Somewhere along the way, I got it into my head to run two marathons a year - this before I had even completed my first marathon this past February (My Myrtle Beach Race Report). In fact, I had signed up for my second marathon (Smuttynose Rockfest Marathon at Hampton Beach, NH) even completing one. With just over a month to go until Smuttynose and having just past a training milestone for that race, I've started to think about what my race schedule for 2012.
My requirement for an early 2012 marathon was that it had to be economical, which meant it had to be local. The actual race registrations are generally not excessive, but add travel, accommodations, food, etc., you can spend as much as you would for any other weekend getaway. With this in mind, I've more or less decided on the Hyannis Marathon in Hyannis Massachusetts as my early 2012 marathon. The marathon had only 600 runners this past spring, although there were several thousand half-marathoners, which run at the same time. The timing of this race is also about right, it's enough time to recover from Smuttynose and then start the training program again.
My first half-marathon was the Covered Bridges Half Marathon (CBHM) in Vermont, which I ran for a charity in 2010. This race was major milestone for me as it was also my first race since I had started running again about a year earlier. This race meant a lot to me, so I ran it again in 2011 for the same charity. Of the three different events I've participated in, the CBHM is hands-down the best organized and most beautiful one I've run. I'm excited about running this race again in 2012. The charity I ran for the first two times, and will again in 2012, is the Upper Valley Haven.
I actually choose my 2012 fall marathon before my spring marathon. I read a post on my friend Alan's www.basicbare.com regarding a half marathon that he and some other barefoot runners were planning on running in March 2012 down in Florida. I had been thinking about how great it would be to join other barefoot runners for some kind of running event, so when I read this I said as much. Several replies and responses later over a handful of hours, and we decided that we would run the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in October 2012. Alan had actually "targeted" this marathon as his first barefoot marathon, and I also had it in the back of my mind I might run my next fall marathon barefoot. I base this goal on the progress I've made with my barefoot running this year. It's been going so well, in fact, that I loosely played with the idea of running this fall's marathon barefoot - loosely. As happy as I am with my barefoot running this summer, I've also not lost sight of my training objective, which is to have a far better performance at Smuttynose than I did at the Myrtle Beach Marathon (Feb. 2011).
All my injuries since rediscovering running have been a result of over doing it. It was probably the hardest lesson for me to learn. If you ask anyone training for a marathon, one of the foremost thoughts on a runner's mind is getting injured before a marathon - all that hard work and time with a single goal in mind down the drain. So with lessons learned and my goal squarely in front of me, I worked my barefoot running and training into my marathon training program. Up until this past week week, my marathon training schedule steadily increased in milage, which just happened to be what I considered a good schedule for increasing my barefoot miles. The outcome has been that the majority of my training miles have been barefoot. For the most part, I've only run in my V5F - Bikila LS during my weekend long runs. I'm not sure I had anticipated running this many barefoot miles when I set this sub-goal, but it's been so successful that I'm confident about running my next fall marathon barefoot.
So my fall 2012 marathon will be the Toronto Waterfront Marathon, which I know I'll at least be running with Alan, and hopefully we'll be able to get a few more barefooters to joins us between now and then. This will be my forth marathon, my first one barefoot, and I'll get to run it with people who are passionate running naturally.
Covered Bridges Half Marathon
Toronto Waterfront Marathon