How do you decide?

I would sign up for every single race I want to do if I could. Unfortunately, I’m not made of money (but how COOL would that be?), so I have to be picky about the races I register for.

I’m hesitant to throw down the money for a few reasons:

  • What if I get hurt? I had to drop out of three or four races last year because of injury.
  • What if I decide I’m not ready?
  • What if I just wasted all that money for a shitty shirt and samples of Gu, Biofreeze and the $500 Redstar suspiciously-scammy gift card?

So you see my dilemma. I’m trying not to sign up for races because my friends are doing them, but of course, having friends doing the same race certainly helps the decision along.

What I have done, is start a list of races I’m not doing:

  • Dirty Girl – I want to do this race soooo bad, but I have a wedding that day and there’s no way I can clean up from a mud run in time to look fabulous for my friend’s wedding. Sorry, Dirty Girl.
  • Tough Mudder – There was a time this year I wanted to do this race. Then they released descriptions of some of the race obstacles. And then I shit my pants. The end.
  • Great Milwaukee Race – this was easy to decline – I’m helping PLAN it!
  • South Shore Rock N Ride Duathlon – Day after Ragnar. I plan to sleep. All day.
  • Summerfest Rock ‘n’ Sole Half Marathon – As badly as I want to run over the Hoan Bridge, this race, in my opinion, is not well organized. It seems like a complete clusterfsk. First the start time was at 10 a.m. In July. In Wisconsin. Then they moved it to 8 a.m. (still not early enough, IMO). They didn’t know for a good couple of months if there’d be medals (I emailed). I could go on and on about my concerns, but I don’t need to take up more space on this. I think the race is a fabulous idea, I’m just worried about the execution.
  • Warrior Dash – Would like to do this, but it’s the same day as Krista’s 50miler. And I’m on her crew. Like.A.Boss.

And here’s a list of races I’m considering:

  • Rock ‘n’ Roll Tune Up 5k – first of all, you probably know by now that I’m all about the bling. I will NOT do a half marathon unless there’s a medal. Yes, I’m that girl. This 5k gives you a medal! And it’s pretty cool, too. Only problem is, my friend I always stay with in Chicago is out of town that weekend. Getting a hotel for the night to do a 5k seems like overkill.
  • Dances with Dirt – My friends Annie, Rochelle, Tracey, Krista and Marty are all doing the marathon. I’m not that insane. I’m thinking about the 10k, as I’ve never done a trail race and I don’t want to die. Also, it will take me the same amount of time to do the 10k as it will probably take them to do the marathon. LOL.
  • Chicago Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon – I wanted to do this race last year. But I decided just to go and cheer for my friends Patrick, Lindsey, Steve, Kelly and Emily. This turned out to be a good decision, as I was in no place to do a half marathon (see injuries above). So, I REALLY want to do this race… Patrick and Lindsey are coming in from DC for the race and I think Steve’s doing it again too. Emily is on the fence. Oh, and did I mention Bret Michaels is the post-race party entertainment? Yeah. That. But, race registration is a hefty$110. Oi vey.
  • Kettleman Duathlon – I’ve been wanting to try a duathlon for awhile.  A September race would give me time to build up my bike mileage and do some run-bike-run training.
  • Dousman Duathlon – Also in September, I’m trying to decide between this and the Kettleman race. I’m leaning toward Kettleman because (as mentioned before) my friend Krista is running a 50miler on the 17th and I’m on her race day crew. It will be a long day and wouldn’t provide the rest I need the day before a race.

This list of possibilities takes me through September. Depending on how training is going, I may try an October or November race, but we shall see. Of course, I have Vegas in December. 😉

How do you choose your races? Wait and see if your friends are doing it? Blindly pull the trigger on every race you can do? Wait until the day before the price increases?

Decisions are hard

It would be so much easier to let someone else make decisions for me. Decisions are hard. Sometimes I have deep heart-to-hearts with myself. Sometimes I talk things out with a friend. I always pray for guidance. But no matter how you go about it, actually pulling the trigger on a decision is scary!

And so, I sit here at a cross roads.

Do I do it? Do I give up on it all together? Do I put it off?

And after a lot of soul searching, praying and talking things out with a close friend, I’ve made a decision. I’ve said it out loud and I’m surprisingly at peace with my decision.

And yet, I’m still hesitating pulling the trigger and making it public to family, friends and the Internets.

Here goes.

I have decided not to do the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon this year.

I’m just not where I want to be physically, to even consider doing a marathon in less than 10 months. It would be different if I wasn’t 80lbs overweight. It would be different if I wasn’t just now building myself back up to running a 5k distance without stopping to walk. It would be different if I wasn’t recovering from a nasty bout with plantar fasciitis and dealing with a pesky knee that decided to start acting up this week. It would be different if I had been injury-free for the past year and ran the two half-marathons and countless 5ks I registered for.

The deck has been stacked against me. And I’ve got to play with the hand I’ve been dealt.

There is a very good chance that when I do run Lakefront, that it will be the only marathon I ever do. I don’t want to half-ass it. I want to run the hell out of that race. I don’t want to be satisfied with finishing before they close the course. I want to have a time goal and I want to beat it. I want to be smart. I want to train smart so I can run smart.

So I’m giving myself another year. Honestly, the thought of doing Lakefront was starting to give me stomach problems and panic attacks. If I was closer to my goal weight, I wouldn’t be doing this. I know that even at my current size, if I followed a training plan, I could do the race. I just don’t think it would be a good experience. The toll running that far during training would take on my body – my knees, ankles and feet especially – could possibly affect future fitness goals. I need to drop more weight before I should train for something as big as a marathon.

So, 2011 will be a year focused on having fun, working hard and losing weight. Oh, and there’ll be a couple of half marathons and maybe an extreme/adventure race thrown in there.

And, as long as there isn’t an apocalypse, I’ll run the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon in 2012.