The best laid plans

So here I was, all signed up and ready to run the Lower Potomac River Marathon, when I spotted a “save the date” card hanging on my wall. For a wedding the night before the race. In another state. So…plan B.

IMG 2179 225x300 The best laid plans

Plan B

And plan B involves running a marathon I have said over and over again I would never run, the B & A Trail Marathon, one week later. It’s another low-key, small affair (limited to 250 people) and that’s all good and well. But it also has a half marathon that draws far more people and starts at the same time. I’ve done this half countless times and always enjoy it. But I’ve also watched those lonely marathoners have to keep going once all the half marathoners peel off at the half-way point and thought that I never wanted to do it.

It’s stupid, really–this is no different than running the original small marathon I had planned. But something about seeing most of the others out there finish when there’s still another 13.1 to go makes it seem mentally tougher.

However, I’m wrapping my brain around it and looking at the bright points. For one, it’s only about a half an hour from here, so I’ll be sleeping in my own bed the night before–big bonus! For two, and even better, many of my friends are running the half. And I just might have bribed with wine and chocolate talked a few into hanging out after the half and keeping me company throughout my second half. I have the best friends (Yes, hoping they’re reading this. I am still sucking up).

So, all in all, it’s not a bad plan B. Marathon training starts today and it will be a quick build-up. Coach Jeff has given me my first schedule and it’s going to be challenging, but I’m ready to give it a go and hopefully nail a PR come March 16.

Ever have to change race plans?

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  1. Chocolate and wine are always great tools of bribery. Should be fun to have a tired and slightly toasted cheer squad bring you home.
    Char recently posted..Wardrobe Malfunction.My Profile

  2. Thank goodness it is not an injury that is bringing on plan B – that was my first thought when I read your title!
    Our local marathon has a split too – luckily I plan on splitting off this year with the half marathoners, but the marathoners have to continue on a fairly straight out and back route to the finish which I imagine is doubly mentally tricky!
    Sherry recently posted..I Hope 2013 Is As Good As This!My Profile

  3. Great friends can make all the difference! Can’t wait to hear how it goes :)
    GreenGirlRunning recently posted..A Little Motivation PleaseMy Profile

  4. I ran a 1/2 that was like that – the marathoners split off near the finish for the 1/2. I could imagine that being a little disheartening. More proof that running is more mental than anything! Good luck recruiting friends to join you!
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted..5 By the 5th Virtual Race RecapMy Profile

  5. Since you’ll be so far ahead of most of the half-ers, you won’t even notice them peeling off. :)
    Kovas – Midwest Multisport Life recently posted..Friday Fluff: Ultrarunning, Paleo, WineMy Profile

  6. Such great friends you have! I’ve run two races where the half and full start together, once I had to watch all of the halfers turn to finish while I trudged on (it was a ridiculously hot day, so trudged, I did) and the other time I got to be a halfer turning off. I did stick around that day to cheer lots of full-friends across the finish line. That part was just as fun as racing! :)
    Jamie @ Rise.Run.Mom.Repeat. recently posted..Kettlebell Workouts: Week 2My Profile

  7. I have a few friends who LOVE B&A! Hopefully you will too!
    Dash recently posted..Four Things Friday: Army | Richmond Pictures | Updates |Ashburn Farm 10k Race ReportMy Profile

  8. For a little wine and chocolate I would hang around too if I lived closer ;)
    Good luck! I am doing a half on the 16th so I will think of you going twice as far as I drink my beer when I am done. :)
    Christy @My Dirt Road Anthem recently posted..Monday MotivationMy Profile

  9. I’m also missing a race I love for a wedding this year. Totally worth it, though.
    Kate recently posted..Winter trails, (semi) regular running, and soda mileMy Profile

  10. Oops! Somehow I’ve never managed to do that but I know my day is coming. That’s perfect the second race is only a week later, especially since you can get your local buddies to join you! Best wishes on this new cycle!
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted..#5bythe5th Link up and January winnersMy Profile

  11. I can’t wait to see you smash your pr!
    Jess recently posted..Say it, Do it! {firsts}My Profile

  12. I am never more happier than when the half marathoners peel off and the course becomes much more clear.
    Jamoosh recently posted..Running AmokMy Profile

  13. I’m excited for you! I get what you’re saying about the loneliness of the second 13.1 BUT you are mentally tough and can do that! A friend of mine ran his first marathon at B & A last year in a scorching time! I think mental games are going to be key here! Good luck with the training and I’ll be routing for you!
    Alison @ racingtales recently posted..Book Review: It Starts with FoodMy Profile

  14. ok we know Im not a racer but to me the SLEEPING IN OWN BED seems like prep-perfection!
    Miz recently posted..Our bookstore workout.My Profile

  15. Better late than never but Happy New Year to you.

    It’s funny that I have been planning a couple of races this year and they are all close to home. I don’t want to drive/travel far for short distances. I am willing to travel for a half but not for a 5K. Then again Holland is so small, you can do every race here and travel to it on the same day.

    Good luck for the training, look forward to following you on your journey.
    Fran recently posted..Sunday January 6, 2013: MishmashMy Profile

  16. The benefits of running a marathon close to home are so worth it I would think! I am looking at having to change plans of what marathon I want to run in the Fall to work around my hubby’s show schedule. We can’t have him dieting for a show and me marathon training at the same time….he would be grouchy and I wouldn’t be able to walk. Not a good combo!
    Fancy Nancy recently posted..Monday MotivationMy Profile

  17. Oh I just had to reevaluate and redo my spring schedule due to illness, etc. and it’s the worst. That said, I figure there’s a reason and it should all work out in the end….
    Sheil recently posted..The Big GunsMy Profile

  18. Is it really on trails? That sounds tough.
    Gracie (Complicated Day) recently posted..Christmas wrap-upMy Profile

  19. Dangit! I’m running LPM! It would have been awesome to meet you!
    Kari @ Running Ricig recently posted..this is probably going to jinx meMy Profile

  20. Yay for quick thinking! Haha I always forget about regular commitments I have…whoops
    Kat recently posted..Are you ready for #goalgetter2013?!My Profile

  21. Sometimes the Plan B’s are the ones that end up being amazing. Good friends always make races more fun :) I hang reminders on my fridge in plain view and still forget about them. Alarma required.
    beka @ rebecca roams recently posted..Introducing…. #goalgetter2013!!My Profile

  22. I am glad that you were able to have a “plan b” in the same time frame as your original plan. I have a good feeling about this race for you. It is great that you will have some company along the course. I am sure that will be great motivation for you. I said I would never, ever, ever run the Windermere Marathon in Spokane. BUT it looks like I am! I guess you can never say never. Have a great day!
    Tasha @ Healthy Diva recently posted..Week 2: I want to move someplace warmMy Profile

  23. Running a full after the half’ers have finished is not fun! I have heard of this marathon, I know you prefer intimate races and this seems to fit the bill. You will rock it, this I am sure!
    LisaM@RunWiki recently posted..Looking Back and Looking Forward… The Art of TransitionMy Profile

  24. Hopefully the change is for the best! It’s frustrating though I’m sure.
    Robin recently posted..My Year in RunningMy Profile

  25. I was planning to run the B//A Half, until they changed the date for this year. I’ll be in St Mary’s with my oldest swimmer. Hey … maybe he’ll make states the weekend before, and I can reconsider.
    Good Luck.
    Mara @Big Happy Family recently posted..Happy Birthday Luke!My Profile

  26. That sounds like most Rock n Roll races, where about 80% of the runners are in it for the half. You could enjoy the first 13.1 then disassociate with some good tunes for the second half.:)
    Yo Momma Runs recently posted..My back is back: group speedwork and 20 milesMy Profile

  27. I’m sure with enough wine and chocolate you will definitely find a few friends to stay (and maybe even run the whole marathon) with you!!! Good luck!
    Kim recently posted..It’s Monday – Let’s Do This!!!My Profile

  28. Plan B sounds great…. you can’t underestimate the benefit of a local race that you can sleep in your own bed. Also, since you have recognized the challenging potion (running 13.1 after most have finished), you have ample time to mentally prepare for the challenge. I hope you crush your PR!!

  29. Give me chocolate and wine and I will pretty much run where ever you want me to!
    I am with you on not wanting to run a race where most people turn around or finish and you have to keep going. But I think this may empower you more. Think of how BA you’ll feel when you keep going and everyone else isn’t?
    Hard core!
    Missy recently posted..The perfect end to the weekendMy Profile

  30. No…but I have added competitions to my schedule that were not planned for :)
    Kierston recently posted..Little Things Monday #4: Finding Happiness in the Little Things!My Profile

  31. Oh my gosh, if anybody has the mental toughness it’s YOU! I’ll be rooting for ya! I’ve always been in the “THANK GOODNESS, I’m almost done!!” peel-off group. But one of these days, it’s going to have to happen!
    Amanda @ Run Principessa recently posted..Lessons from SkiingMy Profile

  32. OK you had me worried when I saw the title of this post :) Glad you have a plan B lined up. There’s always a part of me that feels for the marathoners as we half ‘ers head for the finish…one of the reasons I still haven’t tackled a marathon yet ;)
    Michelle @ Running with Attitude recently posted..Turning Motivation into HabitsMy Profile

  33. I think the really big positive of this race is that you won’t have to think until you get to the 13.1. That was my approach last year when I did it. Just get to the split without having to use any mental energy. With only 13.1 to have to think about, it was a lot easier to take on. The only place where I lost it mentally was around Mile 23 where there is a little .5 mi out and back off the trail (steep downhill out, steep uphill back). I didn’t see it on the hand drawn course map, so it was unexpected. Otherwise, I’d say it really wasn’t that hard to get through it, even though I ran it literally by myself. If you con some friends to join you for the later miles, I think it will be a big help!
    LesserisMore recently posted..2013 Spring Racing PlansMy Profile

  34. I have done a few races like this, and I actually look forward to the point where the halfers turn off. I like knowing that the first half is done, and I get a “now it’s time to work” mind set. It also makes me FEEL tougher and stronger that I am doing the full. Use that as a mental boost instead of a challenge. because you ARE super tough. :) Good luck with Coach Jeff! I am excited for you. :)
    Erin recently posted..Thoughts from one month outMy Profile

  35. You had me worried there for a second with your title. I’m glad that it’s a happy event like a wedding that’s the cause of the change of plans. I can imagine all the other runners peeling off at the halfway point being mentally tough but I kind of feel like you have a lot of mental toughness in you, especially after this year. You’re going to do great. And yes, offer me wine or chocolate and I’ll be there! haha.
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..2013: Things that will stay the sameMy Profile

  36. Oh man, I know it’s hard to get excited about a marathon that ISN’T the one you planned. You never know, this could be the best one yet and you just don’t know it. It’s 90% mental, right?! ;)
    Heather @ Better With Veggies recently posted..Super Spinach Pizza {MMAZ #23}My Profile

  37. I think you’ll end up loving that race. For one thing, you’ll be really relaxed due to the lack of air travel.

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who double-books myself like that. :^)
    Terzah recently posted..Avoiding the TreadmillMy Profile

  38. Set yourself up with some mantras for when the halfers peel off:

    “You guys are missing the best part!” could be one.
    “WIMPS!” could be another.
    “Great! Just got rid of the road clogs!” could be still another.
    MILF Runner recently posted..An IntroductionMy Profile

  39. Definitely not a bad plan B, although it is tough mentally to make changes so close to game time. It sounds like a neat race to me! And yes, what good friends you have for keeping you company (I’m sucking up to them for you in case they read the comments too!). ;)
    Bonnie recently posted..Sick & StationaryMy Profile

  40. I am darned sure you have the mental toughness to do this race! Good second choice. You could have just done nothing!
    Elle recently posted..Another Winner From Tommie Copper… Long-Sleeved Compression ShirtsMy Profile

  41. That sounds like a fun race! I am doing my first trail run in 3 weeks, can’t wait. It’s not a marathon but still pumped! Races plans change all the time as you realize life obligations sometimes have to come first. At least there was a plan B… and it sounds like an awesome one.
    Taylor @ LiftingRevolution recently posted..What’s Better For Dropping Weight: Cardio Or Strength Training? {Vlog}My Profile

  42. I think knowing and mentally preparing for the fact that the second 13.1 will be quieter will help you to finish strong anyway. But I bet that your friends will stick with you with or without the bribes. :)
    Raquelita recently posted..Things That are New(s)My Profile

  43. Remarkably, I have never been to a race where I did not sleep in my own bed the night before. When I travel, I am on vacation,not thinking about a race. One of good things about NYC.

    On one hand I can see how hard it is to keep on after the half ends. On the other, i bet it is a rush to watch all the half runners “quit” as you power on. Mental toughness.
    NY Wolve recently posted..The House Cat and a Race ReportMy Profile

  44. Ugh bummer! We have three events, 2 of which I do not yet know the dates for, this spring and it’s making me hold off on much of my race planning.
    Marcia recently posted..Taking a Break from LSDMy Profile

  45. I had to miss a race for a college graduation – my childs! There is a bit more to the story as to why it wasn’t on my radar.
    Andrea recently posted..MedalsMy Profile

  46. Maybe not your ideal plan aka why it’s not plan A, but I think you’ve found some wonderful aspects to the change. Embrace what is not was “could be” you never know why things played out this way. I’m a huge believer in everything happens for a reason lol and perhaps this will bring you to an amazing opportunity?
    Julie @ ROJ Running recently posted..The Next Bond GirlMy Profile

  47. Best wishes and success during your training.
    Kenley recently posted..Flying Pirate Half MarathonMy Profile

  48. Sounds like a pretty great plan b! Especially if you con your friends into staying :)
    And sleeping in your own bed is definitely a benefit!
    Abby @ Change of Pace recently posted..2013 resolutionsMy Profile

  49. I love plan B!!! If I hadn’t gotten into the lotto for the NYC Half, I would be doing the half (and would totally run a few miles for the full with you!) =)
    I’ve done a race before that started as same time as half marathoners. Seeing them break away was SO disheartening – I know exactly what you are talking about!!!

  50. My first experience with losing the half marthoners while I’m up for the full was in Philadelphia. I never thought about it then saw the split and, you are so right – talk about getting mentally tough! But you keep going and given another mile, you’re back into it again and completely focused on your own finish line. You’ll do great!

    Will you post your workouts from the new coach? It will be interesting to see how much different his plan is for you than what you would come up with on your own.
    Joanne recently posted..This is GOOD! Aloic Aloe Vera DrinkMy Profile

  51. View the split as something of a badge of honor. As the other runners turn, you get the privilege of embarking on a wonderful journey that only the FEW, dare tackle. It might actually be pretty “freeing” to be able to run in the trails with less people around. You and wilderness, tackling one mile at a time.
    Pavement Runner recently posted..Some New Running ShoesMy Profile

  52. I think that sounds great! The last marathon I ran had the half marathoners peeling off, but it wasn’t too bad. You just have a nice chill second half! Thank goodness for great friends who will stay around for you!
    Travel Spot recently posted..2013 Race CalendarMy Profile

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