The marathon and I are very committed to each other. Marathon was kind to me this spring, giving me a great course with great weather and no hitches. Yet I considered seeing other races and putting Marathon on the backburner for a while. I thought this might be best for both of us. I was missing my old flame, 5K, quite a lot, and wanted to get to know Half Marathon and 10K a little better.
As it turns out, however, I just couldn't go through with it. I realized how much I would miss Marathon this fall. I realized that when I run any other race, all I do is compare it with Marathon. And so, I am committing to run the Philadelphia Marathon on November 22. This is one I've wanted to do for a few years. This seems like a good time. I don't have a solid goal for the race. It would be super cool to shoot for 3:30, but this might be a tad ambitious. I'll decide nearer to the race after I have some training and a tune-up race or two under my belt. So Marathon is the one for me.
But I'm not as fickle as all that! I'll still spend some time with my other good friends (just friends of course!). I still plan on targeting the Limestone Classic 5K with the hope of going under 21 minutes. And I will schedule a half marathon, probably in October sometime, in the hope of going sub-1:37 for my New York qualifier (these two goals line up neatly according to McMillan, by the way). If I accomplish these two goals, I think shooting for 3:30-3:35 at Philly will be perfectly reasonable. I feel liberated after finally accomplishing the Boston qualifier--I feel free to experiment and tinker with this cycle. I do know I want to up the mileage again. I don't know how much more I can realistically do, but as usual I'll build gradually and play it by ear.
I'm also not completely obsessed with these fast PR races. I'm scheduling not one, but now TWO hard, hilly relays. There is, of course, the 100-mile Red Eye Relay in July. And I found out today that I'm in for Dances with Dirt Gnawbone on May 9! These are both more like fun runs--I'll want to run hard, but not all-out. They're definitely more about the experience than the time. For DwD, Women with Will has entered three teams, which means that there will be three W3ers out together at any given time. We'll run together (in costume, I believe!) and just have fun and try not to get lost! DwD is a trail ultra/marathon/relay that is famous for its tough hills and crazy course.
So it promises to be an exciting year of running and racing. I just hope I can continue to stay injury-free and healthy!!!!