I'm back, safe and tired, from warm humid Huntsville, AL. The weekend and race reports will follow this week, but in a nutshell it was a long, tiring weekend with some wonderful and some strange parts. My sis joined us for a way too short visit on Friday for our wandering around the city. I finished the Rocket City Marathon in 5:57:57 chip time. The last 80-100 people finishing the race (including Sandy and me) didn't get the promised finisher's premium, a running cap (and that's not even counting the almost 50 runners who apparently didn't finish, nor the almost 200 who registered and apparently didn't show up at the start). For shame!
The power was out in the hotel, and in a large part of the city, when we got up at 4:05 am to catch our flights home. Luckily we had packed the night before because although the common areas of the hotel were lit by a generator, our room was pitch black. Our flights connected through Dallas/Fort Worth and the winter weather in the mid parts of the country caused our second flight to leave an hour late. It's good to be home!
I had an epiphany while I was tossing and turning in bed on Friday night, before the race. Sandy and I had gotten caught up in the numbers thing. Huntsville would complete our 4 in 4 in 4 (4 marathons in 4 states in 4 months) and we were anxious to continue that through 6 in 6 in 6. Our tentative plan was to run Rock 'n' Roll Arizona in January (even though we've both run an Arizona full marathon) and to run probably Austin in February (although Sandy ran the full already). Then we'd have "bragging rights" to 6 in 6 in 6. But what the hell? I certainly have nothing to prove, to myself or to anyone else. The whole 4/4/4 thing is in itself pretty incredible, especially to someone who only started running 8 years ago. Huntsville was my 30th marathon (good grief: 30th marathon! Can you believe that?) and I will hopefully continue to run several more each year.
But I'm tired. Deep, bone tired. Tired of getting up in the middle of the night to catch a plane to or from a race; tired of the logistics and planning; tired of not being able to sleep in hotels; tired of the whole travel thing; tired of running 26 miles. I need to get back a little of the wonder, a little bit of the specialness of the marathon experience. I love running (and finishing) marathons, and the excitement, and the new courses, and the new states, new cities, new people, (new medals), all the hoopla. So I'm taking a break and ditching the 6/6/6 plans. 2008 is time for a fresh start and better training (no, really) (no, I'm serious) (quit laughing) (stop it).
Come March though and I'm off and running again! Watch out 'cause here I come!