A marathon! Surprise! It’s actually a surprise even to me if I’m being completely honest. I have run 3 total organized events in 2018 which is fairly rare for me looking at my history of racing about once or twice a month (or more) in most years. I consciously made an effort last year to cutback running for a variety of reasons which I’ve addressed in previous posts. I ran very little for the first few months of 2018 and only picked up my mileage in preparation for the Rite Aid Cleveland 1/2 marathon in May and once again to pace Leighanna at Burning River 100.
During one of many long runs with my friend Abbie, we very casually talked about how easy it would be to continue to train a bit after BR. We both ended up running 16 trail miles at BR and both felt really good after. The conversation evolved into exploring what it would look like to train and taper for a local trail race coming up in early September. After looking at a calendar, it appeared as if we could cap training off with two long runs followed by a traditional taper.
I felt both excited as well as conflicted. I really have loved my training this time around. My guess would be that because pacing was so low pressure in terms of my own running, I was able to relax and just enjoy my time running on the trail. The conflict came in because prior to this discussion, I had felt really adamant about continuing to not race as I just don’t love the anxiety that accompanies it. People always seem surprised to hear that I often get anxiety before not only races but also long runs. It’s been an issue that has plagued me for years and though it hasn’t ever hindered me from running or training, I chose to take a break doing things that elicited that feeling.
On occasion, I found myself spending time on ultrasignup.com and thinking that perhaps a fall race would be something to look forward to. The marathon distance is ultimately my favorite and after a few more discussions with Abbie, we both decided to enter a local trail marathon.
As of right now, we’ve successfully run up to 18 miles and are prepping for 20 tomorrow. After that, I’ll likely do a 13-15 miler, then an 8 or so and then race day. Knocking on wood for a few more uneventful weeks of training!
Abbie and I after our 18 miler last week- feeling exhilarated and ready for more!