Wow, it’s been an awfully long time since I wrote anything. If anyone is still out there, I’m in the midst of a quandary and could use some other perspectives.
A couple of months ago, I announced that I was through with races. I ran a half marathon with someone and some comments were made that caused me to realize that I don’t want my running buddies to feel like they are being held back if they run with me, and I don’t really want people to have to stand around and wait for me to finish. I decided that Slowpoke Sarah would rather be support crew at the races than feel like that again.
Most of my running buddies are not trail runners. We have a wide range of asphalt trails in town and their training groups use those much of the time. I’m perfectly happy to run in the woods by myself and they prefer to run with others. There is a group in the area that puts together a series of trail races, starting with a 5k in January and ending with a marathon in June. I have run a couple of their races in the past, and they have been fairly informal and fun but really tough. I’m considering signing up for the whole series because there is a crazy part of me that wants to know if I can run a marathon.
I can train on the marathon course every weekend if I want to. I won’t have to worry about holding anyone back because I’ll usually be alone. If I complete the series, I suspect I will feel like a badass tough girl, even if I don’t actually win anything. I might make new friends whose running style is more like my own.
I’ll usually be alone and by the end, there will be a lot of hours of training by myself. I told all of my running buddies that I didn’t want to do races anymore. I’m not sure I could actually run a whole marathon, especially one on a course that tough. It will cost me at least $30 a month or more, plus the equipment costs (camelbak, heart rate monitor, shoes, bug spray).
What do you think I should do? Run the distances on my own instead of doing the races and save the money? Just go for it—spend the cash, get the cool race t-shirts and official timing, and not say too much about it to my running buddies (or go ahead and tell them because they’ve probably forgotten the “no races” thing)? Skip it and be happy just knowing that I’ve already run a couple of half marathons? Go for the beer, balloons, and cake (in other words, listen to the Blerch) because one race is in the woods in cold-as-hell-January and another one involves running up and down the side of a mountain repeatedly? Run those races, hope to have an awesome time, enjoy the bragging rights of being that hardcore?
Advise me! I’m starting to consider asking the Magic 8 Ball!