HOW THE PAST OFTEN COMES BACK TO YOU IN STRANGE WAYS
I have been mulling over and over in my mind, doing research, looking at the calendar, etc. trying to get 2010 races mapped out so I can start planning vacation. All the things I've looked at had some conflict, even if minor, which kept me looking over and over again. There are so many things I want to do, its hard to decide. And added to that is the feeling I have and others have led me to believe I should think this way, that now that I've done an IM, I can pretty much do anything. That, of course, is the positive, confident way to look at it, but I am too much of a realist to fall into that trap completely. And maybe a skeptic or a chicken too. I just know I want to do different training this year than last, so doing another IM this year probably won't happen. What to do, what to do??
Friday while on Facebook, I had a post from Friends of North Country Trail Run. I didn't remember joining that group, but who knows when that happened. Anyway, they were posing a trivia question about one of the new promoters of the race, which was actually bought from a couple of friends of mine who have put on this race (50 miler, marathon) for several years, after having moved onto other endeavors (IM triathlon, bike races, etc.). I have always wanted to do this race but either was injured or training for other things at the time it was held every year (late September). The first clue of the trivia question they posed was something like who was a big time marathoner and who also did 5 Ironman triathlons? (Sorry, can't get to the post to copy the actual text.) Hmm. Could be anyone, I thought. Second clue: and who also won the 199___ Smoky Mt. Marathon, etc.?
Right away, without knowing for sure, I responded "Bart Yasso." Sure enough, I was right. Why did I guess Bart Yasso? Because I was actually at the 1998 Smoky Mt. Marathon and sat next to him at the prerace dinner (I think he was also the guest speaker). I had gone with a group of friends who had been doing this race as a group road trip for years, even though I was only doing the 8k because of an injury. One of the guys in our group actually went with the intention of winning the race, and he did come in second place--behind Bart Yasso. Bart Yasso has also written for Runners World for many, many years, and is the creator of the Yasso 800s so many have talked about or used in marathon training. Yasso 800s are supposed to be a predictor of your marathon finish: how fast you run an 800 in minutes translates over to hours in finishing. For example, if you run an 800 in 4 minutes, all indicators are that you can finish a marathon in 4 hours.
I used this training method for my first marathon, and we were running in the 4-4:30 range for the 800s, and had I not hit the wall at 7 miles, had temperatures in the teens, with a 40 mile headwind, I might have finished faster than the 4:36 I finished, but I was pretty close to the predictor time, so I feel it worked and gave me a good idea of what I could do.
Anyway, I'm getting off subject here. So I won the trivia contest, and my "prize" then was $20 off registration for any of the races being held (50 miler, marathon, and now a new half marathon).
So it looks like now a new focus for the year will be to do that trail marathon. The only disappointment here is that it is held in late August instead of late September, so that means changing other things around as well. I have found two other trail half marathons close by I can do this year to prepare, and we have a fairly new trail running area off the bike path I will start using once the weather permits. I actually swore off trail runs a few years ago after one particularly grueling off road triathlon. I have to say that run was one of the worst I have ever done (almost 2 hours to do 4.8 miles), but of course my big fear was spraining an ankle again.
I still plan to do some tris, and hope to still fit in a half Ironman this year, but it may be fun to look at some new things for 2010.