The Road Ahead: Indecision 2010

You've got to start somewhere

flickr photo by: marcus_jb1973

With 2009 lurching to its conclusion it’s time for me to look ahead to next year to determine which events to sign up for. I already have two races firmly scheduled–the Chevron Houston Marathon in mid-January, and the Kaiser Permanente Half on February 5th. Beyond that, however, my plans are still in a state of flux.

For example, I’d love to run the Oakland Marathon in late March in order to show some support for the folks organizing that East Bay race, but it’s too close to the Napa Valley Marathon at the beginning of March. Since last year’s NVM was marked by a wet, rainy course along with the longest stretch I’ve ever walked during a race, I feel like I’ve got a little unfinished business in the Wine Country. Perhaps Oakland moves to the half marathon group, or I could run as part of a relay team–an idea which has been floated by other dailymilers. But as of today, I’ve signed up for neither race.

October offers three marathons I’d love to do, but two of them fall on the same day, and one occurs a scant week before the others. My in-laws would love to see me come out to Minnesota to run in the Twin Cities Marathon on October 3rd. Meanwhile the Portland Marathon and Chicago Marathon are both running the next week on 10/10/10. Two marathons a week apart are still too much for me at this point in my running career, so I’ll probably put Twin Cities on the back burner. But how to decide between Portland and Chicago? I have a lot of friends planning on running Portland this year, and I’d love to hang out with them for a weekend of running in the The City of Roses. On the other hand, the idea of taking part in a big city race like Chicago’s with its enthusiastic spectator support is appealing. Of course, the New York City Marathon would satisfy my big city race desire, but I’d have to endure the fickle lottery in order to take part.

Then, of course, there’s my hometown San Francisco Marathon. I’ve run it twice now, and along with the been-there-done-that quality which dampens my enthusiasm for that race, there’s the appalling lack of spectator support which has me thinking about running one of the half marathon segments instead of the full race.

So there you have it. As I sit on the eve of 2010, I have the broad strokes of a 2010 race plan sketched out, but the fine details have yet to be added (and the entry fees have yet to be sent in). And to really complicate matters, I haven’t even thought about adding in a trail race or relay event to mix things up a bit. Perhaps after the champagne corks pop tonight and I’ve had a day or two to recover I’ll have a clearer head and my 2010 racing calendar will come into clearer focus. Whether it does or not, I look forward to seeing you all out there in the new year.

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