Marathon Madness…

A few years ago, when running was really bad for me for a million reasons, I kind of swore off the full marathon. I had no interest in doing another one for a long time, pretty much indefinitely. I never said never, but…I also couldn’t imagine WANTING to do it again–it hurts, and I found the training stressful. And then my running life was reborn, and that old familiar itch for distance came back. So I started poking around and looking at options. While Pittsburgh seemed like a natural choice for my return, the fact of the matter is that I HATE spring marathons. I hate training in the crap of winter to have it be 100 degrees on race day–No, Thank You. That’s the worst. Fall marathons are much more up my alley–train through the awful heat and humidity of summer, and get rewarded with cooler temps on race day. Worst case scenario is that the temp doesn’t break and you run in what you trained in–and you’re already used to it. So I came up with a short list of fall races I was interested in running and started to debate the merits of each. Then a friend posted his race schedule for the year and I was inspired–I could combine running my fall marathon with spending some time with friends I don’t get to see very often. We talked dates, he offered the hubs and I a place to stay if we wanted to come out, and I was sold on the idea–but I wouldn’t register until I knew the date of my other favorite fall race in Pittsburgh. The 10-miler should be in November, but they’ve moved it to October before and I was NOT willing to give up my streak on that race. I have done it every year since it started, and I intend to do it every year they have it as long as I live. Finally the ┬ádate was released, there was no conflict, so this weekend I bit the bullet and registered. And this fall I’m running…

the Baltimore Marathon.

I’m excited and nervous. I’ve been scoping out training plans and finally found one that I really like–though of course it will undergo modifications because I have a habit of racing as often as I can. I have a goal time in mind–though like the Pittsburgh Half, I’m not keen to share it publicly yet. The race ends on Raven’s Way, so you know I’m going to be decked in black and gold to represent my beloved Steel City.

I have a few more weeks before the marathon training cycle starts. I know it’s going to be intense, but I’m looking forward to the hard work, and first I have a few more races–a 10k this coming Saturday and the hardest half marathon in the country the following week (I’m a glutton for punishment and a buddy convinced me to sign up…).

Happy Monday, Friends.

 

Going home/Coming home

My husband and I went to visit my family and best friend this weekend. I needed that more than I realized at the time. I don’t think I stopped smiling on Saturday. We went to the zoo with my parents, and it was great. I haven’t been to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo in ages and it’s really a great zoo. It was a tad on the rainy side, though, and the animals were not as active as we’d hoped, but it was fun. We laughed a lot and joked with my parents, and I needed that happy time. I needed to be with them and my husband. We then spent the evening with my best friend and her husband. We were married at their house so it has lots of happy memories for us. Had a great meal, great drinks, and eventually my husband and my best friend passed out and I got to spend some time chatting with her husband (like we did back in the old days). After a good (if slightly broken) sleep, my husband went for a run while the three of us went on a nice long walk, we got breakfast from our favorite place, then we headed back to PA. The weekend was lovely, and I needed the time away with family and friends far more than I had realized going in. I needed the break in routine, the change of pace and scenery.

That said, going away for the weekend is always a little tough. Coming back to reality, without the usual weekend preparation time is difficult. I usually go into the next week a little frazzled and trying to play catch up. This is no different, though we did manage to do most of the grocery shopping, and some of the laundry which helps tremendously. I still feel behind the 8-ball. There were things I forgot about while I was gone that I’m now scrambling to take care of. My already tight schedule is going through the vise as I run additional errands and try to get just a little more done in the day. There’s always some kind of trade off, and I guess the point is that this time it is really worth it. Despite the pressures of not being where I want to be to start the week, I’m relaxed from the restorative time with family and friends. And ultimately, I know that the things that need to happen will. Either way, the week is starting whether I like it or not.

Ready, set, GO!