Thanks to all of you who commented on my last post. I think most of you are right... I don't think it was in my heart to cut out of a marathon simply to save myself for a better time. Once you sign up and prepare for marathon, I believe you are emotionally committed to finish. Short of a physical/medical reason, I don't ever plan of dropping out.
I said I was sizing up my next race. I was looking at out-of-state races. However, an unexpected race opportunity came up in the wake of the Chicago Marathon disappointment from last week. It does feel a bit soon, but let's just it's time to strike while the iron is hot, baby!
My next marathon is in exactly two weeks. Call it a bit of an improvised marathon as a result of the difficult conditions at Chicago, but the folks who run the Chicago Ultra have put together a USAT&F Certified Marathon course as part of their 50M/50k race. No, I will not be doing either ultra distance.
This feels like a bit of an experiment, since I never imagined I would try to do this. But I have got to muster a better time in cool conditions given my fitness level. Can I recover quickly enough? We will find out.
Somehow, I am completely underpacked for this 2nd trip to China. I do not have a single polyester running shirt. I have no lined running shorts. I have one pair of cotton gym shorts and a single cotton t-shirt. I packed a pair of my beat-up Nikes, since my Asics from last week's marathon were still soaked from showering in all the drinking water that the later runners missed out on (sorry again, guys!). I didn't even pack the Garmin. (I guess you could say I initially planned to take a break from running this two weeks).
Nonetheless, those meager running clothes will be sufficient to do some recovery/taper running. I just completed a 13-mile week. I traveled and rested through Thursday. I did a decent 8 today.
I also have done a little swimming here at the hotel for recovery. The hotel has a great 25M pool. I realized how much work on swimming I will have to do if and when I go for a triathlon. I did five laps last night in about seven minutes. I am willing to bet I looked like a special ed case. I'll save the swimming lessons for a later date.
It's time to knock out one more work week in China, give a final report to my Chinese colleagues on Friday, then fly back home on Saturday.
This week I will target 34 miles, 22 of which will be here in Chengdu. I cannot wait to hit the Prairie Path for a nice 12-miler next Sunday when I get back. Yet another milestone will be achieved: three marathons in a single year and my TENTH in my lifetime. Bring it!