Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Back to training but for what????

Good news, I ran 14 miles on Saturday, took Sunday off and ran 13 miles yesterday. The foot was the same on both runs, a bit tender but the pain did not get worse. The only thing I needed to watch were significant flexes of the foot. I went up a hill on Saturday and decided to attack it, on the first step, it felt like my foot was tearing so I simply backed off and had no additional issues. So my diagnosis seems to have been on target, ignore it, give it a day or two and then train sensibly through it.

Now the real dilemma, what am I training for?

I had thoughts of running Farmdale and the next day Grand Rapids and that still has a lot of appeal. Why, because I have never tried to run 33 miles on Saturday and 26 miles on Sunday. I think if I could do that, I would be ready for a 50 miler. I do want to go after a 50 miler but my original plan was to do that next year which I think is the right decision to revert back to. The problem with doing these two back to back is time and money.

So since I haven't yet committed to Farmdale or to Grand Rapids, I decided to take a look around and see what else is available for this fall. I searched my usual sources for races and discovered a few additional events:
  • September 13th - Winona Lake, IN, Lake City Marathon & 50K
  • September 28th - Omaha, NE - Omaha Marathon
  • September 28th - Quad Cities, IL - Quad Cities Marathon
  • October 4th - Mt. Rushmore, SD - Mt. Rushmore Marathon
  • October 5th - Medicine Park, OK - Spirit of Survival Marathon
  • October 18th - East Peoria, IL - Farmdale 33
  • October 19th - Louisville, Ky - Louisville Marathon
  • October 19th - Grand Rapids, MI - Grand Rapids Marathon
  • October 26th - Ozawkie, KS - Rock Creek 50k
  • November 1st - Wynne, AR - Mid-south Marathon
  • November 15th - Mountain Home, AR - Mountain Home Marathon
  • November 16h - Tulsa, Ok - Route 66 Marathon
There are a whole lot more events but I kind of figured that these were all drivable in a day or two. I also noticed a couple of interesting things. Things like which marathon is closer to the Twin Cities - Tulsa, Oklahoma or Louisville, Kentucky?

Tulsa - 695 mi – about 10 hours 29 mins
Louisville - 708 mi – about 11 hours 20 mins

I would have said Louisville and been wrong, another interesting tidbit is, did you know that Tulsa is only an hour farther away than Grand Rapids (589 mi – about 9 hours 29 mins)?

(My mileage and time estimates come from Google maps)

One thing I am going to have to figure out in the 50 state quest is what will it cost and once I get by the states that border Minnesota, how will I work the logistics of time off work, travel time, etc....

To give you an idea of the cost, if you simply add up the cost of gas to Louisville and back:

(1408 miles/30 miles/gallon)
* $3.65/Gallon = $171.31

Add in hotel, marathon entry fees and miscellaneous other expenses and a trip to any one marathon would be easily over $300.

So if I averaged $300/marathon the cost to do all 50 states would be $15,000 (and that doesn't probably include airfare to Hawaii or airfare/driving to Alaska, Florida, Maine, etc.... Ouch, I may not want to post this blog, I think I will calculate what we have spent to date and then continue to track my 50 state cost. The one solace I can take, is since my times are slow, my value based on time spent on the course per dollar per event is quite good compared to my faster friends.

I can't remember if I ever posted but the cost of Grandma's marathon is the reason I am doing 50 states . I have run Grandmas many times and I always looked forward to our trips to Duluth each June. The problem was after 2006, I figured we were paying between $1000-$1200 for the weekend. I told my wife we could go to 3 or 4 states a year for that and the 50 state quest began. Now I love Grandmas and would recommend it but stay with a friend or sleep in your car as the hotel was the majority of the cost, gotta luv that 2 night minimum with raised up rates.

Ok, why the ramble about cost, well when you spend a few weeks out west and you want to run more events, it does equate to $. So a part of the equation in doing 50 states and thinking about ultra events is you got to have a budget or a pretty good income. So instead of running Farmdale and Grand Rapids, another option would be to run 33 miles in the river bottoms and then 26 miles in Lebanon Hills. Cost $3.65 for a gallon of gas to get me there or I could ride my bike to my entry points for a $0 cost.

So my point is depending on what I am training for I can get by a whole lot cheaper staying home. As a matter of fact, I might as well go and hold my own 50 mile event.

By hosting my own, I could avoid the crowds, I can plan it based on a good weather forecast, choose a location I like, I would finish last and first, I would win my age group, I could wear headphones, I can make the course 48 miles or 52 miles and still call it a 50, I could have the drink and food I want during the race and I could have a nice ice cold microbrew of my choice at the finish. I do lose out on the prestige of a jacket/finishers stuff, etc... and the long travel times but I can take our travel expense savings and buy my own jacket, along with a new pair of shoes, and a new hydration pack and a new pair of shorts and a new hat and get me some gaiters and about anything else I can think of. I can even have my wife crew for me and buy her a jacket or whatever as well. I can tell my friends that I ran the River Bottoms 50. They don't know anything about ultra events and they pretty much think that I am nuts for wanting to run a 50, let alone a 100, so my guess is they wouldn't check on the authenticity of the event and if they did and I said I made my own course, it would only confirm their initial thought anyway.

You know this idea is starting to make sense to me..............

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