I’m sick, tired, and waffling.

A few months ago, I confidently embarked on a training plan to break 4:00:00 at the Steamtown Marathon on October 8. Since then, that plan has fallen apart piece by piece and I’m not sure how to get myself back on track.

As I’ve mentioned before, I love the Steamtown Marathon. It’s easily my favorite and it’s always the first one I recommend when asked. So it was kind of a no brainer that I would try to head back there this fall. The only thing that kept me from signing up for the race was that I wanted to wait for my daughters’ meet schedules just to be sure there was nothing really important going on that day that I would not want to miss.

For once, it was a good thing that I was patient. My youngest daughter will have her first gymnastics meet of the year on that day. It’s a home meet which means that parents are pretty much required to dedicate their weekend to the event. And it will also be my daughter’s first meet as a Level 4 – a level in which she is not yet confident at her skills. So I need to be there to help with the meet and I need to be there to cheer my daughter on even if it’s not her finest performance.

Bottom line: Steamtown is out for me. And ever since I got that news, I have been fumbling around to figure out my plan B.

Here are the options that I’m tossing around:

  • Grand Rapids Marathon (10/14): A highly recommended course. PROS: New state for me. CONS: Travel/logistics/expense.
  • Ridgway Marathon: (11/5) A small flat, fast marathon that is about an hour away. PROS: I wouldn’t need a hotel and could probably register at the last minute. CONS: This race is so small that I will likely be on my own for most of the course. That’s a long time to run without a distraction.
  • Harrisburg Marathon: (11/12): Another flat and fast course that is just a few hours away. I would need a hotel but I could leave after my older daughter’s swim meet on Sat. PROS: Fun course with lots of support. CONS: Extra expense for a marathon that is not even on my “bucket list.”
  • No marathon: Just keep training through the fall and hope for a zinger of a race in the spring.

So which one would you pick? I pretty much fluctuate from day to day.

And on top of my race selection waffling, I’ve had a few – albeit minor – setbacks in training. A few weeks ago I stopped for a “pit stop” during a long run and wound up contracting an extraordinary case of poison ivy. I tried to just deal with it on my own but after a week in which the reaction continued to spread throughout my body, I decided enough was enough and hit my dr up for some drugs.

I missed a few days of training thanks to that and a few more days due to a cold (YES ANOTHER FREAKIN’ COLD!!) that of course settled immediately in my chest and left me with a hacking cough and zero energy.

So here I am. Coughing, sniffing, feeling like a lump, skipping runs, and completely unsure about what race to run next or if I should even bother running one at all.