Well, I did it! I finally committed to my spring race. I signed up for the St. Louis marathon yesterday. Everyone running with me lately knows that I've been struggling to make this decision. For a number of reasons, I just couldn't commit. I even contemplated doing another race - the Kansas marathon in Lawrence on April 18. After much soul searching and having completed my 18 mile run on Saturday injury-free, I decided it was time to go for it.
I have some peace about it now that I also have given myself an alternate backup plan. St. Louis is my Plan A, but if any number of things should happen to change that, I have the Kansas marathon as my Plan B. Since it's just a week later, it won't affect my training. I'm even going so far as to say if I'm just not feeling it while I'm running St. Louis, I'll back it off and just do the half there and do Lawrence the following week. One way or another, I will be doing a spring marathon and will get number 13 off my back! The main thing is that I stay healthy and get my body ready for the intense training this summer, as I will attempt to qualify for Boston in the fall.
I'm looking forward to starting speed work this week and getting ready for my 20 mile run in a couple of weeks. Now I really know I'm training for a marathon when I have 20 mile runs on the schedule. 18 was long and hilly on Saturday, but keeping the pace slower made it manageable and relatively pain-free. Slow and steady, increasing step by step - that's my strategy this spring. So far, it's working pretty well.
2-mile time trial on the schedule for tomorrow. With all this snow and ice, we'll see if we can get it done. I'll let you know how it goes.