Sunday, October 6, 2013

To Marathon or Not to Marathon

I am often asked, because I run often, if a marathon is my ultimate goal.  Many folks assume that every runner (except Usain Bolt, ha ha!) wants to run a marathon. And with the disasters of New York (Hurricane Sandy) and Boston Marathons,  all sorts of people who cared not one whit about marathons had all sorts of opinions about marathoners and marathons.  The babble was overwhelming, and not very useful, and I did my best to tune it out.

By the end of this year, I will have run 13 half-marathons. I have had a lot of fun doing the various races I've finished.  I'm not a fast runner, so it takes me a little over two hours to finish 13.1 miles. I have asked myself if I should set a goal to run a full marathon. Should I run one to honor my late mother, who died of cancer at 52?  Should I run one to show I can?  Should I run one so I can excuse late-night eating splurges?

My sincere answer: I don't know.  Half-marathons are very easy to fit into my schedule--both the actual races and the training for them. I would have to up my mileage considerably to run a full marathon.  In prepping for the halfs I've run, I don't really follow a training plan, though I do know the general shape of one--speed runs, hill workouts, longer runs. I run for the fun of it, and I don't really know how to translate my sense of fun into the grueling event that is the marathon.  In many ways, my running philosophy mirrors that of the character Penny on "The Big Bang Theory":"I just run till I'm hungry, and then I stop for a bear claw." 

Except I don't like bear claws all that much, so let's substitute chocolate there.

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