People are always telling me that the older you get, the faster the years seem to fly by. They weren’t kidding! Sheesh, 2016 feels like a gigantic blur! I swear it feels as if yesterday I proclaimed my yearly resolutions and look - here we are - back at it again.
As 2017 approaches (in just a few hours), I sit and ponder about my racing goals for the new year. As I’m typing, I can’t help but nervously glance at my Garmin, with its customized watchface, taunting me that I have 36 days until my next marathon - Rock n’ Roll New Orleans, on February 9th. Um, say whaaaat? (nervous giggles)
Am I ready? No.
Will I PR? No.
Will I have fun? Hell to the yeah!
I’m going to New Orleans with one of my good friends, Chris. We both tackled Disney’s Dopey Challenge last January and now we’re entering another new year with another destination race. Like Dopey, our goal is to have fun and enjoy the sights. This time, instead of downing butterbeer and turkey legs from Universal Studios, we plan to hit the French Quarter and eat our weight in crawfish etoufee, shrimp po boys, and beignets and maybe top it all off with a signature cafe au lait from Cafe DuMonde or possibly an ice cold hurricane from Pat O’Brien’s - you know, depending on our mood. Actually, I haven’t really checked with Chris on what his goal is, but what I just spewed out is definitely mine!
Rock n’ Roll New Orleans will be my 11th marathon in my 50 states journey and the first to kick off 2017. Plane ticket and hotel - booked! Although nervous since I haven’t really tackled on any long mileage, I’m pretty stoked about hitting up the Big Easy! We’re going to have a great time! That’s my goal.
Many of you know that I’ve set a long-term goal of running a marathon in each state, which means I choose to run multiple marathons a year. This is my main focus and I plan to do this as long as my finances (and my marriage) will allow it.
It's only going to get tougher since my oldest is a high school senior and will be entering college later this year. Goodbye disposable income! Guess I’ll be looking for marathons in nearer states that I can drive to instead of ones that require flying. I just submitted my application to the 50 States Marathon Club so hopefully I’ll be getting my welcome packet soon!
I’m currently registered for 4 marathons in 2017. In addition to Rock n’ Roll New Orleans (LA), I have Pittsburgh Marathon (PA) in May (hello hills), Marine Corps Marathon (VA) in October (this is a deferred race from 2016 due to injury and is tentative since I may have a scheduling conflict), and Charlotte Marathon (NC) in November. My only race goal for 2017 is to pick one marathon where I’ll strive to set a new PR - which I’ve decided realistically, will be Charlotte. My time to beat is 3:55 that I got at this year’s Eugene Marathon. I remember that feeling running through the finish chute at Heyward Stadium. As the volunteer hung my finisher’s medal on my neck, I got so emotional and was left in tears. The waterworks just came out of nowhere - especially seeing Michael waiting for me at the finish! I’m hoping I’ll be left in tears again this coming November at the Charlotte Marathon. Let’s hope it’s because I’ve nailed a PR and not because all the muscles in my body are spasming. With that said, that means I have to stay focused on my training (and take it more seriously) and start journaling my training again. I started doing it this year in preparation for the Chicago Marathon before my foot injury. Grrr! I was on such a roll too. Speaking of that, here’s to hoping I don’t have any injuries (knock on wood) to derail me from my training. So Charlotte - I have you in my sights and I have plenty of time to train for you!
Other than that, I plan to have fun with all my other races. Pittsburgh is going to be one hilly marathon and I plan to incorporate more of the bridge runs into my training. I don’t care about time/pace. I’m going with a slew of friends (most non-runners) so I plan on just enjoying the trip and the race. I love the race medal! It reminds me of the medals they hand out at the New York Marathon. Pittsburgh is my friend’s (Christina) stomping grounds so she’s going to be our own personal tour guide (maybe catch a Pirate’s game) and foodie (Primanti Bros. is on the list), as well as one of the cheerleaders jeering us on (yinz run like jagoffs) on race day! Going with this group of friends is guaranteed to be epic fun and I can’t wait! Michael is registered to run the half marathon and we’re both signed up for the Steel City Challenge (where you run a 5K the day before). Plane tickets and hotels - booked! Race goal? Conquer the hills as best as I can and have fun!
The Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) is one I’ve been so excited to do! It’s a bucket list race. As part of the RRCA community, I couldn’t pass up on this year’s awesome opportunity to sign up for MCM’s 41st anniversary at an unbelievable price. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t be smart to run it this year due to my foot injury and it shortly being after my Chicago Marathon. I was able to defer it to 2017 so it’s on the calendar. However, it’s tentative because I will most likely have a scheduling conflict that won’t permit me to run it. My scheduling conflict (which I swore to secrecy and can’t discuss) is another bucket list item and is an opportunity that probably won’t come up for me again. I can always run the MCM another year - even though I’ll lose such a great price and opportunity! Ah well, both opportunities are bucket list-worthy items and I’m going with the one that may never happen for me again. I can always run MCM another time.
I’m excited to see how 2017 pans out! I’ve been poring over what marathons to run in the new year and these were the ones that made the cut. If I feel adventurous, I may sign up for another one since MCM is tentative, but my schedule is already all over the place. I don’t have any elaborate goals (usually they’re the same recycled goals from the previous year) or a certain specific time to beat other than to PR.
We’ll see how it all goes. Ready or not, here I come 2017!
If you look up the idiom "on-the-run", it means to constantly travel or moving from place to place. Welcome to my life! I get asked the question - "Do you ever sleep?" at least once a week. The truth is - I am always on the run. My weeks are filled with work, training runs, dropping kids off to school and extra curricular activities, traveling out-of-town for races and soccer games, theatre rehearsals, civic duties - you name it. In addition to being an avid runner, I'm a happily married wife, mother of two, an actress, singer, a Fleet Feet CREW coach, and work full time as the Marketing Manager for Thomas & Hutton Engineering Co. I love being on the run!