thinking it through

My mind is all darty and extra-kooky today.  That can only mean one thing: there is a race on the horizon!  And the fact that I have not yet decided whether I am running 13.1 or 26.2 might be seriously contributing to my insanity.  Yes, yes I think it is completely safe to say that it is.

I’m a classic Type A personality.  Also known as: a control freak.  I love lists.  I love making plans.  Setting goals.  This is the way I roll.  I’m completely aware of this aspect of my personality and it is something I work on constantly.  I want to be more relaxed and flexible, but the truth is I am more relaxed when I know what to expect.  Funny how that works.

So Richmond is in 2 days.  We leave tomorrow and I have a little more than 24 hours to make my decision about whether or not to switch to the half marathon.  This is one of those moments in my life where I am forced to learn how to let go.  I need to be laid back about this and trust that whatever decision I make will be the best one for me.  I need to stop freaking out!

When I’m faced with big decisions I like to make lists of pros and cons to help me decide.  So, here we go:

Reasons TO run the full marathon:

  • I love marathons.  There is nothing like a 26.2!
  • My sister wants to run the full and we could run it together.  We haven’t run a race together – like side-by-side together – in two years.  We also haven’t trained much together this season because our goals were so different.  It would be really nice to have that time together.
  • It would be FUN – not about a time goal, just about enjoying the race.
  • I have never run the full Richmond marathon and I hear it is a really wonderful course.  Plus I love Richmond and spent years working there.  The city holds a special place in my heart.
  • T, G and their posse are all running the full and it would be super fun to share the experience with them also.

Reasons NOT TO run the full marathon:

  • I have already run 2 marathons in the past 2 months.  Adding a third is a lot on my body.
  • I want to begin training for my spring marathon (USA Rock n Roll, National) in early December.  That is soon. I want to enter this training with fresh legs and feeling mentally strong.
  • I tweaked my back earlier this week.  While it is nothing serious and doesn’t bother me much, it is my body talking to me and I need to listen and be careful. Because….
  • I do not want to get injured!  The big picture and my 2012 goals are super important to me.  I am going to be in Boston in 2013 no matter what it takes.  But I am human and humans get injured if they are stupid and don’t listen to their bodies.  I need to focus on the bigger picture and not be an idiot.
  • I could run the half instead and put less damage on my body while still enjoying the weekend so much.  Maybe even set a a new half PR and certainly a course PR (I did the Richmond half two years ago in just over 2 hours.  I know I can blow that out of the water in a sick way.  That would be fun.)  Or, I could run the second half of the full with my sister and buddies and that would be majorly fun, too.
  • I am not planning to go after my BQ at this race.  If I run it, I am running it for fun.  Why is this in the “not to run” column?  Well, because a marathon even if it isn’t your hardest effort or best finishing time, is a lot of toll on your body.  If I am not going after this BQ/PR at this race and I come out of it feeling beat up or worse, injured, I could risk not being on top of my game for training for my spring marathon.  This is a serious consideration for me.
  • My husband really feels strongly that I should run the half.  He supports me in whatever I decide, but from where he stands he thinks it is a lot on my body and also he reminded me that if I run the half that means we get more time together with one kid instead of three.  And that is sweet.  Definitely something to think about.

Ok … that is all I can come up with for now.  Some of these items weigh heavier in my mind than others.  I am going to let it all marinate and then we’ll see what I cook up when it’s decision time.  I do feel really good knowing that, no matter what it, is going to be an awesome weekend.  I love running races and cannot wait to experience Richmond 2012!

So, can you guys come up with any pros or cons that I haven’t thought of?  How do you make big decisions?  Are you a list person too?