I know I’m getting back in shape anytime I find myself daydreaming about my next big race on a run. For a couple of weeks, I’ve been toying with the idea of a spring marathon. There are a couple of reasons for this crazy line of thinking. First, I don’t want to have all my eggs in one basket for a fall marathon when I essentially took a year off from racing. Second, I need to have a realistic fitness check before setting fall goals. Finally, scheduling in residency is bananas. We plan 6 months to a year ahead for even a weekend off, so if I was going to run a spring marathon, I needed to commit now.
Choosing a spring marathon was a whole other ordeal. At this point, there is no “safe” time of year for good weather but I could pretty much guarantee that anything after April in the South was a bad idea. Furthermore, I doubted by ability to be ready for an early spring marathon, so needed something in late May or June. Finally, I wanted a reasonably fast course. After much searching around, I settled on Grandma’s Marathon in late June in Duluth.
Grandma’s is point to point and has a reputation of being flat and fast. They’ve had their share of tough weather in the last few years but by late June, warm weather won’t be a shock to my NC system. Lodging in Duluth proved to be a bit more of a challenge; hotels anywhere near the area were already completely sold out for the weekend. I got very lucky and found an AirBnB in the area with two hosts who often have Grandma’s runners.
Obviously time is on my side for this race, despite still working actively on healing my knee. I’ll essentially train for the San Diego Half and Grandma’s independently, as there are 14 weeks between the two races. This allows me to work on speed through most of the winter and switch to a more endurance/marathon focus for Grandma’s AND have a week off after the San Diego Half.
I’m going into the whole thing with a light heart and my plan FROM Grandma’s to Fall 2019 is an epic “if-then” map. For example, if training doesn’t go well or I’m not able to put together a race faster then 3 hours, then I’ll reconsider my trajectory for fall. As long as my outcome is under 3, I’ll plan to register for Boston (ensuring a Spring 2020 goal race) but still likely plan a fall attempt at the OTQ.
Anyone else run Grandma’s? I keep hearing amazing things!