Except the PR didn't happen. The desire to not do any more marathons didn't happen.
And really my pipe dream was flawed in more ways than one. How often do we get the PR and then just want to be done with things? Yeah, never.
I know I have potential to be better in the marathon than my current PR (3:25:50) reflects. I know I have come a long way in mastering the discomfort that the marathon brings (and could still work on it).
I wanted to end 2016 healthy, rested, and ready to go. And so far, I am on track to do that, current laryngitis be damned!
I want to give the marathon another go in 2017. I admire people who can do more than one marathon a year. My limit truly is one marathon a year. They take so much out of me and my family as saying yes to marathon training requires saying no to other things from time to time.
2015 and 2016 both were spring marathon years for me. Both races were WARM and challenging because of it (even though my 2015 race is my current PR). While winter training is a drag, it is much easier for me to fit my workouts in during the early months of the year than the summer/fall months when our life gets crazy. So...I was eye-ing up the Green Bay Marathon around the time I decided that I was not going to run Boston in 2017.
As half marathon training went on, I was drawn to a fall marathon. Fall just seems like marathon weather to me. Race day is much more likely to be cooler. I thought about signing up for Chicago 2017. It was going to be the 40th anniversary race. I have done it before and it is a great race. Honestly, the Chicago marathon is the best I ever felt while running a marathon and my 2nd fastest marathon time. It would be fun to give it another go! It logistically would be pretty easy given that we could drive there. Still...I wasn't totally into it. Something was holding me back from signing up.
Then, I got very swept up in the media coverage of the 2016 NYC marathon. The NYC marathon went on my bucket list after we were there for the 2009 race and I met Deena Kastor. 2017 was going to be the year I did it. Leading up to my half marathon in November, my goal was to at least qualify for the half-marathon cut off time so that I could make the NYC goal a reality. My work password was built around qualifying for NYC. I easily hit the 1:34 half-marathon qualification mark my age group requires. Ok! I am going to sign up for NYC!
After the feeling of being on cloud 9 post the most amazing half marathon race ever dissipated, I thought more about NYC. I was worried about putting all this stress on myself to have a good race AND deal with so many logistics of traveling to NYC. I knew my family would want to come and I would want them there which would mean a repeat of Boston where we spend the days leading up to the race being tourists and my legs would be tired. And the NYC course is difficult! Did I want to go to NYC and enjoy the race or did I want to put all this pressure on myself to have a great marathon and end up with another Boston 2016?
Then there is the fact that in my life, running comes after family. (In my mind running comes before work, but running doesn't pay the bills so in reality it is 3rd on my priority list!) Unfortunately the big races require so much advance sign up! You practically sign up for them a year in advance! My family has some fun stuff in store for 2017 that I am planning around. Vacations! Weddings! Babies!
Eventually I came full circle back to the Green Bay Marathon on May 21, 2017. There were lots of perks to doing this race:
1. It is 'fast and flat' course. Setting up some good conditions for a PR!
2. It is local-ish. At 90 minutes from our house, it logistically is easy to get to.
3. You finish on Lambeau Field, home of the Green Bay Packers. This truly doesn't mean much to me (I know, I'm a bad Wisconsinite) but my kids and husband would totally love it.
4. It's cheap ($85 for entry compared to the almost $300 that NYC is!).
5. It got rave reviews from the Oiselle Birds I polled.
6. It has good crowd support.
7. I haven't done it before so it would be a new to me course for my 8th marathon.
So I registered. Look out Green Bay! I'm coming for you!