Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Plans for 2013

My goals for 2013 are influenced by a very important family event, Lil Ansky's Bat Mitzvah. I'll save the "time goes by quickly" thoughts for another time but needless to say, it's a very important milestone not just for her but for myself and Mrs. Ansky as well. The celebration will take place in 3 parts starting in July with a celebration in summer camp. We're then spending 2 weeks in Israel in August. Mrs. Ansky and I haven't visited since 1992 and it will be Lil Ansky's first visit. There will be a lot of touring, falafel consumption, and possibly a small celebration with extended family and friends. We'll then celebrate with family and friends in the U.S. in September. On top of all that the Jewish holiday "season" starts the Sunday after Labor Day. I hope by now you can see where I'm going with this.  A fall goal race is out of the question. Don't misunderstand me, I will need running more than ever to keep me sane while planning Lil Ansky's celebration, and to burn off the calories from multiple celebrations, eating too much falafel, and eating too much during the holidays. However, I will not be able to put in the time to train for a goal race.

Which brings me to spring......after speaking with Coach Jeff, I've decided that my spring goal race will be a half marathon. I do enjoy the journey of training for a full marathon but I feel like I need a break. Life got in the way A LOT while training for Marine Corps this year and it showed in my result. Work and my outside life are very hectic and training for a full marathon in 2013 is not going to work for me. Sam recently wrote about feeling like a failure for wanting to take a break from marathoning. Running marathons should not be the be all and end all definition of "being a runner." There are many successful runners that have never run a 26.2 mile road race in their careers. After Marine Corps 2012, I also feel like I have unfinished business with the distance. I was somewhat embarrassed with my 4:18:XX and was ready to sign up for a spring full (Poconos or NJ). Being the analytical person that I am, I quickly realized that, with everything going on in my life in 2013, putting in the work for a half marathon goal race is a more realistic goal.

Now for the important question: Which race should I run? A few come to mind:
  1. E. Murray Todd Half Marathon, March 3, 2013 - the one time I tried to run this race, it cancelled due to snow. I know nothing about the race experience or the course. It looks like a small race in Monmouth County, NJ. It's affordable at $30 and a little over an hour's drive from Teaneck.
  2. Unite Half Marathon at Rutgers University, April 21, 2013 - another race I've never run. I've mixed reviews about the race. Some really liked the the experience but others found the course crowded and difficult to race.At $80 (through 12/31 then it goes up to $90) it's on the pricier side. There's also no race day bib pickup
  3. Long Branch Half Marathon, May 5, 2013 - A big part of me likes the idea of running on the NJ Shore a few months after Superstorm Sandy decimated the shore. In fact, the race's theme for 2013 is "Restore the Shore." The race organizers will be giving a portion of the proceeds to restore the Jersey shore. There are 3 things holding me back: the start time and the price tag. The race starts at 7:00am which means I would have to leave my house in Teaneck at WickedEarly O'Clock or take a hotel room for the weekend. I really have to watch the budget this year because of the Bat Mitzvah so I'm not crazy about taking a hotel room. At $80 (until 12/31 at which point it goes up to $90), the price is a lot more than I want to spend to race a half marathon. I know that some of my fee will go to good causes, never the less it's still a lot of money. There is no race day pickup.
  4. Long Island Half Marathon, May 5, 2013 - I ran this race in 2011 and PRed with a 1:39:29. The course was flat but was not very interesting. The race starts at 8:00am which means I could leave at Early O'Clock and not WickedEarly O'Clock. At $45 it's definitely more affordable than #1. Like, #s 1 - 3 there's no race day bib pickup.
  5. Escape to the Palisades Half Marathon, May 5, 2013 - I ran the inaugural race last year and had a great experience. I know the course well as I run there quite frequently. It's also the closest to home, and at $25 (through 1/31/13) also the most affordable. The course is very scenic but very hilly. I ran a good race there last year but the hills beat me. I'm sure the 2nd edition will be just as good but I don't think it's a PRable course, even if I train there every Sunday til race day.
What am I missing? My criteria are (in no particular order):
  • no Saturday races - I don't roll on Shabbos.
  • No NYRR races - their races are too big and don't really feel like supporting them after their mishandling of the 2012 New York City Marathon.
  • less than a 90 minute drive from Teaneck. 
  • affordable race fee 
  • swag is nice but I don't need a medal or a cotton shirt. Tech shirts are always useful and will be worn during training or other races.
  • race day bib pickup is preferable
NYCRUNS: any half marathons planned between March and May?

1 comment:

Johnnyk8Johnnyk8runner said...

Not familiar with the races so can comment on that but I can't wait to follow your training man!

Love the Big Lebowski.... Dude.