I have a kinda-sorta-semi significant announcement to make, and it involves a change in my spring marathon plans. I got this idea planted in my head last week, and upon mulling it over and weighing all the pros and cons and whatnot—I’m confident that this is the best call for a variety of reasons.
To put it simply (WHAT? Crazy…I never do that) here you have it:
I am not running the Eugene Marathon.
Instead, I am running the Tacoma City Marathon.
I realize that this is really only a big deal for me, but since some of you may have been following me throughout this training cycle(hey followers! I love you!)—which has, up until this time, been focused solely on running in Pre’s old stomping grounds—I figured I owed an explanation.
The idea to switch my marathon plans first came about during a run (weird, right?) last week. For those of you who don’t know, I’ve recently been battling back-and-forth with some intense knee bursitis. I had to alter a lot of my training plan, visit the orthopedic doc (aka: Dr. I’ll Give You Cortisone Therefore I’m a Godsend), and generally wait out the inflammation that has been crippling my entire left leg. So needless to say, although I’m on the way out of injury land and kicking back into training mode, I definitely lost some time.
The Tacoma City Marathon is a week after Eugene, and I knew this only because I was planning on going to volunteer for it. I began thinking about the logistics of Eugene (aka: travel, lodging, time, etc.) and I thought, “Huh, if only I was doing Tacoma instead…that would be so much easier.”
Obviously this triggered all of my logical-decision versus idealistic-decision making thoughts, which looked a little something like this:
(Note: when I talk to myself, I don’t really use second person, but for the sake of blog-talk, just go with it.)
“Wait, why don’t you just do Tacoma instead?”
“But Eugene has been the plan all along. It’s flat! It ends in Hayward Field! I could BQ in Eugene!”
“You would have to go to Eugene by yourself, buy a hotel room, pay for gas, and spend 12 hours driving ALONE.”
“But you already paid for Eugene! And they have pancakes at the end!”
“Tacoma is HALF AN HOUR AWAY. BF could come. You won’t have to celebrate at the finish line alone. You will SAVE money.”
So, this went on for approximately 4 days (Doesn’t my brain sound like a party?!), and thanks to some guidance from Mama, they always are right—aren’t they?, and some big time pros in the “Tacoma” category…I’ve decided to forgo my Eugene Marathon plans, as well as my dreams of a flat-PR accessible course.
Yes, that entire paragraph is one sentence. Too lazy to change…it’s free form, right?
The course change is really the biggest downside of this decision: Eugene is notorious for dishing up PRs and BQs to its participants, right alongside the all-you-can-eat pancakes at the end. And while this wasn’t the reason I chose this race, it has certainly helped encourage my secret-but-not-really-secret BQ goals.
No big deal, you say, just go for a BQ in Tacoma instead.
Yea…that’s the thing about the Tacoma race. One word can be used to describe the course, and it starts with an “H” and ends with a long, exhausting, oh-my-God-never-ending “ILLS.” No one sugarcoats the hill factor when describing the Tacoma Marathon—even the website says “train for hills!” in an annoyingly chipper yet threatening way. I know websites don’t have a tone of voice, but I was offended by this statement.
Not that I’m necessarily bad at hills, but when you go from training for a flat/marginally downhill race to training for a constantly rolling hill race, your time goals dial back a bit. And you know what? It’s okay.
Truthfully, I had already come to terms with the fact that a BQ was perhaps not in the cards for this spring, due to bursitis being an a-hole and sidelining me for three weeks. Also, it’s not like I won’t try my very hardest in Tacoma—and I look forward to seeing how my effort thus far emancipates on race day.
There are also many reasons why Tacoma is definitely the smarter and more logical choice. Let’s do some listing, because that’s what being type-A is all about, right? Cool.
–Tacoma is where I first started to love running. I went to school in Tacoma, and while it took me a few years and many boxes of wine to eventually lace up and head out on the roads, I do feel a certain home field advantage about racing in this town. Although I love Seattle and will never live in Tacoma again (that’s putting it nicely btw), there is a certain nostalgia I get when I think about running in Tacoma.
– Money. Monetarily, I’ll probably end up better off. Yes, I’ll have to bite the $90-Eugene-Registration bullet and tack on another registration fee for Tacoma. However, given the fact that with Eugene I’d had to pay for accommodations, gas, food, and all the race shwag that I’ll rationalize with “But I came all this way!!!!”, I’m thinking I’ll actually save money.
–Time. For me, a marathon is certainly a good reason to spend a whole weekend traveling, but the fact that I won’t have to drive 6 hours after running 26.2 miles (and not to mention beforehand) provides some enormous relief. Post marathon time should only be spent at Chipotle, on the couch, or in the Dairy Queen drive-thru. ONLY.
–(Boy)Friends! I know it’s silly to consider having a cheering section as an advantage, however I am comforted by thinking that I’ll have some supporters in Tacoma. BF is in crazy-busy-work-mode right now, and there was no way he would have been able to come to Eugene. This way, not only will he be able to come, but he’s thinking he’ll race the half too! Hooray couple racing! Also, I have some friends in Tacoma that I’m planning on
forcing nicely asking to come to the finish line. My sister also said she’d be able to make it to Tacoma. It’s just a T-town party, all kinds of fun.
–Revenge. That sounds intense, because it is. Let’s back track: Last year, I signed up to do the Tacoma City Half Marathon and was all amp-ed up for it: It would be spring, it would be in my own backyard, and it would be ON MY BIRTHDAY. Perfect situation for 13.1 miles right? And it was…but not for me. You see that was the time of the year that my little friend Torn Hip Flexor was hanging around and decided that it wouldn’t let me walk or run for a very long time. Racing was out of the question, and I had to settle with my first “DNS.” So, when I say that “revenge” is motivating my change in race plans, I’m being very serious. Although it was not the race itself that disabled me from running, I do feel a certain call from it to come back and get some redemption. And oh Tacoma City Marathon, I will get that redemption…and instead of taking back those 13.1 miles I was robbed of last year, I’m going to tack on another 13.1 just to prove my point.
Are you scared of me yet? Just think I’m insane and spend too much time by myself? Well, agree to agree with you on that one. Threatening and personifying a perfectly innocent race is perhaps one of the insights into my psyche I should have kept to myself.
But in all seriousness, I’m feeling pretty pumped at the thought of redeeming my Half DNS from last year with a full marathon. I have no clue how well it will go, I am still working on some time goals (stay tuned for that), but I’m psyched to run 26.2 miles on the roads where I first started to love running. So Tacoma, next time I see your smelly, sketchy, humble little self, I’ll be waving at you with a race number tagged on and presumably a lot of salt on my face. Hey, if you’re not dressing up for me…I won’t pull out the stops for you. Let’s just be stinky and tired-looking together, okay? It will be beautiful.
I hope your Tuesday is going well! And today I’d like to know…
Do you have any spring racing plans? Have you ever changed a race plan mid-training? Do you enjoy thinking of races as living, breathing things that you want to get in a fight with?