This year I will run a marathon.
A full 26.2 miles.
Immediately after my half-marathon in September I wasn't so sure that I even wanted to run another half. But in the months since, I have continued to run, and the winter has been mild enough to allow me to get out several times a week. Since I won't be starting from scratch in the Spring I'll have a good base from which to begin training for a full marathon in the Fall.
Just Saturday I ran a comfortable 8 miles on the trails along the Tulpehocken Creek. They were slow miles, but they were also pain-free, which is very encouraging to me at this point.
The race for which I'm aiming is the Steamtown Marathon, October 7th, in Scranton, PA. Runner's World Magazine listed this race as one of the "ten best first marathons".
Let's face it: Your first marathon can be stressful, and the mania of big-city races can sometimes contribute. Steamtown is the antithesis of the large, loud race. Here, relaxed yet efficient hospitality reigns. You'll enjoy one of the best staging areas of any point-to-point race. Two rows of cheerleaders greet you when you exit the bus at Forest City Regional High School. A student hands you a bottle of water and directs you inside the warm auditorium where you'll wait to start. The boom of a Civil War cannon sends runners onto a scenic route that winds through Small Town USA: Families line porches, wave American flags, and bands and cheerleaders try to outdo each other. Last year, the race sold out for the first time in 15 years, so log on April 1 to be one of the 2,500 who will run this year. steamtownmarathon.com
Sure, the New York City marathon would be really— and I mean, really— cool, but for my first, Steamtown fits the bill.
Okay, now that I've put it out here, I'm accountable, right? Who's running with me?!