What do I train for next?
I put so much time and energy into the last marathon and really feel like I accomplished if not shattered all of my goals, but part of me still wonders what happened those last 2.2 miles that took me nearly 28 minutes to complete. Part of me really desires to run a sub-4 hour marathon and by all indications I should have been able to do that at Seattle. The temperature and weather was perfect. I was well rested. I had an amazing running partner. There was plenty of aid stations. Was it the hills? Perhaps. I've even entered my PR times for 5k and 10k races in the McMillan Running Calculator and also crossed that information with the Hal Higdon book and both indicate I should be able to run a sub-4 hour marathon. Sub-4 hour marathon was never really a goal, but an outside guess at a finish time I would've really been excited about at Seattle. I'm proud of my 4:18:00 time and proud to have raised so much money in honor of my father for American Heart Association and proud to have shared ALL of the experience with the girlfriend.
So what next?
I've mentally committed to a few things, but there's so much left to be decided. First, I want to run the next marathon with a sub-4 hour finish as the goal. Maybe if I make it a real goal and hold myself accountable then it will be come a reality. I want to run this race in ideal conditions (50-70 degree temperatures) and I want the course to be, well, more flat than Seattle. With that in mind, the next question is when and where?
The past few weeks Jenny and I have been talking a lot about the Fall/Winter and what races we should run. Jenny is making a mental commitment to run her next marathon with the goal of qualifying for Boston (she only missed it by a few minutes last year at Marine Corps, her 1st marathon) and let's face it, she was running Seattle at MY slower pace because she wanted to stay with me and share the experience. Now it's time for her to kick butt and go for greatness! She has a few races picked out as possibilities. I figure I'll at least run the half marathon at whatever race she decides on to be part of the experience. I think what I need for my next marathon is a race I can truly get excited about.
I'm also torn because there are a few very good possibilities this Fall/Winter in Florida. Florida is very flat, duh, and the chances for good weather are higher than other regions. However, in the back of my head there's a far fetched idea looming. Why risk injury, time and energy to run more than one marathon in any particular state? I've already run Disney Marathon as disastrous a day that was, but it still counts. Jenny hasn't run a marathon in Florida yet. If there's even a small chance that I might continue running marathons during the next two decades then I want to go for 50 marathons in 50 states. It's way to early to say that's what I want to do, but if there's even a small chance that it could be a possibility for me then I'm conflicted about running two marathons in Florida. Another part of me says just run another one... really run another one in Florida and do it right. Disney was more like a hike through the arctic circle.
Here's a few races I'm looking at with a goal of finishing sub-4 hours.
Run for the Bay Marathon (Apalachicola, FL) - Oct. 23There's a high probability that Jenny will use this race as a Boston qualifier. We have friends running it as well and it could be a fun weekend vacation and a chance to pay homage to the place that air condition was invented! Although, for the record, I think the race is overpriced!
Space Coast Marathon (Kennedy Space Center, FL) - Nov. 28This is a really flat course and it has a theme of everything Space, which is awesome. It's a 45 minute drive away and the registration fees are reasonable. In addition to a finisher medal they give you a beach towel! Oh, and check out the race date... can you imagine a Thanksgiving taper?!? However, I feel like if I'm going to go all out and train for a race like a marathon I'd at least like to travel and make an adventure out of it. Maybe I should save this one until I get old enough that I'm in a realistic age bracket to qualify? Haha.
Carlsbad Marathon (Carlsbad, CA) - Jan. 23Now this would be a travel/adventure race. It's also a flat course (or by California standards) and I have family that live there to visit. Jenny used to live there so she would be on board as well. Although, financially it's a bit out there with airfare and all, but I could knock of California on the list and it could also be a surfing trip.
And speaking of surfing trips, I'm looking at three possibilities between now and next March/April (I promised myself I'd make at least one surfing trip before next Spring). They are Ecuador, swell chasing in Puerto Rico or Morro Negrito, an island off the Pacific coast of Panama. More on those later.
Any thoughts on the above races, suggestions, opinions???