A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Decisions... Decisions... I made a DECISION.

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Recently, I shared with everyone that I have BIG GOALS. I want to PR in the marathon and BQ... soon. Ideally, 2017, but if I have to wait until 2018 (or even later if things really don't go well), then so be it. 

The point is, I'm READY to move forward and get this ball rolling. So the first thing I had to do was figure out what marathon would best help me achieve my goals. My current PR is on a relatively flat course (Harrisburg), which has actually gotten FLATTER since I ran it in 2012. After a lot of searching on the internet and in my soul, I narrowed it down to the Lehigh Valley Via Marathon on September 11th and the Harrisburg Marathon on November 13th.

In true Megan Michael anal retentive fashion, I made a list of pros and cons for each race!

Let's start with the Pros/Cons of running Via...


#1 and #2 are very important PROS for me! Training mostly in the summer will allow me to be a RUNNING DIVA and pretty much revolve my days around my workouts. Also, it would be so cool not to have to wait 2 years to run Boston and qualify sooner. I'm not getting any younger.


#2 is my major concern about Via. But Allison reminded me that PA weather is extremely unpredictable and it is almost impossible to pick a race with ideal weather conditions unless you have a magic 8 ball.

Okay, let's take a look at the Pros/Cons of running Harrisburg.


First of all, I messed up and wrote a con on this list, so I covered it up using PicMonkey, but I swear I did not purposefully make the banner look like a penis!

Anyway, #1, #2, and #3 are my most important pros for Harrisburg.



I can't even pick just one con that sticks out as the most important. All of these cons are bad, and they all revolve around the fact that I am ready to train NOW. I want to run Boston SOON. I want to be a running DIVA and train during the summer. I am like that little girl from Charlie and the Chocolate factory that wants everything now, now, now! (The difference is, I'm ready to WORK for what I want now, now, now!)


Well guys, after making my epic list of pros and cons, talking it over with some running friends, and thinking about it a lot, I have decided on a course of action!

I will run Via in September with the A goal of <3:28:07 and the B goal of BQ'ing with enough time to spare to actually get into Boston.

If I do not reach either of those goals and my body is not too beat up, I will attempt again at Harrisburg two months later in November. But I am not even going to think about Harrisburg other than that it is in my back pocket. Worrying about whether my body will hold up/bounce back after the Via is useless right now as it is something I can't even predict. And if I reach my A or B goal, it doesn't even matter anyway! So there won't be much talk about Harrisburg here because I will only run it if I need to and keep it in my back pocket until then.

My training plan will be Hanson's. I read the book and am willing to give it a whirl. It is 18 weeks long and will technically begin soon- May 9th! I am still trying to decide between the beginner plan, the advanced plan, or a hybrid between the two. I am writing them both out and color coding them (because I am a teacher) and then will do my big comparison between the two. But more about my lovely training plan in a future post!
Have you ever run Via or Harrisburg?

Do you ever keep races in your back pocket in case you don't reach your goal?

Are you anal retentive? Do you love writing lists and coloring calendars as much as I do?

37 comments:

  1. This post had me on the edge! I was like "what will she pick?!" The suspense was killing me LOL.

    I'm glad you made a choice! I'm excited to follow your training and cheer you on!

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    1. LOL sorry I made it a bit more dramatic than it need to be. ;)

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  2. I had actually thought of your solution and then boom...there you said it. Run Via and if things don't go as you like you can run Harrisburg! I can't wait to see your training plan mapped out. Yes, in a lot of ways I am AR and I do love making lists and keeping logs of my training. I know you can't do this w/ marathon training, but a big part of my recovery has been to make a plan but to be flexible as I listen to my body (for instance if I think I am gonna run on Tuesday but I get up and feel like biking or swimming would be better, I allow myself to do what I feel like--I never used to do that before...)

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    1. I am glad you let yourself be flexible! That is one of the most freeing things. I plan to be flexible with marathon training in the sense that if I feel an injury or something I will allow myself to BACK OFF. That's just how I roll.

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  3. Sounds like a good decision. I love that you will color code plans etc. (maybe you could do one for me?? haha). I would like to have things figured out like that, but it makes me get anxious, and overthink it, so I then don't look at the details...
    I agree with the training over the summer. You need the time and you have it then...and the weather, well you will be more used to the warm, because you have trained in it.
    I wished that I had written down what I had to eat each night before my long runs, so I didn't freak out the night before the marathon trying to figure out my meals. It would have stopped a lot of unnecessary anxiety.
    Looking forward to cheering you on in Boston (Hey, I could crew for you!--well, as much as you can at Boston!)

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    1. I would love to color code a plan for you!!! :)

      That is a really good idea to write down what you eat. I need to get my nutrition and hydration under control for sure.

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  4. Sounds like you have thought this out thoroughly and I like your plan! I've not run either one but they both sound great. All the best with your quest for the BQ!

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  5. Great choice! New can be a bit scary but it is good. You are more adventurous than you think you are. Also, being able to train over your summer is just better. It will make it less of a chore and you can flex more.
    It is true that you are not getting any younger but odds are that you have not peaked. I did my absolute best running in my 40's and if your body parts stay true to you, I think you will get faster. I could be wrong but.... Imagine if this is the case, you get faster but you get more time to qualify. How freaking cool would that be?

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    1. Yes I am sooooo thankful to have summer to devote to training. I mean, you know I would do it during the school year if I had to, but if I had the option, summer is much better.

      That would be cool! I want to get faster, at least up until my 40s! What I am really hoping for is that as I get older and we get more time to qualify, that I am able to maintain fitness and it will be easier to qualify, you know what I mean? When I am 45 I only have to run a 3:55! I am hoping when I am 45, that is relatively easy for me. Boy am I getting ahead of myself. :)

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  6. We are considering this marathon as well. I of course will not be trying to BQ but want to do a marathon without all the hoopla of Disney to see what I am really capable of. It all depends on how my training goes this summer and if this stupid foot pain goes away in time for me to get a good training cycle in. This race is small enough that I'll be waiting till the last minute to register.

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  7. Wow!! This is so exciting!

    I remember reading about Lehigh on the Fairy Tales and Fitness blog.

    That sounds like an excellent plan! I went and peeked at the course for both, and they look good for both PR and BQ!

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    1. Their blog is what put the bug in my ear!

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    2. I just thought of this... thank you coffee...! If you train in the summer, you will be ready for whatever temps you get on September 11.

      I just hate training in one weather and racing in another! Last summer I trained for Hershey half in the summer, and sweated my bumby off, but was frozen during the actual race!

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    3. That is what I am hoping for. :)

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  8. I love your pro's and con's! I happen to like structure, so I do write down lists. Recently, I started writing my To-Do list and Intentions every Monday. I feel extremely productive when I check items off, but then I'm not hard core, so I don't let it to bring me down f I didn't accomplish everything :) PS. I haven't run any of those races. It's awesome that you have a plan B. Good luck with your training!

    Running Wisdom And Giveaway Winner: https://candiesandcrunches.com/2016/04/27/running-wisdom-giveaway-winner/

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    1. Checking things off is sooooooooo satisfying. My life doesn't feel like it's in order unless everything is written down. Even if I don't get it done, at least I can visualize it.

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  9. Yay! So exciting! I can't wait to hear how this all goes. Your training starts SO SOON! I am trying to decide what plan to use for Chicago, and I might go with the Hanson's plan. I'm not sure though. I start training the second week in June... so I hardly get any time off between training cycles. Poor planning. Haha!

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    1. I know it starts soon! But I am ready. And I am going to relax for the next couple weeks until it starts. The first week of even the adv. plan is really not bad as it doesn't start until Wed and it is a rest day ahahaha. So I have 19 days between my race and my first actual training run... and about a week after that until any speed training. So that is good. But YAH technically it is soon!

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  10. Oh, you can and should totally do the advanced plan but I am NOT a teacher so maybe don't listen to me. But honestly, I think you should. This is so exciting!

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    1. lol I only mentioned the teacher thing because of my color coding. :)

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  11. TECHNICALLY Via is cheap AND should not cause you travel anxiety BECAUSE you can cut your trip costs by staying with MEEEE. AND you can eliminate anxiety by coming to visit this summer and getting the lay of the land!!! I am actually going to run the half that day, 90% sure - so we will allll be racing! This development happened when I chose my fall marathon, which I will post abut soon ;) ANYWAY. I know you are set on via but I give VIA one more vote, and I also vote advanced plan. And I vote training runs at my house with poolside recovery. BAM SISTER

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    1. lol I know $125 is not that much, I am just a tight wad when it comes to races. I better register soon or the price will go up even more! The only reason I am scared of the adv. plan is the amount of mileage BUT that is the whole point and I think I am ready to try it. I would LOVE to get the lay of the land with you this summer! Maybe we can time up your recovery runs with my RP runs so I am not slowing you down and we both get an effective workout. I am really excited to hear what fall marathon you are doing. :)

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  12. AHHHH I'm so excited for you!!! I think you made a really smart decision based on your pros and cons, and I like that you can use Harrisburg as a backup if necessary. I can't wait for you to start training, too, because I love following it!

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    1. Thanks girl!! It will be fun to have training to talk about.

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  13. I grew up in the Lehigh Valley (Bethlehem) and ran the Via Half a couple years ago. It is a very flat course and enjoyable. I know a lot of people who run the full PR there. The weather can be tricky that early in PA so you never know what you might get but if you train through the summer you already know you can run in the hottest most humid conditions! I think this will be the perfect course for you ! So excited to follow your training.

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    1. I am definitely worried about the weather, but hopefully like you said I will be used to it by then. Thanks for your insight on the course! I do hear how flat and fast it is from so many people!

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  14. YES!!! So exciting that you picked a race and now have a plan of action. I know what you mean about wanting it now... why not take advantage of that energy and desire you have to run. Plus, not you get to do some great training this summer when you don't have to worry about work. How nice is that!? I think you are completely capable of attaining your goal. Hopefully I will see you in Boston next year! :)

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    1. Yup, I have to have the energy and desire to do something. If you asked me 3 months ago if I felt like running a marathon, I'd say HELL no. But I feel like it now, so I might as well go for it.

      I would LOVE it if we saw each other at Boston next year!

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  15. I'm so excited for you that you picked a marathon! I can't wait to follow along with your training!

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  16. Exciting! It is nice the options are so close together. I will follow along and cheer :) I think a hybrid plan sounds good, you know what you need to do :)

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    1. Thanks Karen. :) The beginner looks too easy and advanced looks too hard. I am Goldilocks right now trying to decide.

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  17. Hey, this is kind of exciting and spooky all in one! I too have been thinking about my next race and...1) I'm almost certain it will be in PA (Erie, Presque Isle) 2) Erie is on Sept 11th! 3) I just ordered the Hansons book (uh oh, shit just got real!). I haven't put any money down yet (race registration), I did take that dip in the water by ordering that book. I figured, why not? I'm up for something new. I enjoy summer marathon training so much more than winter training, so hopefully it will be productive :) If you don't do well in Lehigh you could always run Harrisburg too. Yes, I'm being serious!!

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    1. OMG WE ARE TWINS!!! How fun would it be to follow each other's training and hopefully be successful and meet up in BAAAHSTON!

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