I've been looking at a lot of spring marathons to shoot for and am having a hard time deciding. Part of the problem is whether or not I'm going to run the River to River Relay in April. The entry form goes online about now, and apparently it fills so fast that even registering right away is no guarantee. Our "team leader," Rob, is in charge, so hopefully I will find out today what is going on with that.
If we do get into the relay, my top choice is the Sunburst Marathon on May 31, 2008. It is in South Bend, Indiana and its major claim to fame is that it finishes on the 50-yard line of the football stadium at Notre Dame. It's a small marathon but well-reviewed, and it's relatively close which is a major plus right now for me. It's a late spring marathon, so it may be a repeat of Twin Cities in terms of weather, but then again I've had to wear a winter coat around here as late as mid-June. There's just no telling. It has an early start so in any case, it probably won't be that bad. Training would start January 28.
If we miss out on the relay, I'm eying a couple of smaller marathons in Ohio in mid-April. The driving time would be slightly longer, but pretty much like going to Galesburg so nothing terrible. There would also be a greater likelihood of cooler weather. Or snow. You never know! Training for these would start around December 10.
Relay aside, I can't quite decide which scenario I like the best. The late marathon means I could crank up my mileage more, and do it more gradually, which is what I want. Right now my body seems to be pretty okay with an average of 30ish miles a week with a peak of 45-50. I'd like to crank that up to an average more around 40 and see how that goes. With the early marathon, I would still be increasing mileage, but off a bit less of a base. I would also have less time between training schedules in which to possibly lose motivation. So we'll see. Hopefully one of these springs, the decision will be removed from my hands because it will be BOSTON no matter what. :)
On a side note, if I run Sunburst, I will probably also run the Derby Festival Mini in Louisville, which is one of my favorite races, and that would be a huge plus for me since I've wanted to return to it for years.
Running in general has been going great since the marathon. On Sunday I ran 6.36 miles in one hour flat, 9:26 pace. And yesterday I ran 4 miles in 36:10, 9:02 pace. Both runs felt comfortable and controlled. Today is a rest day. Over the next week or so, once I decide which marathon to train for, I'm going to work on a winter running schedule; I always seem to do better if I have a schedule to follow. For the moment though, I'm just doing whatever my body feels like.