This is my Ocean Isle Beach Half Marathon recap from 2021.
This was my first year doing this race, but it was special because we just moved here and I got a PR!
Wait, didn’t you just race?
Yes. Two weeks ago, actually. I got a personal record in Holden Beach, too and before you go thinking I’m some sort of superhuman, let me remind you the half marathon distance was my focus goal for the Fall.
So, while the PR at Ocean Isle was a little unexpected, it was 40 seconds faster than Holden Beach which only proves I’m just a consistent, durable runner. Not fast.
…which may be something you already knew from that 100 miler.
Now that we’ve established speed isn’t everything, here are details about Ocean Isle Beach Half Marathon and some tips you can use if you’re racing back to back.
Here is the great thing about the BAM! Series races: they’re easy, in every way.
I’ve previously discussed the lack of hills, but it should also be noted there aren’t too many people so you don’t need to worry about parking, lodging, day of logistics, or bottlenecks during the race.
Note: there are enough people to pace with and have someone “with” you the majority of the race, no matter your pace. It just won’t be a swarm.
Also, BAM stands for big a$# medal, so if you like bling these races are no brainers!
These races are also easy to get to- Brunswick County Beaches are 45-60 minutes south of Wilmington, 2 hours east of Fayetteville, or 45-60 minutes north of Myrtle Beach (depending on which you’re going to).
I don’t know about you, but endurance races are challenging enough to begin with.
I’ll take easy where I can get it- course, crowds, and logistics!
How’d you do back to back?
I am utilizing an 18 week training schedule leading up to the Richmond Marathon.
I purposely scheduled these races in places the larger schedule had a natural pull back in volume a week prior to the half marathons I’d be racing.
At Holden Beach two weeks ago, I had a 14 mile run scheduled. I planned to race hard, then do a cool down mile.
I actually never did because it was raining, though- I melt in the rain!
For this race, I had 16 miles (side note: Peloton wants you to go to 20 but I will say it until I’m blue in the face: only first time marathoners should go to 20 miles).
I simply ran 3 miles beforehand as a warmup, then swapped shoes and went straight to the starting line.
3 + 13 = 16
If you don’t like long runs, this is a strategy.
Maybe you find it hard to hype yourself up mentally for your long effort.
Perhaps you find double digit miles lonely.
What if you’re worried about safety on busy roads or being by yourself in the dark?
Whatever reason you have disguising itself as a barrier? Here’s a solution.
How do you find them?
Most people look for races by location. If you want to sub out long runs, you’ll be starting with your calendar instead.
I like using Running in the USA to find races near me on specific weekend days. I don’t race on Sunday because I’ve struggled with idolatry, so I like being able to filter for Saturdays only.
You can also filter by distance, whether that’s a 5K, 10K, 10 miler, half, marathon, or ultra.
After I’ve filtered by my needed distance on the specific weekend for my state, I’ll look at neighboring states to see my options.
For example, I’m actually closer to South Carolina than the majority of North Carolina!
Searching in neighboring states also allows me to get a wider view of options for social purposes. Perhaps a friend is doing a race and we can spend quality time together.
Run, not race
One final word here: you cannot race everything.
Unless you’re Shalane Flanagan or some kind of amateur professional who got stuck on a Google search (note: this is a blog for recreational runners)? You’ll need to run, not race.
For most of you, that will be the race you sign up for as a long effort. I am running Richmond (the race my 18 week schedule leads to) so I raced Holden Beach.
This PR was a total fluke, but I’m owing it cause I have worked really hard this cycle!
You can check out the BAM! 2022 schedule and run with me next year! Until then, let’s hang out on social: