Santa Barbara International Marathon (SBIM) November 12, 2011. This is my last shot to fulfill my 2011 goal to complete a marathon without having to stop and walk. After knocking 20 minutes off my last race time, as well as choosing a course that is less challenging than San Francisco and Boston, I think I have a really good chance of getting this done! I also have a secondary goal, which is to finish in 5 hours or less (a VERY tall order!).
Thats 3 races lined up for the fall, September-October-November. Heartbreak Ridge Half, Temecula Half, and SBMI. I have never had such an intense line-up! There is something about actually being registered for a race that YOU have to pay for that makes training easier. Call me cheap, but I don't want to see that entry fee go to waste!
I think the biggest difference between this training cycle and Boston's training cycle is stress. I am much less stressed in the summer (school is out) and I have less financial stress since I'll be packing up and moving home with the parents. Finishing grad school also is a huge burden removed. The past 2 weeks I have felt so much like my old self, nothing like the I have the past 9 months. I find myself smiling when driving, laughing out loud at TV shows, excited to see people and go places. You never really realize how crummy you felt until you start feeling better. I am really looking forward to my first long(ish) run of the training plan (8 miles) which had to me moved to tomorrow AM due to heat. I bet it is going to feel GREAT.