Thursday, April 7, 2011

Destination: Marathon

Yesterday’s run with the Ladies Night group was one of the most challenging runs I’ve done in a long time. The short story is that I was completely owned by the mile that was almost entirely uphill. I felt great at the 8:30 pace I somehow managed to keep during the first mile, then gradually slowed to a 10:45 mile (yikes!) when I hit the massive hill through the National Zoo.

Clearly, it's time to show that hill who's boss. Soon.

Anyway, I’m still working out my training plan for the next couple of months and waiting on edge to find out if I made the cut for the New York City Marathon. I won't know for another month, and I feel oddly anxious about it. It's silly, I know.

To keep myself occupied, I'll just think about other races that I could do instead.

Stef – who introduced me to the Ladies Night group - sent a Reuters list of the Top 10 Marathons across the Globe, which immediately filled my head with wonderful thoughts of traveling to awesome locations to run marathons. Of course, this requires having some major cash. But, you can't stop me from dreaming (italicized text is from the article):

Athens Classic Marathon: November 13, 2011 runners will follow in the footsteps of Pheidippides as they track the route of the first Marathon. We capitalize the name because it was from this small coastal town that one man struggled the original 26 miles to Athens -- across arid, rocky ground. When he got there he proclaimed civilization was safe, that the Greek army had defeated the Persians. He then keeled over and died. The route is not for the faint-hearted.

BMW Berlin Marathon: Berlin is a biggie, attracting top talent from around the planet to this reunified German capital September 25. The run starts and finishes next to the Brandenberg Gate. The course is comparatively benign, and eminently historic -- passing by places such as the Reichstag and Berliner Dom. Like Chicago, the flat German topography spawns some spectacular times. Weather permitting 2011 should be no different. Given the one-time division of Germany Berlin's marathon takes on special significance.

Dublin Marathon: October 31 runners gather for a decidedly different foray, one billed as the friendliest in the world. The Dublin Marathon is largely flat. It starts at Fitzwilliam Street Upper, and finishes up in Merrion Square North -- both close to the center of the city. Along the way contestants are cheered on as perhaps nowhere else. Spectators feel their pain -- and are more than happy to help them kill it with a Guinness or two when the race is over.

Check out the full list!

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