Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I really should keep my focus on my upcoming races, yet I'm already thinking about next year.

Two of the folks from my running group are running the full marathon at Rock & Roll in Phoenix next year. I had briefly entertained the notion of joining them and doing the half, but I thought the race was the weekend of the 23rd, which would be a no-go for me due to an important personal conflict. So I wrote it off. Then yesterday, while talking with someone, I realized that the race is on the 16th. Really? I could actually pull that off. And it sure would be nice to get a chance to run a low altitude and see what I can do. Many of you may not realize that I live about a mile above sea level...and the lack of oxygen affects my performance in a negative way. But if I got the chance to run a flat course at sea level, just maybe this high altitude training would result in a surprise finish time...

BUT before you jump on the band wagon and tell me to DO IT, you need to realize that there are pluses and minuses of this race. And the biggest minus is that it really doesn't align to my goals for next year. Allow me to think out loud.

What have I posted about recently? Wanting to do more trail running. That's a very real goal for me. This past year two local races got my attention. One is called Dirty Half Marathon and it was in the Sandia mountains. I've heard good things about it from the folks who ran it. Another is the Sandia Mountain Shadows Trail run. In essentially the same venue, with a 10K or 5K option. Both of these races are close to home, no travel cost, and relatively short drive from my house. Which means I can stretch my race budget to include more events. And they fit the bill nicely to align to my goal of trail running.

Another race that's on my radar is Run the Caldera Trail Run up in Jemez Springs at 8000+ ft above sea level. I'm interested in either the 10K or the HM. It would be challenging, but beautiful. And it's a little farther away, but certainly doable from home with an early wake-up call.

Then there's an event that I've wanted to do for the past 2 years but have always been out of town. It's the Shamrock Shuffle 10 mile race. Historically, this one has been on mixed terrain partly off road and partly on road. I've never done a 10mile race and this year, I actually think we'll be around for it. Another local race with minimal impact to my race budget.

I'd really like to be able to run Mount Diablo out in California with JoLynn next year. From her photos, it looks beautiful, running with JoLynn would totally rock, and it would give me a great excuse to go out and check in on my son at Cal. This one involves travel expenses, but with the opportunity to spend time with both JoLynn and my Son, it would be well worth it.

And while I wasn't very happy about the single wide bridge crossing early on in the Albuquerque Half marathon this past spring, I sure would like another try at that one next year.

And of course, running the half at Duke City instead of being on the sidelines would rock.

Which brings me back to pondering the Rock & Roll in Phoenix. Why is it that this one has appeal for me? Mainly the opportunity to run at low altitude. But it's a road race, not a trail race. It involves travel cost that I'm having a hard time justifying. I'd probably end up running solo (which I don't like) because Husband would likely need to stay home with Daughter. And I'd have to train for a HM during the winter and over the holidays when the weather is going to be cold and unpredictable.

It really isn't a good fit. Yet, for some reason, I'm thinking about it. Decisions, decisions...


  1. Decisions, decisions is right! Sounds like plenty of options for next year. I'm starting to play around with my calendar and see what will work best for me too!

  2. I understand what you mean about not fitting with the goals you've already set, but maybe it ended up being another weekend than the one you thought as a sign (I'm all about the signs, bear with me). Totally your decision, but that would be SUCH a great marathon to run!

  3. and the lack of oxygen affects my performance in a negative way.

    I was gonna say... until you race at sea level :-)

    Sometimes, you just to to say WTH? and go for it. but there's a lot to be said for careful planning. I lean more towards careful planning these days, although I will jump into shorter stuff at a whim!

  4. It's really hard to not jump into races that "everybody's doing."

    If you'd like to see what you can do at sea level on trails, we have a few pretty good ones, and they'd be cheaper in registration fess than RNR.
    (all of the runs in Buckeye are on a track) and of course you'd always be welcome to stay at my little abode!

  5. Sounds like you already have some fantastic races for next year. I did the R&R Phoenix half last January and I loved it! It's great course! I am going to do it again in '11 but I haven't decided if I'm doing the full or the half yet...keep us posted on your decision!

  6. Hm. I say skip it - do all the other stuff next year - and then do that Phoenix one. It'll be around then and you can do your trail running and see your buddy and son.

  7. I agree with B.o.B. -- just my opinion but I think you should stick with your current plan. RNRs are historically fun races, but they happen all over the country every year. You can do them after you spend some quality time on the trail -- stick to your original goals.

  8. it is HARD trying to decide which races to do. i don't really have any thougths to offer other than going with your heart. the trail running sounds fantastic by the way!

  9. I have lived in the Phoenix area for 17 years, though I never did that race, I know people who have and I have traveled up and down the race route from living there. It is dead flat, maybe some small inclines, nothing major at all. the Tempature will be 70-80 degrees,probably sunny with no humidity. Just to help you out with logicistics.

  10. Well, I did run the RnR Phoenix and I have to say that although it is toted as an experience to remember, it is, you start in a derelict area and then run through some seedier parts of town. It does get to be a little nicer with respect to scenery once you get closer to Scottsdale & Tempe. Of course this was just me observation and having travelled such a long distance to do it I was disappointed. This is just my opinion. Maybe if I'd had more time to "sightsee" without running I'd have a better outlook on this race.

  11. Run the Sandia ones so you can tell me all about them. ;o) It sounds like you have some great local options. I'd probably not travel for the other one.

  12. You have a lot to think about!

  13. That's a tough decision, but you have a lot of great races lined up so no matter what you decide you're bound to have a fun race calendar for next year.