Running Choices

So. If (and I do mean if) I end up not running the Philadelphia Marathon, now what? One of the real downsides to the idea of having to scratch the Philadelphia Marathon is that it’s really one of the last marathons of the year on the East Coast. If this had happened before, say, Marine Corps or NYC, I’d have had Richmond or Philly to fall back on. Not the case here.

Anyway, the most obvious answer is, “Throw away this year’s training.” Well, not literally, but you know what I mean. Just move on and that’s that, no marathon until next fall, maybe run a 10K or something in the meanwhile. Training for a winter/spring marathon means being held hostage at least in part to the potentially bad weather out there, which can sometimes make things a wee bit problematic. Alternately, I could target a winter/spring race, of which there are four options on the table, each with their own pros and cons.

1/25/09 – Miami Marathon
Pros: The closest of the three, timewise. Mostly flat course aside from some bridges. Chris and Emma ran the full marathon a few years ago, and Doug’s run the half, so I could pick their brains on the race.
Cons: The cost of picking up a flight and hotel room for Miami. I also hear it is not unknown for the Miami Marathon to have monsoon-level rain the day of the race, and on more than one occasion.

2/16/09 – LA Marathon
Pros: I will actually be out in LA that weekend for a convention, so in theory I could extend my trip an extra day and run the marathon while I’m there. Perhaps Chad even might be convinced to run it. (Probably not, but at least he could cheer.)
Cons: It would certainly be a very subdued convention and I would certainly not be even close to being terribly rested before running the marathon. Also based on comments about the most recent LA Marathon, perhaps I don’t really want to run it anyway.

EDITED TO ADD: And they just moved it to end of May! Forget that.

3/21/09 – National Marathon
Pros: Local race. I’ve run the half all three years so it might be nice to run the full course for once.
Cons: One of the two latest of all of these, which means a lot of additional training/maintaining the longer distances all through the winter. I was also looking forward to the idea of picking up some swimming this winter (and swapping out a bunch of running with it), and while that’s not an impossibility, it would put a slight crimp in it. Maybe.

3/22/09 – Shamrock Sportsfest Marathon
Pros: Just a several hour drive down to Virginia Beach. Super-flat. Could pick Butch, Chris, and Noel’s brains since they ran the half this year.
Cons: All the same cons of the National Marathon, plus what I can only suspect is a lot of boring scenery. (Boy, that second half of the OBX Marathon was dreadful.)

Things to think about.