November 9th, 2012

To marathon, or not to marathon?

On Monday, I said I’d sign up for the Houston marathon after I got a pain-free 18 mile run in. The plan was to run it this weekend, but after looking at our calendar, I opted to get it in yesterday morning instead.

I was not confident that I would actually go that far, but decided to see how my legs felt.  I started out at a 9:30 minute pace, going nice and easy to ensure that my shins would warm up to this idea.

I chose an out and back path, so the first half felt pretty long, but as soon as I hit 9 miles and turned around, my pace improved and my energy picked up.  Maybe it was a mental thing, knowing I was over half way done? There was a bit of wind at my back, so I also think I was fighting wind without knowing it in the first half.  My final 9 miles were an average of 8:35 pace, with the last mile at 8:00.

And my shins felt fine!! So… now what?

Pros/Cons:  I’m thrilled that my body handled it so well, but honestly, getting in the 18 miler reminded me how much time marathon training takes, and I started doubting if I really want to do this…  Ideally, I would get in at least two more 20 milers, and I don’t have a lot of time for much else. If I’m increasing miles, it means I’ll decrease intensity and speed work to prevent injury, so I would need to scale back my expectations.

However, I do love big races, and I’ve been wanting a re-match with the marathon for a year or so now.  I could register through the charity program and raise money for the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation (you may remember I did this last year, as my dad has MS and this was really meaningful.)

Or I could skip it, do several more half marathons for the winter and I would be content with that as well.

Summary: I think I’d like to do it, but I know I need to be cautious with the training and I tend to get very competitive with myself.  So if I go for it, I need your help to remind me that it doesn’t have to be a pr race (ha!).  There will be more marathons, and other seasons of life with more time for training.

Join us at Jill’s for more Fitness Friday posts!

Thoughts? Does the thought of marathon training ever equally excite and terrify you?

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