I’m not sure where to begin when writing up a Loopfest RR and this one is no different. For me, this was truly the year of the ultra – just running, no time goals, no stress, no plan. . . just run. I signed up for TCM knowing that it probably wouldn’t be my fastest marathon, but I held out hope that maybe I could catch some of that Dave Schultz Magic. The race itself was not magical for me in the sense of a PR, but because I am a HUGE fan of Fall and all things that come along with it, I loved this race. Beautiful tree lined streets, the smell of fires burning coming from the houses, beautiful lake views, amazing spectators yelling their hearts out and spending the weekend with my Loop friends made the whole trip magical. The turn toward the finish is quite possibly the most beautiful thing I’ve seen – downhill, beautiful cathedral, fire trucks hoisting a giant American flag and the backdrop of the Capital Building among the beautiful Fall colors. I almost forgot I was running toward the Finish Line.
Yeah, there aren’t any splits to spout out and no mile by mile recounts. I high fived lots of kids and chatted with those around me. I enjoyed every step, even the not so enjoyable ones. The one thing I kept thinking was I wanted to go faster. So, out there as I ran perhaps the most beautiful 26.2 miles ever, I received the answer that I’ve been searching for since my 100K – What’s the plan for next year? I want to get faster. I want to put in the difficult training. I want to feel the searing pain of speedwork. It’s been a nice break from following a schedule, but I’m ready to try to BQ.
Once the middle of November hits, I will be back on plan and gunning for a sub 3:35 at Shamrock. Phew! I said it, it’s in black and white. I know it is going to tough. But, I am craving that focus. When things get tough, I will look fondly back on my 26.2 miles at TCM and keep pushing. Admidst the friends, beers, gun racks and second winds, I figured out where I’m headed. . . at least for the next five months or so.