I've been trying to decide what my goals are for NODM. I ran the race last year and almost immediately knew that I wanted to run it again.
Here's a picture of me from last year's race somewhere around mile 20. Don't I look like I'm having fun?
NODM was the race that made me excited about marathons again. I had completed five marathons up to that point: Portland 2001, 2002, 2003, RnR AZ 2004, and NYC 2004. And then I had a big, fat DNF at RnR AZ 2005. It was supposed to be my last marathon, my grand finale. So much for that, but what to do next? I couldn't end my marathon "career" with a DNF. (I'll have to tell you more about the DNF someday. In retrospect I'm glad it happened the way it did.) So back home I poured over MarathonGuide, looking for the perfect way to redeem myself. I wanted to give myself enough time to feel mentally refreshed and then do a full training program. But I didn't want to wait for a fall marathon. And I felt like I needed a change of pace from the big, urban marathons I had raced before.
NODM seemed perfect. A small-town marathon, relatively close to home, which in its few short years had developed a reputation for being very well organized. So I did it, had an overall good race, got a PR (yay!) and felt like I had redeemed myself after my previous DNF. But I still didn't feel like I had given it my all and run my best race.
So way back last fall I registered again for NODM. The plan was to ramp up my mileage, train a bit harder and go for a PR again. Well somewhere along the way (March?, April?) I started looking beyond the marathon to what I could do next. As of today, I'm registered for two 50K's and I can't get 50 miles off my mind.
So what are my goals for NODM? Should I go all out and strive for the best race possible? Should I think of it as just a training run for my future races? Are these two goals compatible? This is what has been on my mind lately. I guess I have nine days to figure it out. I'll keep you posted.