So here I am, back in taper week. Remember when I said that I wanted to run fewer half marathons and when I did run them, I wanted to really focus on running strong? Well, I’m still focused on running strong, but I’m not sure two half marathons in less than a month is really what I intended when I said I wanted to run less.
This weekend, I’m running the Little Rock Half Marathon. Why? Because a bunch of my friends are doing it and I didn’t want to miss out. Seriously. That’s the only reason I’m going. And yes, I am aware it is possible to go on a race trip and not actually race (I am trying that in 2018 for Disney Marathon Weekend) but I figured that since I was trained, I might as well run.
I have a lot of friends with very different racing goals, and it can be tough to not be pulled into setting all of those goals for myself. Some friends are currently working to set a half marathon PR. I’ve gotten into pretty good shape, and if I trained for it, this would be a reasonable goal for me as well. However, I don’t actually want to train for it. When I set that PR, I was solely a runner. The last time I (inadvertently) got close, I was trying to come back from a period of very slow, out of shape races, and I was running 4+ days a week.
I don’t like running that much.
The reason a number of my friends are running this weekend is because they have set a goal of running a half marathon in all 50 states. This is an awesome goal, and totally different from a time-based goal. It’s a pretty sweet goal for someone who doesn’t want to focus on training to get faster, but someone who runs to stay in shape and have fun. (Of course, plenty of people I know who are aiming for this goal are also working to set PRs.) It’s tempting to try for the goal as well.
But considering that I’m also doing triathlons, trying to cram a bunch of half marathons into my schedule becomes complicated.
Unfortunately, I can’t do everything. I need to go to work to pay for these hobbies, and I need to sleep sometimes.
So it means figuring out what my goals are. This year, I’m working to improve my cycling. I’d like to improve my triathlon times. Setting a PR is definitely possible, though I personally don’t love comparing triathlon times between races. There are just so many variables. But if I can cut a chunk of time off of my average, I’ll be delighted.
But I also want to have fun. That means more volunteering, more cheering, and doing things like going with my friends when they check Arkansas off of their goal list this weekend.