Saturday, October 18, 2008

Weighing options

I think I'm feeling under the weather. Not sure, but these signs point it out. 1) i'm pretty
burnt out by the past six weeks -- working on elections has taken its toll on my sleep 2)
because i'm not getting full rest, I feel like my body's immune system is not recovery very well 3) Well, i'm achy, exhausted, and feeling the first bit of a cold.

Of course, like any runner, I combat colds with a run, so I did my prescribed last longish run of 12 miles (Garmin details). 12 miles in 1:39 is pretty darned good. I was trying to just give myself a nice cardio workout but I could tell that I didn't want to give any miles below the 8 minute mile. My right knee is a little achy and the hamstring problem, though not getting in the way of general aerobic running, could start to fire up in a race effort.

So, it's a week before Marine Corps Marathon and it's just about decision time. My underlying fitness, especially if I can quickly recover from this cold and it doesn't leave me with respiratory problems, is good. If my hamstring/knee heals up nicely in the last week of a major taper, I could see myself going for 3:15 or even run the first half in 3:10 pace.

But there's another part of me yearning just to keep it easy. It's the part of myself that says, 'Hey, you've run quite a few miles this year, no need to go for a personal best in a week in your state.' That part is also saying to myself that my goal this year was to go sub 3:20, which I've done twice. Making the first 3:10 attempt was a result of the confidence gleaned by the May marathon. I'm happy I did it and I am set for my next training cycle. And that part of myself is telling myself to enjoy a marathon at a slower pace. Enjoy the big city crowd, enjoy the sights, enjoy the finish with a massive smile.

So, I'm still unresolved but starting to eye splits for a 3:30 marathon. It's well within my grasp, in fact, my past three marathons has been 3:18 to 3:24. 3:30 would allow me to run it at a more comfortable pace -- but believe me, it's still not 'easy'. A 3:45 isn't a bad idea either in that respect.

Who knows, I want to see where this cold leaves me in a few days time. I'm ready to take it as it comes.


Sonia said...

Hope you won't get that cold, it'S that time of the year when days are getting short and everybody is also under the weather. Hope that passes soon. You are definitely close to that 3:30 marathon!

Arcane said...

well you do what you have to do. If you're not feeling right, then back off. i think 3:45 might be a tad too slow. It's not so much the pace, but being on your feet for that long. When you've been doing your 20 milers in a little over 3 hours, adding another 45 minutes of running is a bit of an unknown.

Marlene said...

I've been fighting something for a week... hope you feel better soon!

AddictedToEndorphins said...

play it by ear, and if need be, re-evaluate your goals on race day!

Theres something going around! Hope it passes and you feel better!

Marky Mark said...

You're in a good spot because you've already run a couple of races this year and you ran this course last year. In other words, it isn't your "race of races." I agree you should play it by ear. The idea of just enjoying it and not at all focusing on time might me interesting. Maybe you should run the first half at 3:45 pace and then see what you have left if you're felling strong. It could be a really positive experience both in terms of enjoying it and in terms of finishing really strong.