Friday, March 24, 2006

To Run or Not to Run?

The real question is...train for a marathon or not?

I certainly think I can accomplish my goal of running a marathon in less than 4:30 and I think I can do it this year, assuming I can get into a marathon this Fall. MCM and New York might be longshots in the lottery, but I bet I could get into Richmond or some other smaller event. In any case, it isn't a question of whether I can physically pull it off or whether I could find a marathon to run in. The problem is whether or not I can find the time to do the training. It is hard enough to make the time to run 10 miles on a Saturday morning, what happens when I need to run 15 or 20 or try a few practice runs doing the full 26.2? How many Saturdays am I willing to give up to do this? Is it even remotely fair to ask my wife and son to accept that I will spend so much of my time running? What won't get done because I am out on the running path and won't be back until dinner time? Can I juggle work, family, and marathon training?

I am reluctant to say that I can. I think it would be very, very tough to do this and be successful. Again, I can run the marathon, but would my family grow to hate my running? How supportive can I really ask them to be? How much can I really expect them to be willing to deal with? I won't even begin to think about the potential for running more than one marathon.

Let's say a marathon is out, at least for now. What distance should I focus on then? I could stick to 10 milers or go back to 10Ks (not that I'm some 10K expert) and work on getting faster at those distances. I can still fit in 20-25 miles a week or more, but maybe just even out the training a bit so that I am distributing the miles in a more even fashion. Right now, I run three times a week. First two runs are 5-6 miles and the weekend run is 10+. Maybe I should get back to running four times a week and stick to 5-6 miles each time. That would put me in great position for 10Ks and I could do an 8 mile run on the weekends as my endurance run. If I feel good, then I can always stretch that out to 10 or 12 or something like that.

I need to strike a balance, I think, but I also need a goal to shoot for or I find it difficult to be motivated. I have this 10 Miler coming up and I've been able to run 20+ miles a week for the past few weeks, so I am pretty happy with where I am at. But, what is next? Again, I've got the half marathon coming up and then...nothing. Maybe I should find a middle distance race in the early summer and shoot for getting a PR on my race pace. Fastest race pace I've had was in my first 5K, where I cranked an 8:10/mi. Not that fast, really. Maybe I should try a few 5Ks and see if I can't get that down to 7:30/mi or faster.

All that being said, I would still love to do a marathon some day.

1 comment:

Jon said...


Aren't you well on your way to being able to run a marathon? Why do you seem so hesitant? I know a guy who never ran a marathon before and a 2 weeks before the marathon he ran 18 miles and felt like crap. The next week he ran 18 miles but put bottles of gatorade out along the route before hand. He felt great and the next week he did the Philly marathon. I think you should do one. You're one of two people I know who I would think would have no problem doing a marathon this year. And, although I'm not the other person, I still applied for the NYC marathon. You can do it man. And it doesn't have to cut into your family time.