Thursday, January 19, 2012

Next up: Charlottesville

I officially signed up for the Charlottesville Marathon yesterday. I don’t know why it took me so long to monetarily commit, I have known that would be my next race for two or three months.

There are a few reasons I chose Charlottesville. First and foremost, it’s a spring marathon and there aren’t many of those. (Try going for a training run at 6 am tomorrow morning and you’ll realize why.)  Boston is easily my favorite race ever, but it’s a big, expensive ordeal to get there and take time off work (nobody outside of Boston actually gets Patriot’s Day off.) Since I splurged last year on two big city races, I decided to take it easy this season.

Charlottesville is a small race (3500 total in the full and half) and generally I’m a fan of bigger races: I feel like all my hard work should be celebrated with a huge event, involving approximately 26 miles of cheering spectators, a city filled to the brim with other running crazies like myself, and hopefully a professional runner sighting or two. (Too demanding?) But Charlottesville will allow my dedicated Team Teal support crew to see me often (no hopping on and off the subway, getting slowed by meeting Patrick Makau, or sprinting between stops.) Additionally, I think I can do well against the field, which will help when my non-running friends ask how I did. (63rd at Chicago just doesn’t seem to garnish much attention for some reason.)

Finally, I chose it because it’s a hard course. I’ve run a few easy courses the last couple races (though no one considered Boston easy until the recent relentless efforts by the Kenyans who dropped the course record from 2:07 to 2:03 in two years.) With plenty of time before the Trials, I feel like it’s important to get a challenging effort in (read: a slow time) while I can afford it. Later, I’ll need to return to the fast courses to get every bit of help I can. My brother (an Ironman who competed in the World Championships and helped pace me at my first sub 3 hour marathon, so his advice is to be taken seriously) thinks I should take some time off so as not to burn out. I agree with that; I don’t think I can keep running two marathons a year for the next 4 years. I’d like to take a season or two off and to work on my speed at shorter distances (which is ridiculously bad proportional to my marathon times.) But, as my 600-mile-away-boyfriend has recently become my much-closer-living-fiancĂ©, and we plan to tie the knot next spring, I think I’ll be happy to focus on shorter races then, when I’m knee deep in wedding plans.

Hopefully I'll be a bit faster this time around!
I ran Charlottesville as my first ever marathon and my knees felt the damage of the hilly course for at least a week afterward. It will be fun to see what kind of damage I can do to the course this time around!

Dream big,


  1. Very cool shot -- in both senses. My sympathies go out to.... the photographer! ;-)

  2. Yea, we were "lucky" it snowed on photo shoot day!