Day462 up ahead – some decisions

I was debating at the beginning of the week if I should sign up for some local races.

The answer should have been a “quick, sign me up!” I don’t know any more. I am not what I once was. I am less incline to rush into a race even if it is free. By the way, BRR training #2 is scheduled to again. I did BRR#1 two weeks ago. Sign up (for the free training) opened this week, and I am on the fence. It is a race in April I didn’t sign up (and won’t-its full) except for its training runs.

Back in October, I committed myself to a few bigger races already: One City Marathon, Salisbury Marathon, and Grandma’s Marathon. My other races this year will fall into places accordingly. After locking them, it has been a waiting game and training.

I’m halfway through on my training for the first race, One City. Time passed surprising fast, the race day approaches, with couple weeks left. I wish I have 12 weeks instead of 8. I didn’t anticipate being injured after Devil Dog Ultra, and that set me back for about 8 weeks. I am not worry. I think I did some decent runs and more or less ready. My body finally recovered after the Devil Dog. I am not in tip top shape but I am sure I can pull off a marathon. My left knee is still acting weird from time to time (I lose balance every so often, like it just drops out on me – might be some ligament issue) but my left forefoot no longer hurts (initially I thought I had a fracture, because I pounded too hard in the race). Basically I can train harder and will be ready by race day, if not the first race, by the second race. There is just so much I want to write when I’m restricting once a week post. I figure I need to focus more on my training now such as working on specific skills – like having a plan and a way to chart my progress. Maybe more on this in a future post, hopefully by the 2nd race.

This week I also signed up a 10K and a 5K. Yes, by the time the blog is posted, both would have already taken place or will be shortly. Since, I signed up late, the price increased to $60. I paid something around $67 after all the fees added on. Yep. It bothered me to have missed out on the early bird pricing. 5K and 10K races usually have been my bread and butter and they are exactly why I love about running before the pandemic – fast and hard running. Now, I have left so many of them slipped by. I think this will be my 2nd and 3rd local race since the beginning of the pandemic. They no longer attract me like they once did. I prefer now more longer and slower runs and running by myself in some remote places than racing.

This week I also signed up a 50K in March, The Seneca Greenway. This is one of my favorite since the pandemic and I have been running it last two years in a row. This time would be my third year. It will be held the weekend after the One City Marathon. It will be a rough schedule to run two big races back to back with a week apart. I won’t recover in time but I know I can handle it.

One City is less than a month away (first weekend of March). I am excited! I have been waiting for it at least for 3 years. Last two years were canceled due to the pandamic. This year is for real. We are doing it. I will write about it more the race arrives. I booked my hotel this week.

About hotels and flights, things are so much more expensive this year! I tried to find a flight to MSP for the Grandma’s Marathon too and I was surprised by the prices! Hotels and everything are twice from what I paid a year ago granted this time is in high season, summer. The sticker shock is holding me back from booking them at this time. I know it will only get more expensive later but now I’m considering if there a way to reduce the cost. I might have to sleep on the side of the road! About the hotels, there are none left at Duluth, the race city! Apparently I didn’t receive the memo to book the hotel immediately after signing up the race as the race website advises (and by calling in). Now my plan is I would have to wake up in the middle of the night to make the drive from St Paul /Minn. I’m so tempted to go without a hotel and sleep in the car and then fly out as soon as after the race is done and will be a bit stinky as usual after a race.

Can you believe, I haven’t run a single marathon this year and yet I am planning for next year? What brought this up was I want to travel to Toronto. And the best reason to travel is racing!

I am thinking of going to Toronto (for either a marathon or ultra) for next year – as long as Covid is under control. I actually want to go this year but Covid means a lot hassle gerting tested to cross the border. This year, Toronto will have an in-person race, but I think it might be very strict crossing the border and back. If by flying, I will need to take the Covid PCR test and take another test to fly back. Hopefully by next year it would be less strict. Already heard on the news about protests and people are tired of covid measures. We Virginians already threw out the mask mandate (a change in the political climate here).

I am eyeing one of three races in Toronto. I like to do the one in May, but it seems the organization is kind of weak compares to the one in October. The October one is a big downtown marathon with a lot of festivity. I know I will have a lot of crowd support. This used to be what I like, but now a day, I prefer more low key races and less fanfare. The third I am thinking of is at the Niagara Falls (around May or June) and it is an ultra. It is definitely my jam. I think it is on trail. They have various diatances. I don’t mind if it is even 100K. I am up for it. Here is the kicker, I want to do all three but from financial standpoint, I should choose one, so I am now unable to make up my mind. It is still early. It is for next year. I will sleep on it for now.

I am excited to do an international debut! Ideally it should be a marathon. Hopefully, by next year things will become clearer.

Also this week I am eyeing to sign up for Ann Arbor Marathon. It will be in October. I could do it this year, but I might be experiencing burn-out like last year by October. It might be wise to move it to 2023. If I do it this year, I would knock out two marathons. Ann Arbor would be my 10th marathon (10th state of 50). I’m still undecided on this race since airfares and hotels are so expensive.

For the rest of the year, I am waiting for the registration for Iron Mountain Ultra to open. The Devil Dog Ultra also is on my target. I got to redeem myself for the DNF I received last year. I haven’t made up my mind to go for the 100k or go full blown and do the 100 mile. I failed at the 100k last year, so trying the 100k is a safer option. 100 mile is so much more tougher.

Two other races opened up this past week, the Lake Ridge Ultra and Eastern Divide Ultta (EDU). Lake Ridge, I am like 99% will do. They have 6 hrs, 12 and 24 hours and last year was the first time I ran it. It is interesting to do a race based on time (ends when the time runs out) rather than distance.

As for the EDU, this was my initiation to trail running and I always want to go back to give it a go a second time, but scheduling has been tough. This year is no different. The race date conflicts with two other races: Richmond Marathon and Stone Mill. I am undecided which one of three will win out.

Indecision. I have a deferral ticket for the Richmond Marathon, but ultras have a bigger draw. Stone Mill Ultra and EDU conflict with it. Stone Mill is 50 mile. I run Stone Mill every year and would like to do it again. EDU is 50k ish. Stone Mill also costs less and is longer, 50 mi. EDU is not that much more either (maybe around $100 by the time if I decide to sign up).

Non-race. The Marine Corps Marathon is open for sign up. I have a deferral ticket from last year. After thinking over it, I don’t feel ready to tackle it this year. It is just a 50k but it is a fast 50k. I ran it last time in 6 hours, just barely before their cut. I think I can repeat this but I am nervous too of what if I can’t. I realized I have gotten slower, way slower these last two years. Maybe training for all those ultras slowed me down. I want to say is city racing is no longer a draw to me. I plan to defer it to next year.

Lastly, I set my eyes on two events for next year. One is Blackbeard 100 mile at Outer Banks and the other is trekking in Annapurna. Next year is the year to do one of my trekking trips. I am hyped for both of these. I have been working for years to do either of them.

I rambled off about 10 or so races and likely lost all my audience. Racing and going to places is exciting. I don’t like doing the planning/details but they had to be done. This week, I had to plan for these races at least have them on my calendar. I put them on here so as to reinforce the dates into my head. I wrote them down in couple places. As for readers, don’t worry, I will write about them as they come.

I am still struggling with motivation. Thinking about racing helps a bit. I actually don’t feel like posting this blog because it seems like a lot of speculations and nothing concrete, but ot has been what on my mind these two weeks.

TL;DR Toronto is on my sight as well as Outer Banks and Annapurna for next year and maybe a couple more races for this year.

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