The marathon is held on Jan. 19 -- which means training over Christmas. I think I could handle that if we stayed in town for the holidays, but we don't. Actually, that marathon date is particularly inconvenient because we go home to see my parents in the great white north for about a week for Christmas. And after about a solid decade of running now, I have only motivated myself maybe twice EVER to run outside there over Christmas, and maybe about 10 times EVER at the gym up there on a treadmill. They usually have several feet of snow and it's insanely cold. I have a series of pictures of the car thermometer when we drive to church on Christmas Eve and one year I remember it saying -25. As in -25 not counting wind chill. Dear God, that's why I moved to Texas!
The thought of running in sub-zero temperatures, or pounding out 20 miles on a treadmill ... eh, I really can't see either happening in all honesty.
And to make matters worse, this year, there is a chance we will spend the week of Christmas with my folks up north, and then fly directly to visit hubby's parents in Pittsburgh for another week or so leading up to New Year's. We did that one other year and I didn't enjoy it at all -- it was hard to pack up all our gifts and everything and then not fly home. But since it's really important to me that we spend Christmas with my family, I've told hubby I am willing to be with his family all 362 or so other days of the year (actually, Christmas Eve and the day after are also really important to me). So if he wants to go straight to Pittsburgh, there's no way I'm going to fight it.
But I really can't imagine what would happen to my training if I took about 2 weeks off less than a month before the marathon. It's slightly easier for me to run when we go see his family. It's usually not as cold there in the winter, and there's never as much snow (and they live in a more suburban area anyway, so streets are plowed and there are sidewalks). And I also don't mind the gym/treadmill setup there. Maybe it's because I love my folks more than I do his? It's painful for me to spend 2 hours running at the gym when I could be home with my mama, but somehow it's easier when I'm with the in-laws (and don't get me wrong, I really love them too). Aye, maybe I shouldn't admit that, but I suppose it's normal.
Anyway... so registering for Houston is going to mean 6 very difficult weeks of training between the Dallas Marathon (aka White Rock) on Dec. 8 and Houston on Jan. 19. I'm not planning to run the full at White Rock, but many friends will, and then I won't have many people to run with when that's over. It will be hard to avoid having motivation and mileage take a serious hit beginning on Dec. 9.
Oh well, it will be a challenge, but it will be nice to cross Houston off my list!
And I get to stay at my favorite hotel in Houston, which was where I practically lived for much of the first year after I met my husband and before we started dating (I was semi-permanently there for never-ending depositions for work). And it should be a great race. So it was a good decision, even if it means my fall running plan would be considered totally crazy by many...