What to do, what to do?!

I am so excited for today. Today marks my first camping trip of the year, and, even though it’s technically still spring, a sure sign of summer! Camping is fun in and of itself, but it gets me really giddy to think of camping because to me, camping = trail running!

Buuuuuuut, I end up faced with the inevitable question: What to do, what to do?!

To know how I should prepare for a run on the trip, I checked the weather forecast:

Rain, rain, go away?

Rain, rain, go away?

Great running weather! Or, is it? While the thought of running in the rain generally sounds pretty amazing, I’m not sure a wet, muddy trail would be as welcoming for either me or the rest of the herd. I seriously doubt they’d want to hang out with a lil’ gal reminiscent of a wet dog. I’m one of several peeps who will be bonding with nature without running water but with, of course, LOTS of beer.

Disclaimer digression: I’ve been pretty darn dedicated to my diet cleanse, but among this weekend’s camping peeps are a few of my newest NC beer guzzlin’ buddies. Sooooooo don’t judge me if I am coerced to have one. . .hmm, or two. . .over the next 36 hours. Or, do go ahead and judge, just don’t tell me that you did. And now, back to your regularly scheduled program. . .

I know a group hike is scheduled in there somewhere but don’t know what the plan is for the weekend as a whole. As much as I want – and need (I’m in week #1 of marathon training, remember? No slackers past this point!) - to run, I don’t want – or need – to be “that girl.” You know, that girl who left everybody and went running. That girl who had her own agenda. “Ugh, rude!” Yup. Her.

In lieu of party prep to see a good work pal off to the next stage of her career, I skipped my four-mile run today thinking I would tack it onto my one remaining seven-mile run for the week. So I have no wiggle room left.

Do I try to squeeze in a long run, even if it makes me look antisocial at best and maybe a bit whacked otherwise? I’m not sure when we’ll be back on Sunday. Should I chance it by taking Saturday off with the plan to run on Sunday after we get back? Or, should I count the hike as a few miles, then shorten my long run to be sure I can get it in?

Decisions, decisions!

No matter what potential answers apply to these questions, I want to be sure of two things. First, we will all have FUN! Second, I will find a way to fit in my run. It’s only training week one, but it’s just as official as the final week of training: The gun for my first ever marathon starting line awaits!

I hope you are as fortunate as I to include camping in your weekend plans. More than that, I hope your weekend plans include a great run. Either/or, both, or neither, have a great one! I know I will.

Melissa Mincic, Ph.D., studies child development at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a long-time road and trail runner. Follow Melissa on Twitter at @nerdinrunshoes.

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