Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Spirit of Adventure

Having been planted on the couch for yet another day, waiting for this stupid creeping crud to go away, I starting digging into the Internet for info on 2012 races. I'd already started a list a couple of weeks ago, but hadn't paid much attention to it recently, so I thought this would be a great time to see what I could find and beef it up a tad.

The list has 18 races on it now, but it's only a tenative collection with the exception of six (6!) races I am already signed up for:
* Fort Vancouver 10K (next weekend)
* Shamrock 15K (March 18)
* Sellwood Scamper 5K (March 24 - it's free, so why not?)
* Rock-N-Roll Portland Half Marathon (May 20)
* Timberline Half Marathon (June 2)
* Bald Peak Half Marathon (June 23)

Needless to say, if I sign up for everything I found, I will be a very busy bee for the rest of the year. My list will also involve having to make a choice here and there, as it would be pretty much impossible to do back-to-back half marathons (Sat and Sun) on opposite ends of the state, and that's not even considering the kind of training that would involve.

I picked several local races as well as a few that would involve some travel and hotel-room purchasing. One race that I've been wanting to do for a couple of years now is the Pear Blossom 10-miler in Medford, my hometown. This one is in April, and the timing perfect for Rock-N-Roll prep.

Another one requiring some travel is a particularly brutal-looking trail run in September called the Cle Elum Ridge Run near Cle Elum, WA - a 25K with a 3900 ft. elevation gain:|
Just looking at the elevation chart makes my chest hurt - this would by far be the most difficult race in my entire life (should I decide to accept the assignment, of course!)

Thing is, though, I think I'm ready to start taking on these kinds of challenges. The thought of hills like this terrifies and exhilirates me at the same time - a bizarre, twisted feeling that surely only those crazy enough to consider for even two whole seconds the idea of running straight uphill for miles on end can feel. I don't doubt that I'd probably be entertaining murdurous thoughts every step of the way up those inclines, but I have done enough running (on hills, even) to know that the feeling you get when you know you've done it far outweighs anything you might say or feel or even do out on the course.

As far as a primary goal for this year, I am thinking hard about a late fall marathon. I've done Portland twice, and I'd rather do something different this time around, so I have put the Seattle Marathon over Thanksgiving weekend on my radar. This would be a good one to do, because I could plan the whole holiday weekend around it with my brother, my aunt and uncle and cousins and potentially my Mom. I've broached the idea to Charles, who thinks it's a great idea, and I am going to run it by Mom to see what she thinks before I sign up, since we spend every Thanksgiving with her. It's cheaper than Portland, and one gets to run on the I-90 floating bridge, which I think would be a total trip. Plus, plenty of training time between now and then. Which had better involve serious hill training, 'cause the Seattle course ain't flat, oh no it isn't!

I used to think I wanted to eventually run Boston. As a qualifier and not as a charity runner, even. This is an admirable goal, but honestly....assuming I was to make it within the next five years, my qualifiying time is four hours flat. The kind of training that would be required to get from my current marathon PR (7:10) down to 4:00...?  Oh, my. So - let's face it - at this point, I don't think I will ever be fast enough to qualify, and I have finally decided that's okay. Because....I'd rather run for distance than speed, and I've also figured out this has pretty much always been the case.

So, this is my new long-term goal, for starters, I'm thinking next year.

And then this before I turn 50.

Ambition, anyone?


(Just) Trying is for Little Girls said...

Ah, ambitious Jules is back. I missed her!

We ran the Seattle Half over Thanksgiving in 2010. I have a hotel recommendation if you want to stay right by the start and walk to it. Let me know.

The finish was insane! I have never seen so much food at a finish before, ever. Totally awesome.

Taryn said...

This is awesome!!! I love your list of races...way to go!!!