Racing It Through the New Year

I have been racing a lot.  In fact, starting September 25... I started what will end up a streak of racing 7 out of 8 weekends.  I know, I'm a crazy runner... not quite as crazy as this guy:

But still crazy.  Despite the craziness, though, I actually *do* have a plan.  And I do make sure that the races fit into the grand scheme.  If it means that I run a long run mid-week, and count the race as my speedwork, then that's what I do.  Between me and Adam, we make sure that my schedule still works with all the races.  The one week I didn't race, I actually could have, but decided not when there was no good way to combine a 5k with a needed 21-miler.  And still... all of this is fit neatly into a grand plan.  It's not always easy to wrap all my racing up with a neat bow so that the training stays reasonable and doesn't throw me over the edge... but I'm pretty dead set on making it work because racing makes me happy.
So I haven't really talked much about my crazy racing plan for the rest of the year.

This weekend is Marine Corps Marathon!  Crazy excited about it.  I grew up in the area, and I'm really looking forward to running not only in Virginia, but with my original marathoning inspiration - Joe.  This will be his 77th marathon, his 30th consecutive Marine Corps Marathon (I confirmed facts this morning!).  A little history... he used to be my mother's boss when I was in high school, and I even briefly dated his son... and I always thought he was insane for beating up his body with marathons.  (Turns out that he *is* insane, but so am I... who knew?)  I'm thrilled to run with him.  Our goal - to appreciate the day, laugh a lot, take some great photos, and enjoy 26.2 miles of supported training!  There is no time goal... both of us have other marathons before the end of the year... and he has an angry quad to take care of. 

The very next week after MCM, I have the DRC Half Marathon.  In all honesty, it was a mistake - I didn't pay attention to the date when I signed up.  However, MCM is a "training" run, so I need to be back at it pretty quick, so 13 is actually the perfect pull-back long run.  A lot of the Racing It Off girls will be running, so I'll likely run with some of them, depending on what my body can handle that day.

Then is the Fort Worth Marathon 20-miler.  I love that they have a 20-mile option and put it 3 weeks prior to White Rock - the major marathon in the Dallas area.  This will be it for me... the last race of the 7 in 8 weeks and my last long run before taper.
Three weeks after the Fort Worth 20-miler is my key marathon - White Rock Marathon.  In 2009, it was my first half marathon.  In 2010, it was my first full marathon.  In 2011, it will be my 4th full marathon and I'll have 19 half marathons in the books.  I plan to push hard at this race... and yes, I have a buddy, because you all know I don't like running alone.  Junie has agreed to run with me... although after 4 1/2 hours of my jaws flapping, she might be ready to hurt me.  This race will always be special to me... it re-ignited my desire to run because I wanted to run it for my youngest, Paige, who spent 2 years in therapy at Scottish Rite Hospital for Children - the beneficiary of the race.

After White Rock, I'm hoping to repeat my 5k PR run from last year - Jingle Bell Run.  I haven't made a 5k PR attempt since then.  Can't believe I haven't run but one 5k this year - and I was pacing someone for her first race.

And to finish off the year right - the New Years Double!!!  The plan is 13.1 on New Years Eve and 26.2 on New Years Day (yes, that makes 3 marathons in 64 days).  I will be taking the miles very slow and easy on New Years... because, I'm sure this is shocking, it's all just good training for something else in the grand plan early next year! 

With all this talk of race after race, between which I have to be very careful to not burnout or injure myself, it reminds me of part of my conversation with Joe today.  We had briefly discussed some of the past deaths that have occured at the Marine Corps Marathon.  And I jokingly told him that he needed to pick a different day to die, cause I didn't want to have to live with that.  But then in all seriousness, I said, "ya know, if I'm in my later years and still racing, and collapsed during a race... well, I think it would be the way to go."  He totally agreed.