Thursday, August 26, 2010

Next Stop: Long Beach (and Math Class)

By Ross Forman

I went for a 16-mile training run this past Saturday morning; however, by the time I finished running and got back to my car, my high-tech Garmin watch with GPS informed that I had run 18 miles.

So much for my math skills.

I started running north from about Irving Park Road along Chicago’s lakefront, ultimately turning around and heading south while on the Loyola University campus. I then proceeded past Michigan Avenue.

I don’t know how, but I somehow miscalculated where, while running south-bound, I should turn around. Oh well, the added miles were fine, no major issue. The two extra miles gave me more time to brainstorm my plans for the upcoming week, one of my favorite running traditions. I also got the chance to see a lot of friends on the lakefront, including Rob, Otis, Katie, David, Richard, Dan and others.

I feel good heading into my next marathon – the 2010 Long Beach International City Bank Marathon on Sunday, Oct. 17.

Yep, after much debate and consideration, Long Beach won out for my next 26.2-mile journey over marathons in Albuquerque and Toronto, also scheduled for the third Sunday in October. Here’s hoping this Southern California marathon truly offers incredible views of the city’s coastline and historical landmarks, as the event’s website boasts. Not to mention spectacular oceanfront vistas, charming seaside communities, and the metropolitan start and finish, with 80 percent of the course on or within sight of the ocean.

Most important, when I hit Shoreline Drive for the slight downhill finish directly across from the Marina Green Beach Party Finish Line Festival, I want to know it will be my best marathon time. This will be my ninth marathon in just under three years, and I really want it to be a Personal Record (PR).

That’s the goal for Long Beach.

Long Beach will be followed by the Honolulu Marathon on Sunday, Dec. 12, and that will be Marathon No. 10. And I still can’t believe I’m saying that. Honolulu, as its been the past two years, will be an up-and-down journey with Dell while dealing with the drama that is Diamondhead. I’m glad friends from Chicago and Los Angeles also will be running in Honolulu, so post-event certainly will be entertaining.

Yes, the running is still enjoyable. The challenge is always there. But how much longer will I run marathons? That’s the $26.2 million question.

Part of me says it’s time to hang up the Brooks shoes after the 2010 Honolulu Marathon because I’ll be at a perfect 10 marathons completed. And if the folks at the Team 2 End AIDS endurance training program are looking for a coach, assistant coach or motivational speaker for 2011, well, I think they know my cell phone number.

But then there’s the devil in me that’s considering two final challenges.

The first is in January, 2011. It’s the Goofy Challenge in Orlando, Fla., where you run a Half Marathon (13.1 miles) on Saturday, then a Full Marathon (26.2) the next day. For some insane reason, this event has crossed my mind, and just as shocking, it’s still being considered.

If I do the Goofy Challenge, that would be 11 marathons, and I couldn’t call it quits at that point; 11 is an odd number. So I’m considering the Paris Marathon next April. That, of course, is Paris, France – not Paris, Illinois. I think Paris would be a great way, in a great city and with a great number (12) to end my marathon running career.

At least until I talk with Brett Favre; who knows what he’ll tell me to do next fall. In the meantime, enjoy my current favorite song. (See below.)

Happy trails,


1 comment:

Richard said...

Good luck in Long Beach, Ross from your friends at yurbuds! We are at Louisville Ironman this weekend with our new Yurbuds Ironman Series Earphones. Great fun! My next marathon is Denver on Oct. 17 (inaugural Rock n Roll) and Seth is doing Cozumel full Ironman in November with full start-up of the company! Have a great run and Happy Listening! Rich