Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Double, Double Toil and Trouble

First off, overall I was very impressed with the marathons. I paid $95ish total for both races. That is pretty good for two marathons with medals and tech shirts. Of course you all know how impressed I am that they did gender-specific tech shirts. Why larger marathons can't is seriously beyond me.

Though the portapotties the last half of both days were rather sparse, I think for the type of race it was the support on the course was good. You go in knowing the tables are farther apart than usual and you plan accordingly. The volunteers were amazing and I made sure to thank every one of them for being out there for us. Spectators were pretty much non-existent, but I think I actually enjoy races like that every now and then.

My main gripe with the race are the open roads. I don't think it makes sense for them to close the roads for such a small race, but a few "Caution, Runners on the road" signs couldn't have hurt. These weren't 25 mph or 35 mph roads we were running on. The speed limit was 55 to 65 mph on some of the roads! I would have been willing to pay a little more to have some police presence on the roads, too.

Now for all those promises I made myself during the second race: While I was running I decided I'd never do another marathon double, marathon with Altitude, or open course marathon again. It will therefore surprise none of you, I'm sure, that I am planning on running the Tahoe Triple next year (you run 3 marathons on 3 consecutive days around Lake Tahoe --complete with Altitude, open roads and, well... consecutiveness).

There is also a part of me that wants to do another double at sea level. I want to know what part of all that torture was from Altitude and what part was from second-day weariness. I imagine what would happen is that day 1 would be faster and day 2 may suck more than at Altitude since you went out faster the day before. But I sort of want to try it to know for myself.

One neat thing about this race experience was the amount of Marathon Maniacs and 50 States people who were there. I guess something small and crazy like this attracts people who are into multiple marathoning or running a marathon in every state. Day 1, especially, felt like a reunion for all these runners who knew each other from other races. Listening and talking to them I felt like what I was doing this year was not even interesting. Everyone there had run a marathon in the past month (or week!) and had one (or three or four) coming up again soon.

I think a lot of people do a one-time running streak of minimum requirement to get into Marathon Maniacs. These people I met lived and breathed this stuff. I found it both inspiring and slightly frightening.

A lot of people have been asking me if I am going to join Marathon Maniacs or try to do all 50 states. The short answer, is "No." The long answer is that I don't see the value of Marathon Maniacs for myself. I've been told (and witnessed firsthand myself) about the camaraderie you get when you wear the jersey at races. That's great. But I don't think I'd wear their jersey at races. I don't see the point of paying a yearly fee to have my name on a list somewhere. I didn't set out to run all these races to qualify for their group. It doesn't define or in any way validate anything I set out to do this year. But that is just me. If anyone is a member and has any other insights, please let me know!

As far as the 50 states thing, currently I don't think I'll ever make it a goal. That is a lot of traveling to a lot of states and would get amazingly expensive. I think at the end of the year I'll be up to 10 states. I do believe 10 is a VERY small chunk of 50. I am finding that I like these smaller, unique races over the big city races so may continue to rack up the states unintentionally. I suppose if I ever got up to 40 I would try to garner up the last 10. But I think that is a long way off and not something I'm currently consciously working towards.

To end, I'd like to celebrate the fact that with these two marathons I have completed 12 marathons in 12 months (July '09 to June '10). The first three marathons of these twelve such a goal was not even on my radar. But I suppose that doesn't take away from the fact that this time period will always be my first 12 in 12.

A video of Bear Lake I shot from a scenic point on my drive back to Salt Lake City. I am sad I never got to see the lake in full sunshine. And holy cats that's a big lake!


the dawn said...

So, first of all, I'm not particularly surprised that you're already considering a 3 in 3 for next year :) You are an inspiration, seriously! And I think that there's always something that happens in a race that makes you ask the question "what if that was different?" Like what if it wasn't that hot, or what if I got more sleep? This time it was the altitude...but there's always something. You know, it is those questions that keep us "crazies" coming back for more.

I also love that you have so clearly defined what your goals are and what they aren't. I'm with you on the whole Maniac thing....I haven't ever really seen the appeal or benefit. I love that you aren't doing this for external reasons. You're just doing it cause you love it! Good for you!

Seriously. You are an inspiration!!!

Southbaygirl said...

that lake is big-and you ran around the entire thing! Nut job!

Yeah, it doesnt surprise me that you'll be signing up for 3 in 3 days!

As for the small races-I love the small races! They really are the best!

cliff said...

i have a feeling you're gonna be doing all 50 states, regardless of what you say now. some day you're going to realize how close you are and go for it.

you can do continents also. there you go... all 50 states and all continents... damn i'm good.

Rabbits' Guy said...

So far, you are not Marathon Maniac potential. Too much think, not enough animal! I know lots of them - the whole thing started around here. No one expected it to become what it is! Most are clubbies - they work and play in groups and enjoy talking together about it and going off to be maniacs together and all that. They do inspire and help one another. All of the ones I know are great folks - just nuts in a different way!

Triple Tahoe Hee Hee ... (what IS your Boston qualifier time???)

Layla said...

I can't BELIEVE you ran around that whole lake! That's huge! I think you can definitely do the Tahoe Triple, though I also think that's nuts. And there's the little altitude thing.

Regarding Marathon Maniacs, I want to qualify because it's another goal for me, and another way to prove doctors wrong. I want to prove that little ole' me, who didn't even start walking until she was 16 months old and who always sprained ankles and was told she'd never do much running, can gain membership to a group based solely on running.

That, and it's a more realistic goal than qualifying for Boston -- at this point. Heh

abbi said...

Wow! 12 marathons in 12 months. I enjoy reading your blog because it is such an inspiration - great accomplishments!

Marlene said...

I always feel humbled when I overhear a marathon maniac or ultra-marathoner talking about their escapades. Then again, do talk to someone training for their first 5K and that will give you some perspective!

Congrats on your 12 in 12!

X-Country2 said...

12 in 12 months is remarkable! Keep up the great work.

Mica said...

What a painful and awesome experience that you had! A triple next year? You go, lady! I am so impressed by your dedication and super fitness. (Especially since I am super unfit at the moment. I want to move to California and train wif' you!)

I love that you're considering a triple for next year! Yahoo!

And I didn't realize that you had to pay a yearly fee for MM. That kind of seems like a rip...

audgepodge said...

12 in 12 - congrats Roadbunner!!!

I love your analysis on MM. Not that I had ever considered it but I like how your thought process is very logical and practical which I feel is similar to how I would look at it.

I think I could be eligible to be a half marathon maniac, but why pay money for that. I probably wouldn't wear the shirt anyway either.

But I do see how it could be fun to be part of an organization that has a similar passion as you.