After running the Country Music Marathon in 5:17 during the freak heat wave last April, I wasn't one of those people who said, "Never again." I said, "I want ANOTHER SHOT at this marathon thing so I can see what I can really do." I trained harder, longer, and smarter from July through December. I shaved over 2 minutes off my half-marathon time. Then two days before the race, I got bronchitis.
It appears to me I have two options--- just walk away from 5 months of training without running a marathon OR find a new one to run.
Can I really just walk away without closure? I ran 528 miles during 5 months of training. I ran 140 miles in October alone.
If I have to have CLOSURE, I have a few options. However, if I do re-enter the training phase after 3 weeks of taper and mentally "finishing" with the training, I wonder if I can regain my marathon mojo?
A. In two weeks, I could do the Jacksonville, FL marathon. It's the closest race that still has slots open. Five weeks is a little long for taper, so this week I would run a couple of 5-milers and on Friday, I would run a 12-14 miler. This would involve airfare, hotel, and car rental.
B. On February 14, the Mercedes Marathon is in Birmingham, AL, and is less than 4 hours away--definitely drivable. Unfortunately, I'd have 11 more weeks of marathon training. After 20 weeks. That's a 31-week training period. I'd have to do another 20-miler, plus at least a 16-miler and 18-miler sometime in December and January. Since my friends just completed their marathon and need a little recovery time, I may be running solo.
C. Take a little break over the holidays. Let my body and mind recover from marathon training because the TRAINING is really the hard part. Just run some half-marathons in the spring and plan for a fall marathon in 2010. Starting from scratch.
In the midst of all this, there is another factor: a little thing called BURNOUT. I'm on the precipice, but haven't fallen off. Yet.
SOME GOOD NEWS: (because I could use some!) I have a meeting on Tuesday with the YMCA to discuss my January half-marathon and 5K training groups! They want to add in a 3rd group---a kids' running group as well for a 1-mile fun run. Looks like I'll have a job as a running coach starting in late January/early February!