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.

Annapolis Striders

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. says

    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

  2. says

    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

  3. says

    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

  4. says

    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

  5. says

    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

  6. says

    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

  7. says

    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

  8. says

    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!!

  9. says

    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

  10. says

    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

  11. says

    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

  12. says

    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

  13. says

    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

  14. says

    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

  15. says

    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

  16. says

    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

  17. says

    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!!!

  18. says

    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

  19. says

    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

  20. says

    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