Running, Recovery, and Choosing A Race

Facebook friends are aware of some recent race waffling on my part. I've been signed up to run the Richmond marathon, Saturday November 10th, since the early part of the year. All training this summer has been centered around prepping for the race. Although recent training has been sporadic with Italy and the Hinson Lake 24-hour run, I think I'm still on course to run a decent marathon. I may not PR, but I still have a good shot at coming in with a Boston Qualifying time. 

The waffling comes from discovering that many friends have signed up to run the Crooked Road 24-hour race. This is the 24-hour run I did last year, my first ultra. The run is the weekend AFTER the Richmond Marathon. I surprised myself with how much I wanted to run this race. I just love the whole feel/friendship of a 24-hour run. It's a completely different experience from a marathon and, in all honesty, I'm a bit burnt out running marathons. 

I briefly considered running both but reconsidered after reading the thinly veiled "What new breed of moron are you?" comments posted by loving and--one hopes--concerned friends. So it comes down to having to chose one race over another. 

My decision is to stick with Richmond. I've put the hours into the training and--this being crucial to my decision--I'm not planning on running a marathon next year. I'm trained for it this year, let's get it done. Then next year I'll focus on fun runs, including several endurance runs. What I may do is volunteer to pace any friends who think they'll need a pick-me-up during Crooked Road. It's not quite the same as being one of the runners out there getting it done, but I think it will still be fun. 

Of course, a lot is dependant on how I recover from Richmond. Interesting that I have seen a much faster recovery time from both my endurance runs then I ever have from a marathon. I ran 62 miles at Hinson Lake one Saturday and then 15 miles the next Saturday, only 10 seconds over training pace. Legs felt great. That doesn't typically happen after a marathon.

So Richmond it is. This year. For next year, I'm already eyeing some 50 milers, as well as returns to Crooked Road and Hinson. Throw in some half-marathons, one 5K, and maybe (MAYBE!) triathalon training, and I won't have time to miss marathon running.