entirely new mindset about things, in particular with longer distances such as the 26.2 miles. I have heard and read nothing but great things about the Flying Pig, so needless to say I am looking forward to a very special day there.

With the half at The Woodlands, I expect what I have experienced there in the past (2016, 2014), a flat and fast course with great weather and race support. With the Alamo 13.1, I expect a different and enjoyable course with many portions running through the scenic San Antonio Riverwalk, and awesome post-race food and festivities. I don't expect any issues with my travel logistics for the consecutive day races, as we should be able to be leave for San Antonio by late Saturday morning after running in The Woodlands and be there in plenty of time for the Alamo 13.1 packet pickup. One great added bonus of running the half in San Antonio is that I have family there and they will be on course cheering me on, something that is always extra special on any race.

Check back next week for my post-race report on this different but exciting challenge!

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