Over the years, I have become oddly fascinated with course layouts. I don't study the layouts before a race like some serious runners do, but I find myself thinking about them often while i'm running a race.
I make a left turn to encounter a hill and wonder why on earth they'd put a turn there. Or maybe I look to my left at a beautiful downhill and wonder why we're not taking that road. Worst of all, I loath the race director who forces runners to do laps.
Running a course of any distance multiple times is defeating. You are robbed the thrill of seeing the finish line and instead you are gifted with the helpless feeling of retracing your steps.
I despise the idea of retracing my steps. I prefer to blaze new trails, run new races and to cover new ground.
I will be retracing my steps in my next two races as I take on the Long Beach and LA Marathons in October and next March, respectively.
There will be one major difference. In each race I'll help a "newbie" train for their first marathon finish. I've had the pleasure of helping others train before and I can honestly say the only feeling better than finishing a marathon is helping somebody else finish.
My brother-in-law, Matt, will take on Long Beach this October. I'm excited to run with Matt, but also a little nervous that he will crush me and leave me in his wake. The guy is super athletic, so it is a definite possibility. Maybe he'll invite me to go along with him after he qualifies for Boston?
In March I'll be running alongside my boss, Doug, who is a die-hard Dodger fan. Of course he would pick to run the race that starts at Chavez Ravine. Homer. Anyways, this is a phenomenal race and - assuming there is no repeat of the 2010 hurricane I encountered running with Bill - it should be an amazing time.
I'm anxious to get back into training and excited to share the stories of training with these great guys.