My thought process after my second marathon varied drastically from my mindset after my first. After the Outer Banks Marathon in 2011, it took me almost two years to decide if I ever even wanted to run a marathon again. After the Richmond Marathon last weekend, I knew the answer was a resounding ‘yes’ within about two hours.
I can’t put a finger on the exact reason for my quick desire to pursue another marathon. It could be any number of things.
The Outer Banks Marathon wasn’t about time goals, or really any goal in particular except for making it through the distance. Back then, I didn’t even own a running watch. Seeing the improvements I have made through speed workouts and proper pacing has gotten me much more excited about races.
When I ran my first I wasn’t blogging. Now I am part of this massive community of runners and other inspiring athletes. Hearing about their races and seeing them train never fails to make me want to run and race myself.
The most obvious reason though, is that I finished Richmond only five minutes short of a massive personal goal. Don’t get me wrong, I am proud of what I accomplished last weekend. I got a huge PR and I don’t feel the need to redeem myself or validate my efforts. But the fact that I came close to 3:35 and it now seems so possible, makes me want to just do it, plain and simple.
All of these factors planted the seed of running a spring marathon in my head. I thought about doing the very first Rock and Roll Raleigh Marathon in April but it doesn’t seem to fit. It’s really pricey, will probably be super crowded, and falls on the day after the Girls on the Run spring 5k that I want to help plan.
So now I’ve set my sights on the Wrightsville Beach Marathon in March. This race holds a special place in my heart since the Wrightsville Beach Half was my first race back when I started running in 2010. I have run the half twice and the event is very well-organized. Wilmington is like a second home for Jeremy, Juneau, and me so spending the weekend there and running there is going to be comfortable and fun. Did I mention that the course doesn’t once reach an elevation over 35 feet? Yeah, I’m okay with that.
The Richmond Marathon and Half Marathon were running special low registration prices for the 2014 races through most of last week. I was more than tempted to go ahead and drop $65 for the full but stopped myself. I absolutely want to run Richmond again because I loved that race. But, depending on how the spring goes, I like the idea of spending the remainder of 2014 doing a handful of fun half marathons. The marathon is a great experience but I can’t deny that 13.1 miles is my ultimate happy distance. Since many of the miles I ran on the 16th were a surreal blur, I think it would be fun to do the half marathon in Richmond and get to soak it all in.
The other thing I can’t stop thinking about is how ridiculously badly I want to do a relay race. Living out of a van and doing nothing but running for two days may sound terrible to a lot of people, but it sounds like maybe the most exciting idea ever to me. I’ve been investigating East coast relays like the Palmetto 200, Ragnar DC, and the Blue Ridge Relay. Now I just need to find seven or more other runners who are as crazy as me. Anyone?… Anyone?…
What’s the next race on your calendar? How long after a race does it usually take you to start thinking about the next one? Have you ever done or wanted to do a relay?