Marathoning is all about self restraint. I suck at that. Really and truly I do. So why would I start a 3 month program in something I suck at ? Precisely because I suck at it. I tend to do things compulsively and excessively and I want to work on that aspect of my personality. One of the biggest motivators for me to lose weight and take up running seriously was for the mental excercise of it all. Once I got that to where I wanted it to be, I needed another distraction in my life and another personality flaw to work on. I liked running so the marathon seemed like a natural vehicle. When I run I love to just let loose and run...really run. The kind where you get up on the balls of your feet and run for all you're worth. God that feels good. It feels even better for me because I'm so much faster than I used to be. I'm still not all that fast, but everything is relative. Compared to the way I used to run, am now fast. In marathon training though, you can't run like that or you'll kill yourself. I should be running at nine and a half minute miles to train for this and that just kills me, but it's good for me. I'll admit that I didn't accept that as readily as I should have. I started doing my long runs way too fast, and ended up with really sore legs and missing a few days of training ( like everyone said I would ) Somethings I just have to learn my self. Another attribute I have is stuborness. I don't know that I'll ever get around to addressing that one. So when I train I have to run slow. When I want to get better I have to take days off to rest. That goes against my nature. I do things compulsively and would run every day until I was injurred, but I'm trying to learn self restraint. So far it's working in the training portion, but when it comes to the race, I'm stumped. Rationally I know that I should aim to "complete not compete" I should pick a nice slow pace that I'm very confident I can maintain and finish the race and be prouder than heck that I did something so monumental. I'm not that well yet. I want to get the best possible time. If I go for that though, I run a very serious risk of a crash and burn in the race, walking the last 8 miles, and getting an awful time that would provide little to no satisfaction for me. So....in the interest of learning more self restraint I'm planning to run a conservative time that may not be my best, but will still be a little agressive. To make this strategy a little easier to comply with, I am already planning race #2. Three and a half months after the Miami Marathon, there's a marathon about 90 minutes from home ( in Providence RI ) that seems like a good one. I'm going to plan on doing that one as fast as I can. That way I can sandbag the Miami race a bit and increase my chance of finishing respectably if not remarkably, because I know I'll have another chance to really go for it coming up. This could be either a brilliant coping strategy or an exercise in self deception. ( or possibly both ? ) I won't really know the answer to that until I finish Miami. If I manage to run that conservatively at a steady pace, I will know it worked. Then I'll go run Providence at a balls to the wall speed and try to balance the crash and burn with a potential PR. I'll keep you posted.
You want to know how to get through the holidays with your sanity intact ??
...just don't stop running. ( you had to know that was coming ! )