Monday, November 14, 2011

Marathon Musings for Monday

I would imaging that the thought of successfully completing a marathon is something that has danced thru the mind of almost every semi serious runner out there.
This is getting to be something that is on my mind lately, and that I have rather mixed feelings about. It is true that 10 months ago I had never run farther than 4 miles and that a 10K was still a questionable goal. Since then I have proven to myself that I can complete the Half Marathon distance in some degree of health and physical soundness. **ahem** Truth be told, I have proven to myself that I can, in fact, RUN the full 13.1 miles on no legitimate training what-so-ever and emerge unscathed. (slow, but unscathed none the less.)

Could I have continued another 13.1? HELLS to the NO. No, NO, NO.

Do I think that I would have to become 100% more committed to my training plan than I was last winter when I managed my best Half time? YES, YES, YES!

AND... Do I honestly think that I can fit that into my schedule? (I work 50-70 hour weeks. No lie) Well, no I do not. I simply can NOT imagine finding the time to fit 40+ miles into my week- I don't know how you working gals do it. Please send me some of the kool-aid that you are drinking at your earliest possible convenience!

Here is how I see it. I could probably kinda train and finish, kinda slow. Or very slow. Is that what I want? I am not sure that I can say at this time. I have been finding myself thinking seriously of trying the full distance, if for no other reason that to say I did it. BUT! (and this is a but but for me...) I honestly have a hard time doing things half way, and imagining myself finishing 26.2 miles in 6+ hours reminds me of riding a Grand Prix test (just to check it off your bucket list) and getting a 55%. Not so hot.

A good comparison, there. Grand Prix is the highest level in Dressage and it takes a hell ton of training and years to get there. (and most horses will never make it to that point, period, good rider up on them or not.) Case in point, I am lucky to have trained over the past 13 (count 'em) years a horse of my own, from being a badass baby to FEI dressage. He is thisclose to being able to complete the Grand Prix test but in all probability we would not score as well as I would like to. This is because he is not an athletic dynamo, but is a very good boy who I love and respect for being the interesting critter that he is. He might NEVER be the kind of Grand Prix horse who can throw down huge scores, and that is just fine. A good friend of mine has said to me "Hey, you are THISCLOSE. Just DO it because life with horses is SO uncertain that he could come up lame tomorrow and it could be YEARS until you are THISCLOSE again!!" And I say "True. BUT to get a score that will reflect well upon me professionally I will have to push this horse past his physical limits, making him sore, maybe lame and definitely not happy. He is VERY good at what he does now so here we shall stay for the time being." The string that ties marathon running to FEI dressage is that in order to be really good at it you (or your horse) need to be a crazy freak of an athlete, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound and prone to eating small children for breakfast. Or similar...

In my running there is no partner involved and the only one I can inflict severe mental and physical strife upon is my own silly self. And hey, that means that if I wish to run 342.98 marathon miles then a: I can only hurt myself and b:there certainly isn't any shame to be found in finishing slow.

This has been on my mind as of late mostly because if I choose to go for it it will HAVE to be in the Spring. As we have all discovered over the years I have no time to train for a 1K from May to September so anything longer than the length of my driveway is OUT.

I'd love to hear some opinions, training suggestions, scoldings, recipes for whatever all you super-women out there eat to make you so damn fast, and maybe a non-paid assistant to free up some of my time. Thanks and Thanks!


  1. Well, I am not a fast runner--that has been established over and over again. But--I have accomplished a marathon, and I can tell you the training takes a lot of your time. Like all of the time that isn't spent working, eating, or sleeping. So if you do it, be prepared to ignore everything else in life. And then on marathon day--well, anything can happen, even with all the hard training you did. If you want to do it, go for it! The sense of accomplishment afterwards is priceless. And it makes you feel like a bad mother**cker.

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