Thursday, July 22, 2021

One Marathon Per Year?

With anti-vax sentiment / vaccine hesitancy far more widespread than I could have ever imagined and with the worldwide rollout of COVID-19 vaccines slower than expected, I simply cannot foresee when I will feel comfortable participating in an organized race.  Major marathons, like Los Angeles' "Stadium to the Sea" course, traverse through diverse population centers supported by both official and unofficial volunteers and spectated by the general public.  Normally these are reasons why people run them, but now I view them as uncontrollable vectors for spreading disease.   I may be fully vaxxed, but feel a breakthrough infection would negate months of erring on the side of caution.  I have done everything that has been recommended to protect myself and slow the spread.  I refuse to register for any races until this situation genuinely improves.

I do not see this happening through the end of 2021.

That said, I want to stick to my goal of running at least one marathon per year.  I worked hard in 2019 to get myself back into shape, not just for Long Beach, but for a better result in Los Angeles in 2020. After meeting both objectives, I did not allow pandemic lockdowns to break my between marathon routine. I ended last year with a near record distance total and have continued to maintain that solid base through now.   It would be shame to waste this investment in time and physical effort without at least attempting to run 26.2 miles before the end of this year.

This morning, I reworked my usual marathon training schedule as if I was ramping up mileage for the California International Marathon in early December.  It is a marathon that has been on my radar for quite some time (many use as a Boston Qualifier), but not one I have ever run.  I do not plan to do so this year either...but figure I could at least learn what the training conditions when targeting a race held that late on the calendar (I've run marathons in early February and mid-November).

For an early December marathon, I will need to break out of the holding pattern in early August.  Distances will increase as temperatures rise.  This may not be ideal, but the longer runs should force me to vary my routine more with routes I have not explored since the pandemic began.  I won't worry about choosing a 26.2 mile course closer to "race" day.

My training schedule has been on a Google Sheet for a few years now (makes it easier to update and track my actual total against my mileage goals), but my latest update to the spreadsheet now automatically populates the calendar dates based on the "race" date I long as it falls on a Sunday :) 

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