Thursday, November 19, 2009

To Marathon or not to Marathon?

In the back of my mind I always think about racing even though I have already sworn to "pace" someone or a group of people. In this case I am speaking of the Thunder Road Marathon. 3 weeks ago I officially registered as a pacer for the 3:00 marathon group and I was excited to knock out my qualifier for Boston so that I could make the trip with my friend Logan.
Just after the Marine Corps Marathon I found out via facebook from all of the status updates that Boston was officially full. This stirred up my brain a bit as to why I would even pace Thunder Road since I would not be able to register for Boston in the upcoming year. Racing in the Outer Banks, I was signed up for the "Pamlico jack Challenge" somehow and decided to go ahead and do both the 8k on saturday and the half on sunday. Both were very smooth and despite being sick for 3 days I managed to piece together good races. The most important factor was that I actually was not even sore after either race.

I decided to amp up my training a bit after the race and things are going really well at this point. Not sitting at a desk all day does have its advantages as I have been getting in some good runs as well as taking the time to do the little things to avoid injury and recover properly. Last week I was at 66 miles which was the most I have done in many months. When I did the Boston Marathon in 2007 I was topping out around 50 miles for my max week and managed about 40-45 in my 7 week build up. I ran 2:48 and change at Boston that year which included a 1:17:01 first half before I ate it pretty hard the last 2 miles. With a couple years of good base and no real injuries, I think I can sustain a decent pace for 26.2 miles and actually not Bonk.

After years of trial and error I completely understand nutrition as well as the required training for certain goals. I may not have loads of 20+ mile long runs or even 15 mile tempo runs at Marathon pace. This past weekend I had a nice 16 mile run on the 1st half of Thunder Road and 12 of it was a progressive run down to upper 5:40's pace. I was being smart on my last mile with backing off and jogging in to let my body recovery a bit. So the question is, should I actually try to "Race" my hometown marathon and accomplish a top 5 finish that would give me a lot of pride? I debuted with an 11th place finish at Thunder Road in 2005, I would like to improve upon that.

To Marathon or Not to Marathon???

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