Least Terrifying Decision
They said come join the lot of us, and I said.... (btw, this line is from But Not the Hippopotamus, which you should read whether you have small children or not)
I said, I should come join a running group. Yes. But...not that one. Per Jodi's suggestion, I met up with the group a second time, this time for a regular Saturday run. It just didn't click for me. I think the issue was two-fold. One, despite having a dazzling array of pace-themed training groups& coaches, and the frighteningly low number of people in my training group, the "group" (a term I have to use loosely because I'm not sure it was anyone other than the coach and his son) took off for a distance appropriate for full marathon training, leaving me more or less on my own. Second, and as a result of the first point, I was the fastest person among those left behind by a fairly wide margin, and, isn't avoiding solo long runs the whole point of joining a group?
In an effort to find an alternative, I scouted out other local options and struck upon a Saturday-only training group run by the Salt Lake Running Company. Having missed the kick-off and having spoken to no one about it, I signed up. It was now or never. It's only 4 months, I told myself. Wait, 4 months? Not 6? Yes...because this group is training for the Salt Lake Marathon & Half in April, which leads me to Decision #2.
Second Least Terrifying Decision
So, I registered not only for the running group, but the Salt Lake Half, to be held in April. Since it's only 11 weeks out, I planned to use my trusty old RW sub-2 half training plan. I've used it several times before. I know I can do it, and I know it will bring me over the finish line in the anticipated time frame. No biggie. I didn't anticipate training so early in the year, but it will be good for me.
But then I thought...I have some pretty specific goals for the Top of Utah Marathon in September. Specifically, to not Fuel Fail a la Cleveland. And with appropriate fueling, turn in a shiny new PR. And if I wanted to do that, I would need to up my training.
immediately post-fuel fail at Cleveland, with the aforementioned Jodi (center, right)
Which brought me to...
Decidedly Terrifying Decision #1
...registering for the Utah Valley Half in June and [gulp] buying the sub-1:45 RW training plan for it. Now, before you jump all over me, yes, I know that dropping 10 minutes off my PR is probably too much. But I do think it's time for a new PR, and this is the next step up in training. It's time. Plus, it will help me to accomplish that last goal...
Terrifying Decision #2
...to attempt to sub-4 Top of Utah in September. I've long said that it would take me another 2 marathons to break that barrier. But, I'm going for it. Unapologetically, and fully aware that it's entirely possible that it won't happen. I bought the RW sub-4 marathon training schedule and it's in my handy dandy Excel training spreadsheet.
The net effect of this is that I'm scheduled to run about 1,000 miles between now and late September, when I've never done more than 850 in a year, and I'm asking myself to set 2 new PRs over the course of 3 races. I've bitten off a lot. Especially considering that the rest of life is CRAZY, but we won't get into that.
I told all of this to a good friend a few days ago and I thought her response was apt. Remember that time you called, enormously pregnant, and told me you were about to stand on a ladder and use power tools? This might be similar.
Pretty much. Except that this time, it isn't going to end with said friend installing curtain hardware while I sit in a rocking chair. Ready. Set. Go.