If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that I am preparing to move from Maryland, where I’ve lived my whole life except from birth to age 5 when I lived in Northern Virginia (it’s basically the same thing as the Maryland suburbs of DC) and one semester of college in North Carolina, to Texas. Before the first week of January this year, I’d never even been to Texas. So it’s kind of an upheaval of my life. One I am really, really excited about, but also one that brings big changes. It’s also caused some stress as the transfer process (I’m still with the same organization, we have a pretty major national reach) felt like it was chugging along (I first applied last November) and now all of the sudden I am a week and a half away from hitting the road.

Put that emotion on top of carefully building back up from injury, the trip to New Orleans last weekend, finding an apartment from 1800 miles away, tying up loose ends in Maryland like teaching new staff at work how to do some of the stuff I’ve been handling, trying to get things prepared so I don’t leave my supervisors totally high and dry until they find my replacement, and then BOOM, late this week I came down with strep throat and have slept like 57 of the last 72 hours.

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With the next two weeks being completely dedicated to moving halfway across the country, and after that getting settled in my new position and in my new apartment and new town, the thought of trying to build mileage and strength back up is just injury waiting to happen. Especially after this week where I didn’t even get so much as a sit-up in between catching up at work and getting sick, I don’t want to be stressing out about whether I will be ready for a full marathon in April.

I was registered to run the Country Music Marathon in Nashville in late April, but between moving and a couple of weekend events in March and April that will have me working, I just don’t think I will have the time to get in those clutch long runs without injuring myself. So I made the decision today to drop down to the half marathon distance at CMM.

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I am so relieved.

I am so relieved that my first time visiting Nashville won’t have all the nerves of a full marathon attached to it. I am so relieved I don’t have to spend this spring worrying about changing my training for Marine Corps so I don’t get injured. Can I train for a full marathon and not be nervous and not injure myself? Absolutely. But after the nervewracking and injury-riddled experience that was my first marathon, my second is definitely going to make me nervous and I just am going to set that aside for the future so I’m not trying to juggle that with “new job nerves” as well.

So this Spring is all about getting back in shape. My long runs made me so hungry and tired last summer and fall that I basically did nothing else with my weekends except eat crap food and sleep. I gained a bunch of weight this fall and lost a lot of speed.

That’s not going to be the case as I move to a whole new part of the country. I’ll be focusing on speedwork and hill repeats (I’m moving to East Texas, it’s not ALL flat) and my long runs don’t have to be longer than 14 miles – less, if I’m just not feeling it. I’ll still have energy left in my day to explore my new state.

I love the half-marathon distance. I love the 10 mile distance. I love the 10K distance. I can do all of those whenever and whatever weekends I want if I’m sticking to training for the half marathon distance rather than the full.

I want this spring to be fun, not tripping over injuries.

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Racing in East Texas

DC is a major runner’s town, and there has been no shortage of fun run groups to try out and join and meet and talk to other people around my age.

East Texas is looking a little different.

I’m going to have to get used to driving 2 hours if I want to do something running-related in Dallas. I’ve heard there is one social running group in my new hometown, and maybe I can even try to give it a boost and get other people to join.

However, that doesn’t mean there is no running and racing scene. I’ve found there are quite a few cool races. At least a good amount of 5K’s in ETX, and I’m not above driving 4 hours to Austin for a good 10-miler. (My favorite race distance in a cool city with 20 bands playing? Get out of my HEAD.)

One of the things I’m looking forward to is my first 15K, right in my new hometown of Tyler. I’m running Rock ‘n’ Roll Dallas Half Marathon, and as a great tune-up run, right in Tyler is the Fresh 15K. It looks like a really well-organized race with some great swag, and it’s the perfect timing for a 9-10 miler before RnRDAL.

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Another cool thing about Texas is the Texas10 Series. While I may not go for the whole series this year, since I’m already missing the kickoff in College Station, most of the cities in the series are in the Dallas or Houston areas, the two major cities I’ll be situated between. (Again, it’s Texas, so it’s not like catching the metro into DC, but it’s an extra reason for a day trip to explore a new town, and if you know anything about me, you know combining running & travel is pretty much my favorite thing besides animals.)

So when will my second marathon be?

I don’t know. Something tells me I don’t want to be doing any 20-milers in Texas before, like, November, so I don’t think it will be before then. I think, because a lot of the larger marathons in the Louisiana/Texas regions happen in December and January, that I might be looking at either the Dallas Marathon or the Louisiana Marathon. Hell, maybe I’ll even do the WDW Marathon for my #2, just to make sure it’s a fun experience.

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Who knows?! All I know is I want to make the transition into spring running – and specifically, spring in Texas running – as fun and enjoyable as possible. Which means no spring 2015 full marathon for me, but instead, a whole lot of exploring and running my favorite distances.

Wish me happy Texas-ing!

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