Friday, March 9, 2012
How do I decide what race?
The story of how I got here. See, I fancy myself an ultra runner while in fact I am not (at least at the moment). But I still dream of it. So when looking for a July race, I found a 50 mile race in Tulsa. The race starts at midnight, which gives some relief from the sun. But, I would still need to jog 6 hours in the sun to finish the 50 miles. I kept thinking about the humidity, bugs and my sweaty body. I kept thinking of the loss of a nights sleep. I just couldn't click submit.
Yesterday during my early morning jog, I realized I didn't want to go to Oklahoma. The race seemed like an enforced hell. But it really was difficult for me to realize that I was more interested in running for fun than the drudgery of an endurance test. The way this clicked for me was to realize that I have nothing to prove and no one to pat me on the head; so why was I thinking about Oklahoma? I decided to skip it.
What I really wanted is some place with nice scenery and nice weather where I can take myself for long runs without complication. I like to go for long runs. Even if I'm not training. In fact, I enjoy my long runs more if no goals are involved. Between running and cross training, I train about 20 hours a week and 50 miles a week. I like doing this. But if it becomes attached to a purpose, then I start to worry and get grumpy about it. I don't like that.
When I went to work, I pulled up a half marathon calendar. There was a half marathon in Aspen Colorado during my scheduled vacation. The air fare wasn't too bad, though the schedules weren't very convenient. But, the hotel costs in Aspen were incredible.
I looked at the half marathon schedule again. There was a race in Copper Mountain. Where is Copper Mountain? (google maps) Oh, its just outside Denver off I70. Boy, that would be easy to get to and Southwest Airlines could get me to Denver in one hop on a big plane. This sounds good.
Now, I am looking for a hotel in Copper Mountain. The web pages are weird and there is not too much choice and again expensive. But, someone left a comment about how Silverthorne was just down the road and cheaper. Bingo! I could get a normal hotel (with fridge, micro and wifi) for a reasonable price. And Silverthorne was next to Dillon reservoir with trails and bike paths. This meant that after the race, the other 4 days in Colorado could be spent doing long runs around Dillon reservoir. And Silverthorne was big enough to have a grocery store, so I am all set.
I told my admin that I needed encouragement to just do it, just click the buttons. She became enthusiastic and put up these signs on the door of my office.
The result was extreme happiness. I was off the hook for a night in Oklahoma hell and signed up to do something I really want to do.