As I mentioned in my 2011 Goals Check In post, I had given myself until May 1st until I was allowed to make any decisions on what I wanted to do regarding my fall racing schedule. Too many times I have had my whole year planned out January 1st, when really I might want to do something different as the year progresses. There are so many things that I want to do in running and I didn’t want to make a decision prematurely this year, especially considering I had such a big race with Boston, then Big Sur.
Maybe training specifically for a half marathon would be a nice change? Or maybe it was time to run that ultra marathon I have been talking about for years?
Well the first thing I did coming out of Boston was start to look up fall marathons. That is all I could think about! Seriously, what is it about running a marathon that makes you want to run another one so bad? After Big Sur it was the same and definitely a big topic of conversation this weekend with all of us… what races am I going to run next?!
So that pretty much sealed the deal for me… marathon it is!
Then I had to answer the bigger questions: which one(s) and how many?
I have spent the past 2 years being so dedicated to specific goals and races that I have said no to a lot of things. I really wanted to run the San Francisco Marathon in 2009 and 2010, but decided against it to focus on the bigger picture. I was so focused on getting my BQ for a long time that I wouldn’t run a full marathon just for fun. Then I was so focused on Boston for so many months, that everything I did and signed up for revolved around that race.
Those are over now for the time being and I want to run races! This is the year for me to do whatever I want, to run as many marathons as I want and to have fun while I am doing it. I love training for marathons and I love running some races for fun without pressure, so I think this will be a fun combination and a great way to keep things interesting, and even a little unpredictable for me?
First up, I am definitely running The San Francisco Marathon this year. I will not be racing it all out, but I do have some goals I would like to hit, but we will get to that when the time comes. I am helping trainees train for it, so why not run it myself? Plus being an Ambassador this year and it being my first full, I think it’s time to come full circle, 10 marathons later, and run the full again. After two years of really wanting to, but doing the halves instead, I think it’s definitely time.
Now what else?
Well I had a whole section of this post written up with all the races I was considering, so I could ask for your advice on which ones to sign up for. Then I couldn’t take it anymore and I went and jumped the gun and registered for a fall marathon! I seriously have no patience sometimes.
Portland Marathon – 10/9/11
I have been wanting to run this race for a very long time and I am SO excited that my friend Jen will be running it too! It’s going to be such a fun weekend and she has graciously offered for me to stay at her house which makes it even better. I have heard great things about the race and it typically has my favorite weather too – cold and rainy!
For some reason I really want to run 2 marathons this fall. At least that’s how I feel right now! I don’t want them to be too close together (no more 13 days apart for this girl!), so I can recover and get another short training cycle in, which leaves me at this very logical answer…
California International Marathon – 12/4/11
I know, I know, I said I was NOT going to run this one again and I told many of my friends to not let me sign up. It is actually even a section in my 2011 Goals post: “For instance, I have instructed a few of my friends not to let me run CIM this year. Although it’s one of my favorites races and I am sure I am going to want to sign up when it gets later into the year, it’s time for a break.” Meh.
But I really want to! It’s such a great race, so easy logistically, fits in with my schedule and I just love it. I haven’t signed up yet, but I am definitely leaning towards it unless I find something else. Any other ideas?
The Races I Considered
I had very much considered the Philly Marathon and still would love to run it, but the travel expenses to get there are too expensive for me right now. I will run it one of these years though!
I also highly considered the Two Cities Marathon in Fresno (it’s supposed to be flat, fast and well organized) but it just wasn’t jumping out at me for some reason. So I went with my instinct on that one for now and decided not to run the full there, especially after I signed up for Portland.
The Santa Barbara Marathon also crossed my mind. It is close to my parents and I still consider the area “home” but haven’t heard the best things about the course. I definitely will consider it for future years.
Half Moon Bay has a new full and half marathon starting this year that would be fun too and so pretty. The full is out since I will be running Portland 2 weeks later though, but am definitely considering the half.
So many options!
I am sure I will run a few shorter races in there too, so far I only have the Nike Women’s Half Marathon on the schedule (yes the weekend after Portland, will definitely be a fun run), but we will see what else I squeeze in along the way. Or maybe it will just be the year of the marathon for me?
So yes, that is a lot of marathons for a year and yes if I complete them all that will be the most I have ever done in a calendar year (5). I am not planning on “racing” them all and will assess my goals and fitness level when I get to each one. One might be a long training run for another or it might be an “A” race, I will decide when I get there. I did well the year I ran 4 marathons and was able to bounce back between marathons and I actually really enjoy the shorter training schedules. You should see this excel work book of training plans I have going on right now, it’s been fun to make.
I am really excited about it all, so that’s what matters most right? I just want to run, think less, enjoy training and the race atmosphere, and have a lot of fun along the way. Whatever happens happens and I am going to enjoy the ride.
I definitely have the fever.