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The Lent Project: Day 29

Well, I won the lottery yesterday...the Chicago Marathon lottery, that is. The only problem? I feel kinda bad about it.

As I wrote here previously, I was very purposefully not in that first bunch of people who crashed the system during the first-come registration period. I was taking time off and not running a fall race. Or, at least, not running Chicago. But the more I thought about it, the more I decided that maybe I should stick my name in the pot afterall. Could I really handle not running a fall marathon for the first time in 5 years? Would I really be ok with having October roll around and knowing I was missing all the excitement of race day?

I feel like my initial instincts were sound. To train for Chicago, I'd need to pretty much get right to work following my June triathlon. No down time. It would be back to the long Sunday morning runs which I'd told myself to get away from for a bit. Have a nice, relaxing summer. Stay on top of training for Ironman but no need to hit it too hard. Come 2014, I'll have plenty of opportunities to work myself to death training for a 140.6 mile race. (20 weeks of summer training comes to mind with at least one 100 mile bike ride.)

Not to mention that I already have a weekend in Sept taken up with endurance sports--volunteering in Madison to get my IMWI spot. Then, Kelly and I are trying to work around grandma schedules to take a trip--by ourselves and without kids--around Leda's birthday (marathon weekend, you'll recall).

There's also a fair amount of guilt involved here. I had been under the impression that since my right to a registration has an expiration on it that my entry would go to someone else if I choose not to run. On closer inspection of the Chicago Marathon website, I suspect that will not be the case...I have, in essence, shut somebody out. Which is another black mark against the Chicago Marathon race organizers. The only reason I feel bad is that I have a conscience...but the reality is there is a strong dose of "should of been faster if you wanted it" going on here coupled with incompetence on the part of them getting the process correct. There are enough pissed off runners to go around. Me being unable to decide if I really want to register is just a side effect.

But that brings me back to whether I should run or not. Bed and breakfast in the country and tasting wine with Kelly...or working my ass off all summer without a true goal. I PRed last year and, to be honest, I'm not sure if I ran that I'd be attempting to PR this time. With Ironman to look forward to, I'd essentially be signing myself up for 2 straight summers of pretty intense training. Not sure I'm ready for that.

So it comes down to a kind of "pros and cons" list where I list the merits of running and not running in two columns and see which has more. If it still cost $90 to register, I might have a different opinion. But I can't help but think the $175 fee is factoring, too. Apologies to those of you who didn't get a spot. I have a quaint sheep farm calling my name instead.

Looking back, I shouldn't have been sucked in by the taste of race day...perhaps it says something positive about the debacle of this year's Chicago Marathon registration that it still pulled me towards it.