Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
Over the weekend, a small group of us crazy people met at 5:30 a.m. at “the fountain” to run the two miles to the top of Double Peak—a lookout point in northeast San Diego County. If you’ve been keeping track of the weather lately, San Diego has been hit with some random heat wave the last few weeks, with temps hovering near the 90s and humidity surpassing uncomfortable levels. This strange coastal phenomenon didn’t let up at our before-sunrise wake-up call, so the climb was slow, steady and sweaty.
But the views were worth it when the sun rose over the mountains and blanketed the entire county that side of the freeway.
I called it a day with my round-trip 5-miler and spent the rest of the day recovering on the beach (with a soon-to-be sunburn). The quad-buster run was all in the name of good preparation for the Women’s Running Nashville event on Sept. 27. Well, more immediately, this climb was in the name of prep for another half marathon I’m running this weekend for three reasons:
- It’s my last long run before Nashville, natch.
- It’s in my hometown where the cows roam and moo at runners who pass by.
- It’s with my mom and sister—we just can’t seem to not race together.
As I lay basking in the sun (and jumping in the water every 20 minutes to cool off), I comtemplated those three reasons and how they might translate to the everyday runner. No one really cares if I’m running in my hometown, or that I’m running with my family, but they might care how it relates to their own training—and how a hilly run before dawn just might be the best damn choice once in awhile.
So I revise my statement: I am running another half marathon this weekend for three reasons:
- It’s smart to complete your last long run two weeks out from your goal race. This allows your legs to properly recover while also getting used to the distance you will be completing. It’s also a great time to do a final race-day nutrition test.
- Running through a familiar, comfortable area relaxes your mind when race jitters creep in. I always do my last long run in an area that doesn’t present a lot of surprises so I know I will get my mileage in appropriately.
- Racing with family—or racing with anyone close to you—lets running be an avenue for bonding and encouragement, especially through difficult times. September last year was an exceptionally hard month for my family, so racing with them this weekend will give us a chance to celebrate life, love and running together!
Whether or not you have a fall race scheduled, a hometown to visit or a run bud, I hope everyone enjoys long, easy miles, comfort and family this weekend!
Follow along every Wednesday and Friday leading up to #WRSNashville to see what other mischief Caitlyn gets into during her runs—and don’t forget to follow @runwrs on Instagram and Twitter for race-day announcements!
Register for the 5K or half marathon at womensrunning.com/Nashville before the price increases on August 31. Save an extra $15* with online code RUNWITHCAIT. If you have training questions for your own half marathon, tweet @caitpilk!
*Code valid for half marathon only