Most readers of this blog had no idea I was even considering the Des Moines Marathon, so the declaration that I've decided against it doesn't have quite the impact.
After my half marathon success, I began to wonder whether I should take on a new challenge, and the obvious next step seemed to be a marathon.
The even more obvious next step seemed to be the Des Moines Marathon: It takes place in late October; I live near one of the more challenging portions of the race; and I now work from home on flexible hours.
What I didn't account for, though, was the freedom of no longer working nights and weekends. I've been taking full advantage of this new development — it's like summer break for grownups, because there's time to play and income to fund the fun.
There were a few other factors pushing me away from the marathon, but that was the primary one.
Here are the races I'm considering instead:
Bix 7 (July 25). I still have to figure out whether I trust myself to not party too hard during the July 24 Cheap Trick concert in Coralville and then wake up at 5 a.m. to get to Davenport by 6:30 a.m. for day-of packet pickup.
Also, I'll be honest: Racing in Des Moines has spoiled me when it comes to race-day travel. With the exception of RAGBRAI 2014, I've barely given transportation and parking a thought since I left Rockton.
But the outlook looks fairly promising. I'm struggling with motivation to run, and encouraged by the general feasibility of doing this race.
Capital Pursuit (Sept. 20). The website claims it's a fast race, so we'll see whether I can beat my last 10-mile race, which definitely incorporated hills. This will force me to train, but not to suffer: I'd probably start training the last week of July (or early August, if I do the Bix 7).
Sycamore 8 (early December). An off-road race in the Midwest in early winter? If that doesn't say "new challenge," I don't know what does.
Half marathon wild cards: I would consider doing the NewBo half marathon (Sept. 6), the Des Moines half (Oct. 18) or the Hillbilly Hike (Nov. 7).
Friends have expressed vague interest in doing the NewBo half and the Des Moines half, so I offered to run with them should they decide to do so. Also, NewBo and Hillbilly both also host a 10K; I could use those as a baseline, if 10K becomes next year's speed target.
And finally (geez, I ramble), I have two formal bike rides actually planned: this weekend's Bacoon Ride, which we could manage to stretch into a century ride, and more importantly, the Tour de Fur on Aug. 30, which benefits Furry Friends Refuge!