Thursday, May 17, 2012

Fall Race Plans

My brain is an interesting place.  I would say one of my best qualities is that I’m able to think things through thoroughly, and very quickly.  Give me an issue or problem, I’m able to give you 6 solutions, and rank them in order of best to worst, offering up the negatives and positives that caused them to be ranked in such a way.  Because of this thinking process (or over-thinking process, as is probably more accurate), I sometimes have a tough time making decisions.
For the couple of weeks leading up to the Brookings half marathon, I started to enjoy running again.  And after the race, that only got stronger.  So much so that I started to think about the fall and what my plan was.
Just for fun, I’d like to take you through the hours long thought process that I endured.
Known Items
September 9, 2012.I will run the Sioux Falls half marathon (8th consecutive year).  I will be doing it for completion vs. racing because the race director confirmed via email that the course route will still be jacked up for construction this season.  I value my IT bands, no thanks.
October 14, 2012.  I will run the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco with my running besties.  Since the course is hilly as I’d imagine hell to be, it’ll definitely be a race to do vs to race.
Unknown Items
Do I want to race a full marathon in the fall?
Do I want to race a half marathon in the fall?
I want to race a full marathon if it’s somewhat close to home (aka driveable), low in cost (splitting a hotel room, shacking up with a friend), cool weather, and provides me enough time to recover to complete NWM, or is enough time after NWM to be recovered for.
Just a few variables.
I made my way over to knowing I’d need to find something in early to mid-September (barf) or November.  Shockingly, there are no races around here in November.  Lame.  As long as there’s no ice on the ground, I almost thinking racing in a blizzard would be awesome.
9/15/12 Northface Endurance marathon in Madison, WI.
A quick tweet to Krista confirmed that this is a trail race.  EEP!  For 6 seconds I pondered the 50k trail option.  Then removed it from the list.
9/15/12 Walker North Country marathon in Walker, MN.
I used to go on vacation up here, and it is g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s.  Plus it’s NORTHERN Minnesota, so it’s gotta be cooler for mid-September right?  Plus, there’s good fishing (Kyle: 1).  Upon further inspection, the 6 hour drive seemed slightly long, but the 9am start time sealed the deal.  GROSS.  Also, I learned that approx. 5 miles of the course is on paved routes, the rest is on gravel, dirt, grass, etc.  26.2 miles is hard enough thankyouverymuch.
9/15/12 Bismarck Marathon.  North Dakota is flat right?  7:30am start time, not bad… 7 hour drive… barf.  NORTH Dakota= cold, right?  Possibility.  And then I realized I don’t really have a desire to run in ND again unless it’s flat Fargo, and a review of the course map revealed 2 giant MOUNTAINS* in the course profile.
9/23/12 Fox Cities marathon, Appleton, WI.  7am race start.  I heart Wisconsin. Could probably convince Kyle to come and turn it in to a fishing trip.  Contender.
9/23/12 Omaha Marathon, Omaha NE. 7am race start, 3 hour drive.  Cheap/free lodging at Chez Niki.  Hilly-ish course.  Possibly close enough for my family to come spectate.  Could be hot, but will be training all summer long in extreme heat, so maybe it’d be ok.  I think we have a winner.
Then I went back to if I wanted to actually race a full this year, or if I should seek out a half to finally get sub 1:50 on (yes, I’m beginning to think it’ll never happen either….. join the club).
9.1.12 Clear Lake IA
9.2.12 Green Lake WI
9.2.12 Storm Lake IA
9.29.12 Grand Forks ND
Meh.  Nothing really stood out.  I also have a rule** that I don’t spend more time driving to a race than I’d spend running it.
So Omaha it is.  I told Kyle before bed that was my plan.  No general fanfare, but still excited that I’m excited to train for one again (hi this early spring was mis-er-a-ble!).  And then I wake up to see that my brother and sister-in-law bought a new home in Dallas!
And all previous plans were thrown out the window.
Originally I had planned to do Dallas White Rock because I :
a)      Don’t have to train through the summer.
b)      Know late November/early December is IDEAL race temps for sweaty Jerbear
c)       Need to meet my precious baby niece, Harper.
But the $400-500 flight+race fee+hotel costs were putting it out of my price range.
So after all of that thought and careful consideration, one small change helps me get my way and do the race I originally wanted to do.  Ahhhh I love when life caters to my selfish ways. J
*possible exaggeration.
**often broken, but still.


audgepodge said...

"Since the course is hilly as I’d imagine hell to be..."

lol! but yeah, it's pretty crazy but very scenic so it's rather rewarding :) I *hate* hills but I've done this race 5 times so you know it can't be that bad.

Kathy said...

Congrats on the plan! But oy! I love the race medals for Omaha but the course is not good. It's like the race directors decided to take you on a tour of the ugliest parts of town. If it's not too late, I would suggest considering the Fox Cities. It's prettier and cooler.

Katie said...

Fascinating. Is this a direct transcription of your thoughts, or edited to only contain races? Suspicious.

Bree said...

1. Bismarck is very hilly! I had no idea until I visited for the first time in college. I did a few long runs this summer there and avoiding hills is near impossible.

B. thank you (I think) for alerting me to the existence of the Walker marathon! My parents just bought a lake place not far from Walker. Won't be on the docket this fall, but next year I'm all in. I will be able to hook you (kyle) up with some fishing secrets by then, too

Allison said...

When I started reading I was going to say that you should fly in and run Richmond (Nov. 10) because it's going to be a fun time. And since we didn't manage to meet up in Philly we could meet there. But I GUESS Dallas makes more sense... :)