On December 1st I run my first marathon: the Seattle Marathon. Last Monday, eight days ago, I ran 21.2 miles. My goal was to run 27 miles but I overslept, and then ran out of time. I was really, really, really slow. Something happens to me during training. When race day happens, at least for half marathons, I have run much faster because of the adrenaline. But in training I have been unable to push myself to run fast. It’s like my warp core only comes online if there is a Klingon Bird of Prey in the area… or if I am actually running in a race. The difference between my training times and half marathon times has been dramatic… almost 30 minutes.
What is the difference? I don’t know. It is not a crisis… but it is a little frustrating to not be able to run faster in training. Theoretically if I run faster in training then I will run even faster in the actual marathon. My goal for the full marathon is to run the entire thing without stopping to walk. I can do that (unless I get hurt). However, can I truly count on shaving an hour off my training run for the actual marathon? I want to run the full marathon in under 4-hours. Even 3:59:59 counts! But… my best half marathon time is 1:54:45 at the Eugene Marathon. Doubling 1:54:45 makes sense mathematically. But doubling 1:54:45 does not make sense when you consider that was me pushing my body to its limits in a half marathon.
As I am in the final weeks of training, I am now faced with a dilemma. Do I say screw-it and just go for the time of 4 hours? This could result in my body having a complete break-down around the 16-mile mark… warp core implosion, thruster burnout, all shields failing… netting me a time of 6 or more hours as I drag myself across the finish line. Or… will my body hold up… and I finish in a time of 3 hours, 45 minutes? I have read stories about people who qualified for the Boston Marathon by accident because they signed up to do a half and ran the full marathon when they missed a turn. That is a mental “luxury” I do not have. I will not mistakenly run as hard as I can for a half marathon distance and accidentally run the full marathon.
Life is short. There are plenty of marathons in the world… and plenty of opportunities to run more. But this is my first. Having trained for over a year I suddenly find myself in a strange position. My primary goal is to finish without stopping to walk. My secondary goal is to finish in under 4-hours. If I go for my secondary goal… I could have a warp core disaster resulting in missing my primary and secondary goals. What are your thoughts?
As many of you know, I have been raising money for Womenspace through my marathons. Thank you for everyone who has supported me thus far. And there is still time to give a few dollars to help by visiting my fundraising page.
Thank you and have a great day!
Next stop… December 1st, 2013… the Seattle Marathon.