Monday, September 13, 2021

Hmmmm, Options Aplenty...


In case you haven't heard, my much anticipated marathon bit the dust (well, sort of).

As much as I was looking forward to the Air Force Marathon, I'm totally at peace with NOT running it. It was to be my 10th marathon, and it may still be (someday), but for now it's off the table and deleted from my 2021 calendar. 

Actually, I  have my eyes towards a Fall full of care-free fun (did you try to say that three times, really fast?).

First off, a major factor in my disappointment being at the minimum was the weird hip/groin issue(s) I'd been having. This hip/groin stuff started in early August, right as I was about to enter the final weeks of long-long runs. My gut told me to scale things back, so I reluctantly listened. A chiropractor gave me a much-needed adjustment (it had been a good 10+ years since I'd had any kind of chiropractic care), and things felt much better. Then, later that day, I got the email about the marathon having to assume virtual status. Can you just see the irony there?


Having the pressure lifted from doing any longer "long" runs was pretty liberating. My longest run, at that point, had been 15 miles (and it had happened a few weeks prior...due to the temporary scaling-back I was doing). The idea of running any further wasn't too appealing, so the race's cancellation was really more of a blessing than a disappointment. Let me add, the notion of looking for another fall marathon had even less appeal, so that wasn't even an option on my radar. 

It's been almost a month since the notice of the AFM's 2021 fate...so what to do now? 

Don't worry, I have a few options to play with...

Endurance maintenance.
Since I had been doing "all the training miles" prior to the race's cancellation, my endurance is in a good place. Even with my scaled-back running, my biking has remained consistent and my fitness has not waivered. I just ran a 20K recently, and have another half marathon in mid-October. Last weekend, I was able to run 9.11 miles (on September 11th) without any issues. Maintaining a 10-mile long run, for the next few weekends (and beyond), should be easy-peasy.



Add another (or a few) distance races.
There's a half marathon in early November I'm considering registering for, as well as a 10-mile race mid-November. Both are races I've done before, and both are great events. I ask you, why not? I'm a sucker for a race bib (and so is my friend, Barb).



Continue to embrace cycling!
It's a bummer the marathon is off the table because I was implementing a lot of cycling in my training plan...and now I won't have the chance to test the success of it. That doesn't mean I cannot continue cycling to my heart's content, though. In fact, there's a century ride in the works (and possibly another cycling streak). Stay tuned!



Get back on the stairs!
One thing I have been skimping on is the stairway. I mean, who am I? With all the cycling on the roster, the stair workouts have been very rare in recent months. I'm eager to bring them back, at least on a bi-weekly rotation if nothing else.


  
Enjoy the freedom to run whatever distance I so choose.
Although I will be trying to keep a consistent schedule of running 3-4 times each week, I will have a lot of flexibility on what that actually entails. I'm envisioning spontaneous Fartleks, hill repeats, intervals and strides (maybe all on the same day, on occasion LOL). Honestly, the sky will be the limit. It's almost like the big marathon has come and gone and I'll now be free to just coast for awhile.



Anyways, those are some things I have been thinking about in recent weeks. I do still want to run that 10th marathon, and I want to run it for the joy of the experience and not for any specific finish time. It may happen at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base next year, or it may happen somewhere else. None the less, I now have free reign to enjoy the miles as they happen...and that's just what I plan to do.

Have you ever had a big race get cancelled or go virtual? If so, would you try to find a replacement race, or just relish the new-found freedom?

I'm linking this with Kim and Zenaida for the Tuesday Topics Link-Up

I'm also linking with Debbie, DeborahLisaLaura and Jenn for the Runners' Roundup

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24 comments:

  1. I know exactly what you mean about that liberating feeling of not having to do all the miles, Kim! It's not only effort, it's also a huge time investment.It's nice to enjoy the freedom.

    And other distances can be great fun, too, like that half-marathon and 10 miler you are considering for November. I would sign up for them and just enjoy them!

    Your 10th marathon will happen for sure. When would the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base one be scheduled for?

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    1. Wright-Patterson AFB is where the Air Force Marathon takes place, and it's always near the anniversary of the US Air Force, in mid-September. This year, it would have been on the actual date, Sept. 18th...so it will be Sept. 17th (I think?) next year. For now, I'm just going to do all the miles with plenty of smiles. I'm just grateful I'm not missing the marathon due to injury ;-)

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  2. I know the "liberating" feeling. I remember how hard was to follow a scheduled program for the marathon. I had to run, no matter weather, rain, wind ecc. One day, because of a terrible storm with lightning, I ran 21km on the treadmill: it was a nightmare!!!!
    I never had a big race cancelled but I had to skip the Florence Marathon in 2008 because I broke my femur one month before.
    I am sure you will run your 10th marathon.

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    1. Ugh, I'm not good at being tied to a specific training plan either. A lot of people like that kind of structure, but I feel trapped in one. The longest treadmill run I have done was a virtual 10K last year...and THAT felt like a nightmare. I cannot imagine going a step further!

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  3. I had 6 halfs last year cancelled and I did them virtually because nothing was scheduled.

    But I definitely would look for a new race. Not surprised?

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    1. Well, if this was half marathon, I'd definitely look to find another LOL A full, though? I'm alright with letting it go. Besides, I have a few other races happening anyways, at more manageable "coming back from recovery" distances ;-)

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  4. I have really had a shift in my relationship with running the past 2 years and can totally relate that it feels liberating not to have to run so many miles/long runs. I feel like it gives more freedom to tackle other things, like cycling and strength training!

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    1. I still love running long distances, but those extra long training runs (anything 15+ miles) are just not as enticing as they used to be. Too bad I can't just run a marathon without needing all those extra miles in training before the start line.

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  5. I'm glad you were able to get some relief for your hip issue. It's so frustrating when those things happen during training. But then with the race being virtual, I'm sure it was a sigh of relief. I'm in a similar spot, running for fun and just enjoying each time in able to get out there!

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    1. Yes, everything has worked out well, and I alright postponing marathon #10 for the time being. It's a blessing being able to "just run" for the fun of it ;-)

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  6. For the past year, for the most part, running has been on the back burner for me -- there's definitely something to be said for less pressure when it comes to running.

    Maybe when my life settles down I'll feel differently, but for now, it's all about taking care of myself (sort of) and just trying to stay active. Nothing wrong with that, Kim!

    Sometimes life hands out what we really need, even if it's not what we think we want. :)

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    1. I agree! While I was excited for this marathon, I really wasn't very enthused about the training, which is why I was implementing biking into my training plan. Oh well...Stay tuned! This story is far from over ;-)

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  7. It sounds like things maybe worked out for the best with not feeling 100% and then your race going virtual. Your plan for this fall sounds great! Its nice to have to have run certain distances and just do what feels good.

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    1. Things did work out well. By the race going virtual, it took all the pressure off of me in having to make any race day decisions (like switching to the 13.1 instead, if the hip/groin thing had not improved). To me, that was an even bigger relief than my having to be the decision maker LOL

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  8. Sounds like it was good timing for you with the cancelation. I am enjoying finding a few more races to sign up for this fall as well. Might turn out to be a good thing. Hope your hip is feeling better!

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    1. Thanks, Deborah! The hip is feeling MUCH better, and all is well in my running world. It is exciting to have all kinds of potential races to consider, isn't it!

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  9. 100% when my spring half marathon was postponed until the fall I was so relieved. I just wasn't feeling it. FWIW I'm certain that all of the biking gave you an edge, and I think you'll see that in your fall races. It's a fun time of year!

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    1. No doubt the biking has played a significant part in all things fitness for me. I'm excited to see how that plays out at these fall races!

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  10. I think things all worked out for the best. Doing a weekly 10 miler is great- it's long enough to feel like a long run, but not so long that it's exhausting. Yes, I was looking forward to finding out how your cycling-heavy marathon training plan worked out- we'll just have to wait for next year!

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    1. My thoughts exactly, Jenny! I love the 10-mile distance for what you just said. It's a perfect maintenance distance ;-)

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  11. I haven't had anything big get canceled, but I've also been more conservative about registering. I'm sorry this happened, but you do have a lot of options, so it will be ok. I'm glad you are able to pivot and make the most of your freedom! And I do hope that hip/groin issue gets resolved.

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    1. I'm totally okay with the cancellation; it is what it is, and I support the AFM's decision to err on the side of caution. The hip/groin is feeling SO much better ;-)

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  12. I know exactly how you feel! My 40th marathon is supposed to be in October and I'm just not ready. It's been postponed three times since 2020, and since I picked this date (as opposed to 2022) they won't let me defer again. Fall races are hard when you live in the desert and I swore years ago not to do another. Yet here I am. Hoping that it will get canceled. Sad, right?

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    1. Yeah, as much as I was looking forward to the marathon, my heart just wasn't in it for all those long-long runs in the final weeks before they pulled the plug. I Hope you're able to reach a catharsis on your race...I know exactly how you feel <3

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