Friday, December 14, 2012

Race bunching

Since I have been so pressed for time and have been so backed up on posting blogs, I've got about a zillion things that I could write about.  Instead of bombarding all of you with blogger vomit when time does permit, I'll try to reduce my blogger backlog (bloglog? backblog?) at a semi-reasonable pace.  [Deep breath.]

There's that great expression that "When it rains, it pours." 

Usually this is taken to mean that when things are bad, that they are really bad.  But, I've heard that this phrase actually originated from the fact that back in the old days, table salt used to clump up during humid conditions.  Morton Salt coined the phrase "When it rains, it pours" to advertise that their salt would still freely pour even during wet weather.  Neat, eh?

Where am I going with this, you ask?  I've been thinking a lot about what races to run in 2013.  Unfortunately I am having issue with all of my planned and potential races and travels taking place in very specified timechunks.  Instead of my races "pouring" freely, they are clumping up like Chicago rush-hour traffic on a Friday night amidst rain, construction, AND gapers delays! 

(This has been a much bigger source of stress than it should be considering that races are supposed to be FUN.)

There is talk about a spring Chicago Running Blogger weekend getaway. At this point it looks like it'll either be the weekend of April 26 at the Illinois Marathon/Half, or the weekend of May 3 at the Wisconsin Marathon/Half.  


I also wanted to run the CARA Lakefront 10-Miler, which is the weekend of April 20.  

I was actually considering running the Illinois Half regardless of whether or not there was a blogger getaway.  I really wanted to run a race at my alma mater!

I-L-L!  I-N-I!
But I just found out about an 80th birthday celebration for my stepmother-in-law, which is taking place in DC the weekend of April 26.  So it looks like I won't be running the Illinois Half this year.  But maybe I can still run the Wisconsin Half, with or without the cheesehead?  DISCOUNT DOUBLE CHECK!!!  (To all my fellow Bears fans, sorry about the Packers reference.  But somewhere out there my friend Helen is smiling.)

In short, depending how this shakes out, it could end up being an incredibly busy three consecutive weekends.

On a related note, did I mention that for the third year in a row I'll be out of town during the Shamrock Shuffle?  It takes place on April 7, which is the same weekend as this year's MAASU Spring Conference.

Maybe someday I'll get to run the ever-so-popular Shamrock Shuffle.  Maybe someday.


I am already registered for Rock N Roll Chicago (July 21) and Rock N Roll Pittsburgh (August 4).

Then I'm heading to Toronto on August 8 for the 2013 NAAAP convention in Toronto. 

It'd be cool to find a race in Toronto that weekend so I can add Ontario to the list of places where I've run a race.  But even if that doesn't happen, it'll still be two half marathons in three weekends and three cities in four weekends.  Woo hoo!


Here's where it gets extremely fun.

I definitely want to run the PAWS Run For Their Lives and the Blackhawks Mad Dash to Madison.  This year, these two races were scheduled to take place the EXACT same weekend in September.  How's that for timing?  (Fortunately or unfortunately this year, the Mad Dash got postponed (at this point I would call it cancelled) due to the NHL lockout.) 

To add to that, the PAWS Run and Mad Dash also both take place a couple weekends before...

...and I am about 99% sure that I want to run Chicago again next year.  (That by itself is a topic for a whole other blog post.)

Then, I really, really, really want to run the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon. 
Unfortunately Wine and Dine takes place about 4 weeks after Chicago when I will probably still be in post-marathon recovery mode.  I was thisclose to signing up for Wine and Dine this year.  In the end I was glad that I didn't because to this day I am still trying to rehab marathon-training injuries.  Additionally, Wine and Dine would obviously entail a trip to Orlando.  But unfortunately it also takes place just one or two weekends prior to Thanksgiving, when the usual tradition is to travel to Pittsburgh.  It'd be a pretty condensed timeperiod of travel, but it certainly can be done.

Similarly, I would love to run Rock N Roll Las Vegas.  But next year it takes place on November 17.  That might actually end up being the same weekend as the Disney Wine and Dine.  Either way, it's also dangerously close to Thanksgiving.

Finally, I had visions of going for my Disney Coast to Coast medal next year.  This would entail running the Disneyland Half over Labor Day weekend, which would obviously entail a trip to Anaheim.  But the Disneyland Half would be just a few weeks before to the PAWS Run and the Mad Dash, which are just a few weeks before the Chicago Marathon.  Also a lot of travel within a pretty condensed timeperiod.  Doable, but not necessarily easy.


(I don't know about you, but I lost my mind a long time ago.)

If I were about 8 years younger, I'd probably shoot for the moon and do all of them - just because I could.  But my recent bout of injuries in combination with the potentially significant travel/registration involved has made me much more skittish about overcommitting myself. 

For now, the jury is still out on how to handle severe race-bunching.  I know that I should just let things play out as they may.  But the problem is...

Le sigh.


  1. Wow...oh my goodness are BUSY busy busy...better you than me...I am very impressed with your abilities...Whew, I'm tired just reading about all you are looking to accomplish. Godspeed to ya girl! You got this!

    1. Thanks, Shannon! But it is one thing to think about doing these races and a whole other thing to actually run them! =D We'll see how much the calendar, the pocketbook, and the knees and hips can handle when it really comes down to it!!!

  2. Hmm. Loads of options to choose from!

    I'll probably do RnR Chicago again and probably the hat trick of the Chicago, Fox valley and Naperville marathons. God willing if my issues get sorted out long before then.

    I was stressing out about training and racing spring races, but now I'll just take it day by day and see how things go with the ITB and Crankle. Not willing to shell out $$$ for races I can't run.

    And yes, my head is spinning after reading this post, but I'm confident you will have it all sorted out soon :)

    See ya maƱana!

    1. It was so good to see you this past weekend, thanks again for the nail polish gift! And your crankle and ITB will most certainly be sorted out by the time the marathon hat trick is set to take place next year. I am sure of it!!! And I can't wait to hear how your training progresses!!!!!

  3. I can totally relate to this post! Good luck figuring it all out :)

    1. Ah yes, I know you can totally relate to this post! As you said, there are so many races out that we really should be selective about which ones we do - but there are so many good ones to pick from!!!

  4. So many races, so little time. I try to stay local as much as possible to keep it simple and make it easier on the family.

    Not trying to make things more confusing for you but there is a small half on the southside that our running store hosts. It's a great event. May 5th (weekend of WI Marathon). Not sure if this would cut your travel or not but this is where I'll be (and hopefully Maggie but I think Kelly W is running Illini).

    Don't spread yourself too thin, or nothing will be fun and you will just be ran down and exhausted.

    Good luck!!!

    1. Staying local makes a HUGE difference. Heck, I even consider whether a race is in downtown Chicago versus in one of the city's neighborhoods because that in and of itself can make such a huge difference.

      Thanks for the recommendation on the First Midwest Half - I've seen listings for it before but have obviously never tried it. I love races that are put on by local running organizations!!!

  5. I'm over here salivating over all your racing options! So jealous! It is quite a condundrum, though. The good news is: you win no matter what! Whatever races you choose, you'll have a great time at!

    I'm really eager to hear your thoughts on another possible 26.2. Intrigue! I can tell you that I felt so much stronger during my 2nd full. I had that whole additional year of running experience under my belt and it made a big difference. I bet the same would be true of you, too.*

    1. Ah, Amy!!! Likewise, I am so jealous of all of your racing options during your time in Europe!!! Your training for your upcoming marathon is already off to such a great start!

      Agreed, I think that running a second 26.2 will be a lot easier. I've learned so many lessons from the first-time experience (most notably how important cross-training is). And I bet your third marathon will be so much easier than your second. You are becoming a marathoning pro!!!

  6. Ugh, this is why I don't look ahead and just do things as they fit in - it's so hard to do it all when you are so busy! :(

    After you left today we mentioned we forgot to discuss the next getaway weekend. Oops!

    I am anxious to hear about your Chicago 99% decision ;)

    1. I realized after getting home that we didn't discuss our next getaway weekend, too! Oops! But never fear, we'll get it figured out soon. I had so much fun this past weekend that I say we do a getaway weekend or at least a shindig of some sort EVERY weekend!!! Don't you agree!?!?!? =D

  7. Definitely head-spin inducing! I wish races didn't sell out so that you could make more last minute decisions. Of course, there is that whole "training" thing, too, huh?

    I'm sure you will have a great 2013 racing season no matter what you choose!

    1. You hit the nail on the head - the most frustrating part about so many of these races is that we need to decide on them way advance before they sell out! How are you feeling about the Illinois Marathon these days!?!?!?

      Thanks again for hosting the get-together this past Saturday, it was a BLAST!!!!!

  8. That is quite the schedule! The only two races I'm signed up for are the Shamrock Shuffle and the OneAmerica Indy 500 Festival Mini-Marathon. I'm also considering the Chicago Marathon, but with the talk of bloggers heading either downstate or to WI, I am contemplating that as many decisions!

    I love the Mad Dash, too! :)

    1. Oooh, I've heard much about the Indy Mini-Marathon! Have you run it before? I've heard it's a blast!!! Keep me posted on your thoughts regarding the Chicago Marathon! So many decisions and so many great races to choose from! (And are you as hugely disappointed as I am about the Mad Dash being cancelled this year!?!?!? Sigh.)

  9. I know the feeling! I still am unsure about my races next year. I have a couple of half marathons lined up but the rest of I have waited to decide hoping I would have an idea about a job/residency before I signed up. Good luck with your decisions! :)

    1. Isn't it crazy trying to plan our races out? For you, it must be even tougher since you will be traveling so much and don't know for certain yet where you might end up! Good luck with your decisions, too, as well as your residency and other options soon to come!!!