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