Is It Too Early To Be Planning 2016 (or 2017)?

I am determined to complete everything on the adjenda for 2015…but there is far too much on the schedule this year. I have 5 marathon and one ultra planned. I am extremely relieved that I could not get a 70.3 on the schedule anywhere. I intend to learn from this mistake.

My future plans are to move away from long distance events to get more balence in my life (no more Ironman’s, 70.3’s, or century rides). I am undecided about ever running another marathon, but I am certain that the “marathon season” will not be repeated. The ultra long training days will be behind me, as will most of the travel and expense of out of town events.

I have started looking at 2016, trying to see what it would look like. So far, I have come up with the following basics:

1) I will continue with a local half marathon series, but will change from Team Ortho (I have been running their races for 4 years now) to the MN Running Series just for a change of pace/scenery.

2) The Twin Cities Marathon Weekend is still the biggest event on the local calendar…and I will continue to participate…but will limit myself to the Loony Challenge (5k, 10k, 10 miles). I will still get to be involved and participate on the corporate team, but three times running the full marathon is enough for now.

3) Continue running the local Lifetime Triathlon races (Minneapolis, Maple Groove) as they are world class events close to home. I may stretch the Minneapolis race to the Olympic Distance.

4) Limit myself to no more then ONE destination race/year.

Destination races are fun, but expensive. They also are not as enjoyable as they used to be. Limiting them will make me more selective, and I will likely enjoy them more.

As I decided on that last point, at looked at all of my races in the “Parking Lot” and decided against tomato of them. When I was done, only two events remained…

1) Chicago Marathon. I have not run any of the World Major Marathons, and Chicago would be the easiest to register for. It is also in driving distance. Having a single fall marathon would be something that I would more likely be able to get excited about and train for. Besides, my marathon career is scheduled to end in Des Moines…and that just seems just so anti-climactic.

2) Disney/Star Wars Half Marathon/Rebel Challenge. I love Disney, Star Wars, and Running. I HAVE to do this sooner or later. The timing sucks for my schedule, and I figured this would have to be on the back-burner for awhile. I just got a tentative spousal green light for this event next year. If I do it, it would be my reward to myself for all the hard training over the past 4 years. All would be fun-runs with plans to stop at every photo opportunity at the 5k, 10k and Half Marathon. It would also be the ONLY destination race of 2016 making that year “marathon-free” with no option to throw my name in the hat for the Chicago Marathon until 2017.

The more I think about it, the more I like option 2. Going almost two years between Des Moines and Chicago would likely recharge my enthusiasm for a really big race. And the thought of returning to DisneyLand and running some Star Wars events just seems like too much fun to pass up…

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