At the beginning of July, I had to make a decision. I was injured, and I knew I needed at least six weeks to fully heal. I had about 20 races scheduled, including some expensive international trips. Finally, I had some big long-term longs. Rather than cancel several trips and abandon my goals, I decided to keep racing almost every weekend until mid-December.
It’s been difficult. I’ve done what I can to protect my right leg, but then my left leg started to bother me. I’ve continued racing, but I’m not doing the day-to-day training. As a result, I’m getting really out of shape. I’ve also had other difficulties, which are at least partially attributable to no longer getting the daily exercise I used to get.
Now, I’m getting the payoff. I had four long-term goals that I could reach by the end of the year. I reached the first one last weekend. I’ll reach another next weekend. For the other two, I have to wait three more weeks.
At the start of the year, one of my goals was to run 52 marathons or ultras this year. In Marathon Maniacs, that’s one of the criteria for Titanium, which is the highest level. Once you earn it, you attain that level for life, but I’ve met the Titanium criteria three years in a row, and I wanted to do it one more time.
In 2012, I reached Titanium by running marathons in 30 different states or countries. In 2013, I did it my running 53 marathons. In 2014, I did it both ways. I ran 53 marathons, and they were spread over 31 different states or countries. I expected to do it this year by running at least 52 marathons. Instead, I did it by running in at least 30 different states or countries. I didn’t plan it. It just worked out that way.
For this criterion, US states, Canadian provinces and other countries all count equally. The District of Columbia is treated like a state. So far this year, I’ve run 44 marathons or ultras, and they’ve been in 22 different states, DC, and seven other countries. Here are the places where I’ve run this year:
Mississippi (Mississippi Blues Marathon)
Alabama (First Light Marathon)
The Bahamas (Marathon Bahamas)
Louisiana (Rock N Roll New Orleans Marathon)
California (Surf City Marathon)
Texas (Rocky Raccoon 50)
Georgia (five races)
Tennessee (Shelby Forest Loop Marathon)
Arkansas (Little Rock Marathon)
District of Columbia (Rock N Roll DC Marathon)
Kansas (Wicked Marathon)
Austria (Vienna City Marathon)
Massachusetts (Boston Marathon)
Maryland (Independence Series)
Delaware (Independence Series)
Pennsylvania (Independence Series)
New Jersey (Independence Series)
New York (Independence Series)
South Africa (Comrades Marathon)
Oregon (five races)
Minnesota (three races)
Colorado (Rockies Marathon)
Switzerland (Swissalpine K78)
Alaska (Moose’s Tooth Marathon)
Wisconsin (two races)
Missouri (Flatlanders 6 Hour)
United Kingdom (Loch Ness Marathon)
Portugal (Rock N Roll Lisbon Marathon)
New Mexico (Day of the Dead Series)
Turkey (Istanbul Marathon)
By the end of the year, I’ll also do marathons in Washington and Hawaii, making a total of 32 states or countries.
Having now met at least one of the Titanium criteria for a fourth consecutive year, I don’t feel the need to run 52 marathons this year. Instead, I’ll settle for 51, which will help me reach a different goal.