So here I am putting it on my blog to make it an absolute truth, after putting it on Facebook yesterday and thereby compounding it into an irrevocable absolute truth, that next year will be The Spring of the 10 Milers. I vow here and now to run only 10 mile races in spring 2012.
Here are the races I'm committing myself to run:
Cherry Blossom 10 Miler
I've run the Cherry Blossom twice and basically loved it both times, even though the crowds are a little too thick for the first couple of miles. I wasn't able to run it this year because I failed to "win" the registration lottery, and my participation in 2012 is contingent on my "winning" the registration lottery next year, but I'm going to do what I can to run it. The consolation is that if I'm denied entry again in '12 I'll be guaranteed entry in '13 due to my not "winning" the registration lottery two years in a row. I'm hopeful it doesn't come to that for me.
Broad St. Run
I ran the last year of the Philadelphia Distance Run before it became the Rock N Roll Phildelphia Whatever, and except for some unpleasant odors I liked it. I'm not sure, but I think that race took place on at least part of the Broad St. Run course. Or vice versa, I don't know. Still, it will have been 2 1/2 years next spring since I last ran in Philly. I think that's a long enough time to wait considering how relatively close that city is to mine.
Soldier Field 10 Mile
This is the race that inspired my desire to run 10 milers exclusively next spring. This year's version takes place this weekend, and I never heard of it before a couple weeks ago. I have no connection to Chicago, but for some reason watching myself on the Jumbotron while finishing on the 50 yard line in Soldier Field sounds like an absolute blast, even though I'm completely ambivalent when it comes to the Chicago Bears, the football team that plays there.
While Chicago is the inspiration for my spring it's also the diciest proposition because it requires an airplane ride and at least an overnight away. But if I can swing it I'm going to do it. It helps that I have a friend in Chicago and one here from Chicago who are as stoked to run this race next year as I am. (Right, Aubry and Mark?)
Baltimore 10 Miler
I've run the Baltimore 10 Miler its first three years of existence, I'm registered to run it this year, and there's no reason to expect I won't run it again next year, Spring of the 10 Milers or not. The first couple of times I ran this race I didn't like it. It's a tough run in the latter part of June in Baltimore when it's hot and humid and there's little shade to be had for miles long stretches of this race. However, last year I felt they finally got the race right -- it's also true that I was as prepared for the hills of the last couple of miles as I could have been -- and if they keep it like last year I'll keep wanting to run it rather than feel that I need to run it to prove whatever to myself.
These four races are spaced pretty much perfectly apart, going every 3-4 weeks from early April until Father's Day weekend. But that's not to say I wouldn't squeeze another one or two 10 milers in if they're at the right time and the right place. I'll keep my eyes open because my Spring of the 10 Milers is going to be the best thing that happened since the Summer of George.