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Undecided

Post trail half marathon, I've been too sore to run.  In good news, my butt has been one of those things that is sore! I hope this means that the recent butt work I have added to my routine did some good (TWSS) and that my glutes were "firing" during the trail run.  Grow, butt, grow! Sometimes that feels like the theme of my life.  I've been telling it to grow since high school.

This soreness makes me more excited about the idea of incorporating some trails into my casual runs to help balance my dominant road running muscles.  I have never, ever been one to drive to a location and then run.  I only go on runs that start out my front door, non-negotiable, I don't like losing that extra time driving.  But I may have to make an exception for this and climb a trail every other week or so.  Or move my front door to Joaquin Miller Park.

Someone asked why I decided to run a trail race, and I have yet to reply because I am sporadic about replying in the comments--I prefer to reply by email where I know my response will actually be received, but for some unknown reason only about 1/4 of the comments that I receive in my blog email inbox can be directly replied to by email.  Anyway, it was a good question so here's my answer:

I became interested in the Dirt Inspires half marathon because I saw a half-off Schwaggle for it (this is like a Groupon).  I tried to purchase it, then learned it was sold out, and couldn't get it out of my mind.  It also was timed perfectly with the Gentleman's birthday weekend, and we decided to go to Santa Cruz for the weekend to celebrate.  We went, we celebrated, and I ran Dirt Inspires.  Pretty lame reason, huh?

Memorializing our time in our totally average Santa Cruz hotel room 

I had previously run a sorta-trail race, the Tilden Tough Ten (via a complimentary bib), which was significantly more tame--wide dusty trails, exposed hills/no trees and roots, and a lot of paved road mixed in (for a comparison of the difficulty, I ran near a 7:00 average pace for that "trail race" vs. over 8:40 pace for the Dirt Inspires).  TTT was extremely fun and had a vastly different vibe than road races (it's very "team" like), which I guess also piqued my interest in running trails.

*****

Well, originally I was going to make a brief commentary on the blissful fact that the Nuun running-blog takeover came and went very gracefully.  Not a ton of build up, most of the participants laid low on the topic for the months and weeks leading up to it, restraining their urges to share how lucky they are and how excited they (rightfully) were.

Coincidence perhaps, or maybe the Nuun "teammates" gathered virtually on the Internet in their private forum and discussed how to tame the excitement so as not to annoy readers or lead to overdose backlash.  Probably a wise discussion.  I'm sure that some readers enjoy reading the overlapping play by plays from each blog, the daily countdown, love hearing about women stuffed in vans.  But on the whole, wise to not overdo it on the posts, especially since there were...36 participants? 48? That's a lot of blog posts.

This thought that I was going to write is still true; these Nuuners kept it manageable and cool, at least the half-dozen or so in my reading rotation.  It made the existence of the event tolerable and I am glad that everyone seemed to have had a great time.

However, I noticed something else, now that Hood to Coast is over.  A sadder trend.  I think every Hood to Coast Nuun recap that I read started out with an apologetic tone.  Everyone is so preemptively sensitive to reader reaction today!

(Oh dang, my iPad just autocorrected the word "Nuun".  It knows the word.  This brand grew fast.)

I can't decide if I appreciate the "apologizing" that is happening because it means bloggers listen when readers voice annoyance about certain things they read on blogs, or if the pandering to the small whiny few (I know, I am one of the whiny few) is in itself annoying and unnecessary. 

Aside from just the Nuun recaps, I notice more and more bloggers are apologizing for writing about something that they suspect could get them some flack.  I would like to try and not to do this. I will listen to feedback given to me, but I don't want to write (or not write) something based on fear of reception. No more premature apologies from me.  If/when I piss someone off, then I can decide whether an apology is warranted.

*****

I have an important decision to make.  I could use your advice.

I am signed up for CIM, a marathon taking place on December 2.  I haven't started "training" or working extra hard, which is really unwise considering I am on the hunt for a 5 minute and 9 second PR.  Truth be told, if things don't pick up for me in September, I'll probably have to re-evaluate that goal.

I have the opportunity to run another marathon for free before CIM, because a friend is offering me her bib.  The St. George Marathon in early October.

St. George would not be a PR race for me, because it is at elevation, and the downhills will surely make my quads fall off pretty early on.  So I wouldn't treat it like a "goal" marathon, with a 3 week taper and all that goodness.  I would probably take one or two days off beforehand and then just run it for the experience, without any goal.

My Pros:
  • A free marathon that I have never run before!
  • I love Utah, and this is very close to Zion--day trip?!
  • This could be a great training run before CIM, for endurance, for downhill running, for fueling practice, and for pacing practice!
  • Spontaneity can be very rewarding.

My Cons:
  • Travel costs--airplane and hotel room.
  • If I run it too hard, the recovery time could take me out of my training for CIM for 1-2 weeks
  • The elevation might really make me miserable
  • I wouldn't really want to go to Zion by myself (the Gentleman is in busy season for tax, so wouldn't be joining)
  • It could burn me out and make me less excited/energetic for CIM (keep in mind I usually only run 1 marathon per year, but I usually run it all out). 

No advice please if you are indifferent or your attitude about everything in life is "just go for it!!!!!"  I want some serious logic here, friends!  I'm talking Vulcan advice.