You know it – that feeling you get when you do something you swore you’d never, ever do. I did that on Monday. I hate the timing of it, too, because I assure you, it was no joke.
I signed up for a Full Marathon.
That’s right. 26.2 miles. (sigh). Here are my rationalizations that, in my mind, make perfect sense.
First: It is my first one. My first ever half marathon was the Raleigh Rocks in 2010 and it was modeled after the Rock and Roll races and it was a lot of fun – I loved it, in fact. So… why not do the whole shebang with the real deal, especially when it is the first year? I know, I know – I fussed and hemmed and hawed and made a really big deal about Rock and Roll Las Vegas from 2011 because quite frankly, that was a bad experience for me (it has been two years now, so hopefully, they’ve corrected most of those issues), but this is a different town and a different set of people running it who have shown some measure of success in some of the other events around town, so I’m hoping the same will prove to be the case here. I know these races are huge, but at least I’m not driving any farther for this one than I would be to go to work. Location. Location. Location.
Second: Price. Competitor event tend to get pricey… that is another big reason I’ve opted for non-competitor races this past year. But… because this is the first year of the race in Raleighwood, they gave us a $30 discount on Monday only. Thirty bucks is Thirty bucks is Thirty bucks.
Third: I had an incredibly awesome training run on Good Friday. The spiritual kind. The Running Gods were all smiling down on me that day. The weather was perfect. My pace was on target – if not a wee bit fast – most of the run. I didn’t hit the wall until mile 12.5 when I usually hit it at 10.5… in fact, I was thinking the whole time of how I was going to write a blog post about it and what I’d say… I may still do that… You may recall that all last year I worked on the goal to get 7 miles in an hour… and announced that this year, I’d work on getting 14 inside 2 hours. I did that on Friday… about 6 months earlier than I expected to do it. See what happens when you have a good run and get all cocky about it? Stupid endorphin…
Fourth (completely related to the third): Lately, I’ve been spouting off at the mouth about my pace… see, when I talk to my runner friends – a couple of them in particular – I start talking about my pace, and my time, and my distance and all the stuff I want to do. That’s a great thing, actually, because it keeps me motivated. I *may* have said to one of them that “if I can do a half marathon at 1:45, then I’d run a full that I could BQ”. Ohhhh….kaaayyy. So far, my half marathon PR time is 1:51:13 from Annapolis this past December and during that training run on Good Friday, at the 13.1 mile mark of that run, I was at 1:51:45. On a training run…. soooo close. So, yes, while it is true that I have not run a 1:45 half yet, and I have no idea if this race is even a BQ race yet (no course info has been released yet), my rationalization for this race was “but a lot of Competitor races are BQs” and “I have a year to train”. If it isn’t a BQ race… it isn’t. It is still worth the experience to see if I *could* BQ. If I come close, I’ll have a decision to make then.
Finally – and one of my favorite reasons – my friend in CA (from high school) that I ran the San Francisco Marathon First Half with last year (and with whom I’m running the second half this year) offered to come here and run it with me. As he put it “woo hoo – 26.2 and barbecue” haha. I can’t turn that down.
So… I did it. I bit the bullet. I filled out the forms. I signed the “you understand the risks” waiver. I clicked the button.
Shortly after I got the email, I had a little pang of panic and a “oooh… what the <insert appropriate expletive here> just do!!” moment. Up to now, the biggest reason for *not* doing it was time – I always said I didn’t think I had the time to dedicate to training the way I wanted to. Training for half marathons is one thing – I can do that on 25 miles a week and be OK. I need at least 40 to train for a full, and 50 would be better. That’s twice as much. And… for the speed I want to do, I’ll also have to lift weights more and I’ll have to swim more and I’ll have to stretch more. I open myself up to overuse injury more.
All that ran through my head… but I have received incredible support from my friends and family – and I’m very humbled by it. Everyone has rallied around me to congratulate me – some even gave me “it’s about time” and called me things like Iron Lady and Speedy. haha.
I know I can do it… it is starting to set in a little. I just want to get through the next half marathon – on April 13 – before I start thinking about training. I’m doing that one with a friend of mine who is pretty good about writing and using training plans and has qualified for Boston. I’ve already let him know I’ll be picking his brain.
And… no. There will NOT be a 50-states Full Goal. No way. No how. That, I can promise you. I want to finish the Half Marathon goal I already started… let’s get this done first and see what happens.