Coming out pretty fresh from the LA Marathon, I did something shocking and signed up for the Ojai 2 Ocean Marathon in June.
I won this entry at the Santa Barbara Marathon Expo last November and wasn't sure if I was going to use it. Since I've been performing pretty well race-wise this year, my overconfidence won out in the end. Besides, I've been conditioned to the word FREE to bite, thanks to my parents!
This has definitely been a packed racing year so far compared to last year, or perhaps I really just blew it in 2011 due to worrying about my dissertation and money. Partly responsible for all the racing this year was the allure of these "race series" that give medals at the end -- the Triple Crown in San Diego and Beach Cities challenge. I promise I won't let those kind of increasingly-popular race company gimmicks get the better of me in the future, so I anticipate that I will be running fewer races in subsequent years. [Also, I don't want to jump that far ahead, but if I'm getting married, it'll only a matter of time before I have to (even if unintentionally) worry about, um, issues that might put my running on the backburner for a while. So even if I'm not 100% enthused to run this race, I'll try to remember that I could be getting a pressure-less break at some point.]
"The Ukrainian" wants to redeem his LA Marathon performance, so this was mostly his idea. I think the allure of a "downhill" course convinced me that I shouldn't automatically go for the half-marathon and then constantly wonder if I should have done the marathon. I figure I can always drop down to the half if I don't feel good about the idea as June approaches.
This will definitely be my last pre-wedded marathon. "The Ukrainian" wants to do one late in the year, but we'll have to see about that. The Vegas Rock n Roll Marathon still doesn't look appealing enough to sign up for this year, as I still don't like the idea of running at night.
As for training, I just got back into my usual 10-15 mpw post-marathon and am not sure how to approach the next couple of months. Basically, my goal is to not get injured and practice my walking strategy on a few "long" runs -- runs that will hopefully be legitimately long this time if I can only motivate myself. I'm hoping that even with the same amount of "training," I will perform similarly or better in this race because the course is easier, and I should have further mastered my technique by then.