And One Makes Five?

ShamrockFest, Odyssey, RnR Philly and MCM.

I’m debating whether to add a fifth race, presumably a half to my 2011 schedule. The operative question though, is where.

It gets even more dicey with my weekend classes in the fall.

Due to extensive travel, I am taking the second summer session (5 July – 27 August) off. The fall semester 2011 starts 5 September until 15 December. I have class in the fall on Monday nights and Saturday afternoon. There is a SLIGHT possibility that could change and I might drop the Saturday class for a Tuesday night marketing class. In any case, it will not affect – and is irrelevant to the decision here.

Nonetheless, school – and not having a car in the big city – are my two limiting factors. I’m reliant on public transportation in the vast majority of cases, and having loads of rewards points towards Amtrak and hotels does help.

That said, I was looking at the Bronx Half Marathon in August and the Philly Half Marathon in November.

All things considered, the Philly Half would be a no-brainer except there are a mere 21 days between my full in MCM (30 October) and the half itself. The ultimate key is figuring out how long it would take me to recover from that full; in an injury-free half, it would take me 5 days. Having been injured twice over in Virginia last month, it took me 8 days to recover from ShamrockFest. If I am to run the Philly Half though, it would be a check-the-box thing, and as my muscles would be in recovery mode, I would not be aiming for a PR; this would be more of a relaxed race for me.

The Bronx Half on the other hand is in August, during my time off from school. It will be hot, but then again, I will have survived Odyssey in late May, and RnR Philly will be in mid-September. The kicker? Last year, the race was 15 August, mid-August; indicators reveal that this year, the race will be the last weekend that month, and unfortunately, as ill timing is, that is the weekend of my cousin’s wedding in Boston.

I’ve had people advise me on the Philly Half both ways, I know I will be too weak to PR, but I do want to complete the race, as who knows what 2012 will have in store for me. I have several races on my bucket list, and a part of me wants to work on another full in 2012, although not sure when.

PA has a few good halfs outside Philly in the fall, there’s the Baltimore and Atlantic City Marathons. At some point, though I do want to aim for Chicago or NYC. But who knows if it’ll be in 2012 or beyond.

Other races on my bucket list? In the spring, closer to my parents’ home, there is Garden Spot in New Holland, PA, which runs a full and a half in April. In May, there is another marathon in New Holland. Big races in the spring include the 10-miler Broad Street Run and the New Jersey Marathon (which most of us tend to refer to as Long Branch, the city in which it is held on the shore). Another option for me is the National Marathon and Half in DC, generally at the end of March.

In the fall? Chicago and NYC, I’ve mentioned. I’ve done the Amish Half, but the Hands on House Half is another scenic race in Lancaster County, early October. Hershey also runs a half near and through its park also early October. For full marathons, Baltimore is a likely possibility in mid-October.

In the winter, there is the Walt Disney World Marathon weekend. If I go here, it will be perfect, during winter break and I’d spend several days at the parks. I would likely do the full, as both races are very expensive and they charge the same for the half as they do the full.

Finally, my dream international races would be more than likely when I am finished with graduate school. Dublin and Amsterdam would be my top two; I’d love to do Paris as well. Madrid would be beautiful, but the 800m elevation difference (I’ve lived near or at sea level all my life) would destroy me.

Vacation options? Aside from Europe and WDW, anything in San Diego – the La Jolla Half in March, which would allow me to visit my best friend from college who studies at UCSD, maybe swing by to LA. Another good one would be the Outer Banks Marathon – they run the full and half in November, but they also have a sister half in April, the Flying Pirate.

Ah decisions, decisions. So many I want to run. But now reality for 2011…

Right now, I’m leaning towards a relaxed Philly Half. But there’s the possibility of WDW…but could I possibly be killing myself with a full? Hmmm…gotta think on this one.



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