So finally, I near the end of a 5+ year quest, to run a marathon in 50 states in under 4 hours. I have known this goal is getting close for a while, and I wanted to make sure I had something ‘in the pipe’ before I got there. I have many friends who have grand running goals that when they hit them (many after several years) they burn out since they have achieved what they set their heart out to do. I have seen runnerswho devoutly run marathons 1-2 a weekend stop stone cold after achieving some ‘goal’. I did not want that to happen to me.
I have been thinking hard about what to do next. In 2010, I started doing some ultras, with a 24 hour race (>100 miles) in April and a 100 mile race in July. I did quite well in both and thought that maybe that was going to be my next step, becoming one of those crazy 100 mile ultra people. Then Burning River 2011 happened. Without going into detail, it was really really rough on me physically and mentally. While I was good at 100 mile racing (9th and 10th in the 2010 and 2011 national championships) the actual running is rough for several reasons:
- Training 120-130 miles/week is a part time job that takes away from family time, no matter how well I schedule it
- Race costs are steep, >$200 for a cheap one.
- To do it right, you need a crew. I don’t like asking for help, so this is a big one. I have a great friend Ryan who has crewed for me in two of my 100 milers and he does an awesome job, but I can’t rely on him every time. Mistique is supportive of my racing, and will crew for me if I ask her, but it is a lot to ask of her.
- Recovery time is so damn long. 100 miles take a lot out of you. My most recent 100 miler took more than 2 weeks before I was back to normal. That’s just rough.
I didn’t start running to be a freak, I started running to get healthy. The racing is just fun and gives me an extra special bonus to reward me for getting out every day and slogging some miles. So after a long torturous time of self reflection, I decided to step back from the 100 mile thing for a while. So that left me hanging, I still need a new goal, something to keep me occupied for a few years. Many ideas have been given to me by friends which include repeating the states (too expensive, more time away from family) or doing 7 continents (WAY too expensive). I needed something that took me 5-7 years, is cheap, and minimizes time away from my family. 100 in 1 was born.
100 marathons in 1 state, that is my new goal. You might think that it will take me forever since it has taken me 6 years to run 64 marathons as of right now, but you would be wrong. There are over 15 marathons (or shorter ultras, under 35 miles) each year within a 3 hour drive of my house. That means I can sleep in my own bed (no hotel!), wake up early, drive to a race (no plane ticket!), run the race and be home before dinner. I am gone from my family less than 12 hours each time. It satisfies all my new desires, cheap, will take a few years, and less impact on my family.
In trying to save time in my 50 states quest, I have only done 6 marathons in the state of Michigan so far, so I am starting almost from scratch. But, if all goes to plan, I will be at 10 by the end of 2010. Whatever it takes to keep me out of trouble