You know when I said I might not run the Rome marathon in the spring?
Yeah. Well, I’ve changed my mind.
Yesterday I was chatting with the smartest person I know (my mother, natch) and she helped me to see the light. I explained I was afraid that I would obsess about marathon training which would in turn distract me from finishing my dissertation. This is a valid concern as this is exactly what is happening with a friend of mine. Either that or it’s his mid-life crisis. Hard to tell sometimes.
My mother’s response to this? “Then don’t obsess about it.”
Word, ma. Word.
She proceeded to point out that this was obviously something I really wanted to do and the only thing holding me back from doing it was me.
See, she’s a smart lady.
This is pretty encouraging talk from a person who REALLY wants me to finish up my degree and soon. And no, it’s not because she wants a grandchild.
Because my mother understands that if I wanted to play Russian roulette with an explosive colon on a daily basis, I’d just move in with my grandmother.
The plan now is to spend the next five weeks building up a base and then officially start marathon training on.....yup, my birthday. I like the symmetry of that—complete my first marathon on my birthday, start training for #2 on the same day a year later.
So I’ve been taking a look at potential training plans. I kinda like Hal Higdon’s Intermediate II plan, mostly because I like the idea of running half the distance of my long run the day before. My major weakness in running is not pushing myself enough. Since I don’t expect to be experiencing the same zen-like I-don’t-give-a-shit-what-my-time-is-hey-look-at-that-pretty-cloud attitude I had in my first marathon, I need to better prepare myself this time around. Enduring extra difficult slug-fest long runs during training should better prepare me mentally for the pain of race day. I like that. Well, at least in theory.
However I like to cross train so I’m worried about burning out with running too many miles each week. So I think I’m going to limit myself to running three or four days a week. What type of runs all those are going to be yet is still to be determined.
I guess things will become clearer once I figure out what my race goal should be. My ultimate marathon goal is 4:30. But that’s gonna take a hell of a lot of work over the next five months to accomplishment as well as needing a big whopping miracle. Me thinks I need to get realistic and lower my goal.
How does 4:50 sound? It would be a 26 minute PR and shave exactly a minute per mile off my time. It may sound like a cop-out not going for 4:30 but I’m all about keeping my expectations low with running. And men.
Speaking of men underperforming (mildly awkward segue but I’ll take it)....gentlemen, have you seen this affront to your collective marathoning machismo?
Yeah. Why does that not surprise me.
All right, folks, that’s it for me. Have a great week ahead. I’ll catch up with you when I can.