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When All Else Fails, Make a List

I’m getting closer to pulling the trigger on a spring marathon – namely The Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach over St. Patrick’s Day weekend.

It’s relatively close to home, rumored to offer a fast and PR-friendly course, and known for good organization and fun crowds.

All good, right?

It should be – but there are a few nagging somethings preventing me from diving in.

First, there’s the fact that I haven’t run consistently in forever.  With all the racing we did in 2012, by June I found myself in a never-ending cycle of race/recovery.  For months I was either coming off an event or getting ready for one, and in the in-between I did little more than core work and regular maintenance training.  That, coupled with the ankle injury in Scotland, means that it’s really been five months since I’ve had any semblance of a routine.

Next, there’s the little matter of running 26.2 miles – alone.  I have a couple friends that will likely come down to Virginia with me for the weekend, but neither of them will be marathoning.  I’ve done a handful of marathons solo – one was fantastic and the others ranged from ‘eh’ to ‘ugh.’  I love my running buddies, love the social-ness of the sport, both in training and in racing.  It would not be an exaggeration to say that I have not run (outside) by myself in well over a year.  I’m sure I could make friends along the course, but especially coming off a couple years of concentrated focus on adventure racing – team-dom on steroids – three and a half hours, give or take, of solo running sounds a little bit daunting.

And finally, there’s that whole training-through-the-winter thing.  If the past two weeks are any indication, we may be in for a doozy of a few months.  I don’t mind running outside during it, but my lungs can only handle the cold so much.  We actually just bought a treadmill and set it up in the basement, but the first (and only) time I used it, I discovered that in order to watch TV while I run, I have to turn the volume up so high that the entire house rattles.  We inherited some sort of speaker system that Brent has since set up, so I need to test it again, and I (unsuccessfully, so far) have begun looking into wireless headphones – but I fear that I may need to find other ways of distracting myself if I’m to run inside.

First world problems, I know.

So, I’ve got some pondering to do over the next couple weeks.  The registration fee is set until December 31, so there’s nothing pushing me to sign up right now.

First up, start establishing a new rhythm.

Second, go outside on my own.

Third, stock up on magazines.

And fourth, keep making lists.

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9 responses to “When All Else Fails, Make a List

  1. Kate November 7, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    I love training through the winter, but having training friends has spoiled me for running on my own. Looking forward to hearing what your decision is (do it…do it!!). 🙂

    • cinephilism November 7, 2012 at 9:48 pm

      It’s funny – AR training through the winter doesn’t give me any pause, but for some reason consistent long runs feels a lot different than snowshoeing and mountain biking. Last February Brent and I left home at 10 PM for a 5-hour ride in sub-freezing temps. It was fantastic!

  2. Mallory November 7, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    I will be there! Running the half with my girlfriend! I love making lists.

  3. Johann November 8, 2012 at 6:08 am

    I know that feeling of “I won’t be ready” so well. In the end I just do the races anyway. Luckily I’ve been good this year and feel ready for my upcoming challenges. I like the list idea! I’m sure you’ll pull through and run this marathon. All the best!

  4. Kari @ Running Ricig November 8, 2012 at 8:17 am

    Training through the winter is what’s freaking me out about a spring marathon, too. Especially after yesterday’s freak storm, I’m really questioning it.

    If you weren’t such a speed racer, I’d consider doing a race with you, but I’m pretty sure your pace would kill me.

  5. Julie@ACaseoftheRuns (@nobel4lit) November 8, 2012 at 11:09 am

    Why does it have to be alone? Just kidding… if I were out there, I’d strive to be able to run with you, but right now, that seems like a reach.

  6. Kristy (@RunTheLongRoad) November 8, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    i can do some training runs with you (although defeating #2 on your list)!

    as for training over the winter, i hear ya. although last year we got the crazy snowstorm over halloween but then had a ridiculously mild winter. training for boston turned out to be lovely.

    i think my neighbor hates me when i use our treadmill!

  7. Kara November 9, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    It’s a great marathon, very flat. It can be really windy in VA Beach in March, but that would be the only issue.

    At least if you train in the winter, you don’t have to get up early to do long runs before it gets too hot? 🙂

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