Sunday, February 23, 2014

No Easy Task

Some of you may recall that I registered for my second first marathon, to be held March 29th.

Unlike when I started training for my first first marathon, I've been pretty quiet about my running habits around here.  That's about to change.  (Fair warning, Sha.)  See, now I don't know whether or not I'm actually going to run the full marathon, and I need to make a good, long list of pros and cons.  Here they are, in the order they pop into my head:

Pro:  The marathon course is one I've run and volunteered on before.  I know it's pretty flat, and pretty.

Con:  Today, I ran my longest distance ever.  13.27 miles.  The race is 5 weeks away.  I haven't run enough miles.

Con:  My feet hurt.  My toes feel bruised, and one of my arches is bruised.

Con:  My calf muscles hurt almost the whole time I was running today.

Con:  A couple of weeks ago, my IT band issues arose again.  What if it starts hurting at mile 5 and just gets worse as I run?

Pro:  I know the folks in charge of the race.

Pro:  It's the only marathon I know of that is close enough to allow me to sleep in my own bed the night before.

Pro:  I'll have a lot of friends and family members there.

Con:  I planned to run 15 miles today.  I took a couple of wrong turns and realized around mile 11 that I was either going to come up short by 2, over by 1.5, or would have to run past my car to meet my goal.  I chose to cut it short.  What marathoner would do that???

Pro:  Most of my family members and running pals are confident that I can run 26.2 miles.

Con:  I am not.

Pro:  One of the worst things about today's mentally draining run (it was also physically draining, but mentally, much worse) was the dense fog that I was running through for the entire 2 hours, 24 minutes, 41 seconds.  (10:51 pace is pretty stinking far from my goal).  I was drenched from head to toe.  The hairs on my arms had tiny water droplets all over them.  I am not exaggerating when I say that I was dripping wet even before the temperature went up over 70⌠£╚.  (Gah!  I always forget how to make the degree symbol.  Anyway, you get it.  I'm not googling it again.  ²?  Ñ?  ◘?  ┼?)  My hair was hanging in these awful, stringy, clumps, and despite the blanket of wet, I was still red-faced, hot, and sweaty.  Discouraged, angry, sad, and sore.  Not a pretty sight, to say the least.  When I finished running, I went into our running group's clubhouse to use the bathroom.  I dropped my car key, struggled to get my shorts back up, had to wipe the seat afterward because of my sweaty backside.  The entire time, I was mentally berating myself for stopping after just 13 miles, while the wussy back of my head was all, "Thankyouthankyouthankyou for stopping!"  Anyway, as I was washing my hands and noticing in the mirror how thoroughly revolting I looked, I saw a sign hung on top of the mirror that read, "Smile!  You're a beautiful runner!"  I did.  Because I am.  I <3 WVR.  Then, I remembered about how pretty my hair looked after I had it colored and cut a few days ago, and that I don't always look like I just swam 13 miles in a hot tub while wearing running clothes.

My biggest problem with selfies is that I can't seem to look at the camera.  How is that possible?
Con:  Marathons are really hard.  I know this not from experience, but because I'm smart.

Pro:  I had a 5-day long migraine that made me want to crawl under my bed and cry.  That was really hard, but I got through it.  I even washed dishes and changed out of sweatpants after the 3rd day.

Con:  Running a marathon is a choice.  Being attacked by Satan himself with a hammer inside your forehead, scrambling all your thoughts, pushing you off balance, making you cry when your family members speak, and using a chisel behind your ears is not a choice.  I've found that when given the option, I choose easy rather than hard.  Case in point, today I ran 13 miles instead of 15.

Pro/Con:  If I skip the Tomoka Marathon, or switch to the half, then I'll wait until November to run a full.  Charming registered me for the Savannah Rock 'n' Roll as a Christmas gift, so I'm in for that one, but racing in November means training all summer.  Also, if I skip Tomoka, the not-enough-training I did do will have been for naught.  That's annoying, when I consider how much time I've spent away from my kids, how many times I've rearranged schedules to run, etc.  But, then, there's the fact that I didn't do enough training.  And then, there's the terrible thought that if I didn't do enough training for this marathon, then when will I step up and run enough to properly prepare myself for a race so long?  Which leads to the obvious question- how can anyone go to the starting line of their first full marathon and feel completely ready?  It doesn't seem possible.

Okay, that last point on the list was maybe not so concisely a pro or con, and maybe more like a glimpse into "Freaking Out" by Me.

I know that not every run is easy, or fun, or rewarding, or will make me want to run more and more.  But knowing that, and getting past it to run even more miles next week, are very different things.

Today's advice is to give me advice.  Should I run 26.2 miles in 34 days?

Check out the update to my previous post, if you haven't already.  


  1. I'm really annoyed by how my amazingly sage and helpful first comment got EATEN with NO CHANCE OF RECOVERY.

  2. So I'll try again. Grr.

    Plan 16 on your next long run. If that goes well, plan 18. After 18 ask your legs if they're okay with going another eight miles in a few more weeks. If yes, stay healthy and give it a try. If no, or if you have to shorten either of those two (runs, not legs), I'd recommend switching to the half.

    That way you're still free from serious injury, and won't lose any ground (so to speak) in training for your next first marathon.

    I'm working on my third first, remember? :)

  3. I think the above is sage...I'd say to shorten it to the half if you are having twinges of injuries & rock that distance (shoot for a PR?) and tackle the full this Fall...the "nice" thing about training in the summer is that actual race has better environmental factors, which means the training should be the tough(er) part. Good luck with whatever you decide!