I’m up to my arse in exam-writing for grad school and have been all week but I mustered and signed up for the Runner’s World Challenge to run the 40th Marine Corps Marathon. I feel like I’ve forgotten how to run, it’s been so long. I just don’t have time to get out there right now (sick kids, exams, spouse out of town, day job….). But, yes, I’m running MCM again. I want a better time. My time was crap before. My pace was decent but I was all over the place on the course dodging and going around runners and added miles to my marathon route and finish time. It irks me so bad I want to do it over. I corrected that problem on the Disney Marathon but by then I wasn’t at the fitness level I had been for Marine Corps so I didn’t PR there either. This time I want to train more. And yes, I think it’s going to take being committed to this challenge thing to get me out there in that 110% way. They give you a training plan, you can talk to them about race strategies, etc etc. I’m too tired now to remember it all but it sounded amazing.
The best part is that I just bypassed the lottery and nailed down this race so I don’t have to worry about it later. I didn’t want to not get into this marathon when I didn’t have a backup this year. Also it’s the 40th anniversary of the MCM. And if Sarasota’s 10th anniversary is any indication, anniversaries bring people out of the woodwork to sign up and sell out races. Plus I noticed MCM was advertising more this year so maybe the lottery will be harder to get through. I just didn’t want to deal with it. Yes, the Runner’s World Challenge is pricey, but so is flying up to run the 17.75k for guaranteed entry like I did last year. When I saw those people sitting on chairs in the nice warm tent of the Runner’s World Challenge at last year’s MCM, I told myself that I should just pay that fee rather than do the guaranteed entry race (plus those 17k hills were so awful I vowed never to do them again), and that’s what I did. Also, I’ve been thinking about running Big Sur Marathon soon and kind of wanted to try out the RWC to see if that is something I’d want to do for Big Sur as well.
So here’s to seeing what this is all about. I hate gambling with lotteries because I don’t just randomly choose races I want to do. When I choose a race, I want to do THAT race in THAT year. And if it costs a little money to guarantee that, I’m doing it. I already have to wonder what I’ll get on exams. I don’t want to wonder about race entries too. I want some sure things in my life! And doing the Runner’s World Challenge is thousands of dollars cheaper than the $3-5k that Chicago and New York charge you for guaranteed entry (aka fundraising). And I love running and love talking about running so it’s nice to think that this is a group that will hopefully really be into all that as well. A big reason I blog is because none of my friends or family likes to talk running 24/7 with me. And half of my friends have also boycotted running lately so they’re definitely not in the mood (injuries, new babies, etc). If I have to fly up north to do a race on my own, might as well hang out with a run group and hopefully learn even more about the sport and how to kill it in the marathon. When I emerge from this fog of exhaustion I’m in right now, I’m pretty sure I will be really excited to start my marathon training.
Oh, and for those of you who want to try the Runner’s World Challenge too, go directly to the Marine Corps Marathon website. Runner’s World hasn’t updated their Challenge homepage to allow you to sign up from there. Also, they limit it to 300 entrants so act soon if you’re interested! It’s a great race and, seriously, that warm tent look amazing when the rest of us sat on the cold concrete for 2 hours waiting for the start.
Check out how race day & race weekend went with the MCM Runner’s World Challenge here!