Happy first birthday! I started WheresTheFinish.com one year ago today, and while I’ve enjoyed having this new blogging aspect to running, I’ve had a pretty bad year in terms of actually pounding the pavement. From the Polar Vortex to new and (not) improved injuries, unexpected events led me to my first two DNS marathons and my Personal Worst marathon time.
In fact, these last few months (of injury and of being unable to train in even the half-assed way I call training) have made me seriously re-think my marathoning goals. As of today I still want to run a full marathon in every state, but at this rate I think that desire is going to dwindle due to frustration. Again, hasn’t happened yet, but I can feel it, and to temper that thought, I have to create some back-up plans. Just like every marathon should be run with multiple goals in mind (so missing one goal won’t “ruin” your marathon experience), my marathon-of-marathons (aka the 50 States) needs to have another goal besides finishing 50.
It’s always been about the fun, the travel, and the experience, but right now it’s strongly tied to the full 26.2. But I might have to swallow my pride and lower it to 13.1. I don’t mean to take anything away from those who have the goal of a half in every state, but for me the real challenge was the full – I always felt that even without much training I could power through 13 miles, and thus a 50 States goal would only be one of travel and scheduling if it were only for half marathons. A full marathon was (and increasingly is) a serious physical challenge for me, and one that I am never 100% sure I’ll be able to accomplish.
But these weeks of not being able to run at all, and the daunting prospect of needing to finish 37 more states, has sucked some of the fun out of the adventure. I love traveling to these random towns and seeing the US in a way I never would otherwise, and I love being social with other runners at the pasta dinners and the races themselves, so I don’t want to give up race travel entirely. I must remind myself that there is no gold medal* for finishing a marathon in every state, and no one besides me will ever care if I do it or not. It’s really only the Type-A gunner inside me that won’t view the “half or full in every state” as a true accomplishment. I’m going to have to have a chat with that gunner, show her my plantar fasciitis, my tendonitis, my patellofemoral pain syndrome, and my random hip pain, and try to convince her that halves are good enough. She might hold out a few more years (especially if the injuries subside), and she might even see me through all full 50, but she might also concede that halves might have to do for now (and then she will promptly justify why that’s a good decision, not only for health but also for sightseeing purposes, and while we’re at it, why don’t we try going for a new PR in that half time?). Shhhh, gunner, this is all still very tentative, and I still have vague hopes to run the Blerch and plans to run Chicago and Houston.
This was meant to be a “happy birthday” post but I suppose re-evaluating the main theme of this blog is an appropriate thing to do on an anniversary. I have no plans on quitting the blog (I know you were worried…), but would love to hear any feedback on what kind of future posts you’d like to see – race recaps, general travel info, candy reviews, gear reviews, random posts about my running life, other running topics I haven’t covered but you’d like to see? Please share your blog desires in the comments, and I promise to consider them as I eat candy.
Also, to celebrate this site’s 1-year anniversary, I’ve signed up for the NYC Pizza Run. It’s about 2 miles of “running” and 3 large slices of pizza-eating, and, let’s be honest, I would have signed up even if it wasn’t the website’s birthday. I might only barely be able to run right now, but my pizza-eating skills have only improved with age. Expect a full recap with at least one photo of which I’m terribly ashamed.
Finally, some random housekeeping – sorry for my lack of posts; they are only equaled by my lack of running. I still owe you a bunch of Montana photos/posts, and I also took an unexpected cross-country road trip last week, wherein I visited a lot of states but did not run a step. I will get to those soon-ish, as Blerch is rapidly approaching (6 weeks away!), as is Chicago (only 9 weeks!).
*I just discovered the lucite award that the 50 States Club used to award finishers has been replaced by a paper certificate! This is both a devastating blow and also oddly liberating, as I was willing to run my knees into the ground to get that damn lucite award, but I’m not willing to do much for a paper certificate (diplomas notwithstanding).
Do you ever re-evaluate your running goals? Do you like pizza and live in the tri-state area? Are you outraged by a paper certificate replacing the lucite award? Do you think it’s ok to eat birthday cake for a website? Share in the comments!