Instead of sleeping, I am obsessing over choosing my next marathon.
The funny thing about checking off the #1 item on your bucket list – the dream that motivated you to want to run again when you couldn’t even walk, the thing that represented rebirth after a piece of you died – is that once it’s been checked off, there’s a big empty spot on the list. I assumed the other items (Black Mountain, NYC, MCM, London, etc) would each shift up a slot. And I’m sure they eventually will. But I find myself keeping #1 open as I try to decide what would fulfill the requirements of fulfilling me. And having just run one of the most beautiful & toughest road races in America, it’s a tall order to fill.
My current choices are all fall/winter races & all within driving distance. Two represent redemption & are repeats: Dallas in December, which I limped through with herniated discs & severe sciatica against my chiropractor’s advice in 2014 & Cowtown in February, which I ran virtually on a treadmill when ice storms caused the organizers to cancel the marathon in 2015. Both left me conflicted & unsatisfied for very different reasons. Both are relatively flat/fast & neither conflict with anything else on my schedule.
The third option is as close to a Big Sur experience as I can get in my home state: a very small race with incredibly challenging elevation, little to no spectators & breathtaking views (it is marketed as “the most beautiful marathon in Texas”). It’s in November, which means I’d be training for hills in the extreme heat of summer. It falls on the weekend between the 5K I help organize and the 5K I direct & it’s right in the middle of my coaching schedule for my fall church running group & for Girls on the Run.
3 guesses as to which one I’m leaning toward. Guess I just like a good challenge.