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Get My Heart Racing

Someone left a comment on my racing page that I need to sign up for more races this year, seeing as though I don’t have anything listed after my half marathon debut (19 days! Look out racing world….).  I couldn’t agree more, and in fact, I already have a few in mind.

The issue? Money.  My husband and I have our spring break trip coming up.  Yes, in a month from now I’ll have achieved two goals- the half marathon and FINALLY making it to my Southwestern National Parks! But between hotels, camp sites, flights, rental cars, food and other fun excursions on the trip, I’m a little tapped out.  And man, races are expensive.

But, I’m not completely deterred.  I’ve got the bug.  What can I say? I love having a goal. So here’s what I’ve been looking at.

First, there’s the George Washington Parkway Classic.  I really want to do this 10 miler because it’s my usual long run route, without the traffic.  The Parkway is beautiful, and I’d love the opportunity to run it without speeding cars and all that.  I’ve pretty much decided to do it- I was apprehensive earlier because I haven’t raced all that much, and wasn’t sure it would be a good idea so soon after my first half.  Plus, I’ll be OUT WEST for two of the three weeks prior and I won’t be fitting in any training.  But I’ve been overcome with a ‘seize the moment’ mentality of late and figure why put off for next year what I can do now.  Still…the fee is a little much at the moment.  So in a few weeks, when the next paycheck comes round, if the race isn’t full yet, I’ll do it.  If it’s fully subscribed, well I’ll just take it as a sign as something to look forward to next year.

Now, for my next half! I know, I know, I probably should wait to actually run one to decide whether or not I want to do it again.  But I have a feeling I’ll want to.  I’ve enjoyed the training, especially the long runs.  So why wouldn’t I enjoy the race as well?

My thinking? A Chicago race.  I’ve only been once, when I was 12.  And more importantly, my youngest sister moved there almost two years ago to get her PhD in school psychology- yeah, she’s pretty smart.  I promised her I would go visit, but last year wasn’t an option since it was my last year of law school and the bar exam.  I also said I wouldn’t go in the winter.  I already have to experience Cleveland winters occasionally as my husband’s roots are there.  One Great Lakes tundra is enough, thank you.

I thought a race would be a great thing to wrap into the visit, and would commit me to finally going.  It looks like there are two halves there- one in June, and one in September. Both have pluses and minuses

June Race
Pros: Get to visit my sister sooner, have a great spring race to look forward to, allows me to avoid the potential misery of training during the DC summers.
Cons: Trying to come up with the racing fee and paying for a flight in the next couple weeks.  Also, if I do that flight now, I’ll probably have to forgo going to my parents’ over Memorial Day, a bit of a tradition for me.

September Race
Pros: more time to train, something to look forward to in the fall, and more time to budget appropriately.
Cons: Timing! First, I’m not hot on the idea of training in the summer here, as mentioned above.  I mean, last summer it was often +80 degrees at 5:30 am when I would go for my run.  Also, its only a few days after the political nominating conventions- my husband will be covering both and hence will be gone for two weeks at least prior.  Not sure that I want to extend our time apart.

Some things to think about.  I’d also love suggestions for races to do- any must-do ones? I’m not interested in marathons, but anything below that distance is a possibility.  Also, given that my husband will be traveling covering the campaigns a bit, traveling isn’t as much of an option this year but I’d still like to know about them. And I definitely want to know about great local races, in particular in rural Virginia- I love it out there!


6 responses »

  1. what part of cleveland is your husband from? I’m from the cleveland area as well and winters can be pretty brutal sometimes! if you are looking for good local races have you checked out the washington running report calendar? that is where i get a lot of my race info from. also the potomac valley track club has a race series each year. they are small and cheap! last year I did the easter classic and it was a lot of fun…might again this year depending on schedules.

    • He’s originally from Brecksville, his parents now live in Medina. The Christmases we’ve spent there have been an experience! I thought I knew cold coming from New England, but the Lake effects are a true fact of life. I used to follow the Washington Running Report but for some reason I found it confusing. But I’ll definitely give it a try again. Thanks!

  2. The Parkway Classic is a really well organized race. The Pacers do a great job and the shirt is pretty sweet too.

    If you want to try a trail race, check out the North Face Endurance Challenge in D.C. in June. It’s fantastic and they have all distance options from 5K to 50 miles.

    • I have been wanting to try a trail race! I like hiking and being in the woods in general (although I hardly ever get to do it) so I think trail running would be right up my alley. Thanks for the recommendation!


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