Friday, January 15, 2010

Why a Half Marathon Once Again?

Last April’s event for Team in Training, in Nashville, was the Country Music Half Marathon. Despite having done three marathons, I’ve not done one now in almost exactly two years – two years and two days ago to be precise – in Arizona. And I set a personal record in that one, one that is just waiting for me to better. And also, I recently figured out if I can start up doing marathons again I will ultimately set a world record. Yep, you read that right – eventually I am going to own the world record! I will tell you how in a near-future blog post. So, then, why would I pick a half marathon once again instead of a full marathon?

It really is a tough choice, and it came down to time, and to priorities. Training for a marathon takes a huge time commitment, especially the last two to three months before the race. Even more time is needed for a slow runner / fast walker like me, because it just plain takes longer to go 10 miles than it does for a fast runner. And for someone who works full time, the only way to get that time is to steal it in early morning. It means getting up on work days from 3:30 to 4:45 and then putting in five to 11 miles. The five is not so bad, but if you get up at 3:30, do 11 miles, and then go to work, it is a rough day. I become sleep deprived as time goes on, and Saturdays are spent training all morning as the miles pile up to 16, 18, and 20, then recovering from it the rest of the day. Your life gets out of balance – run and work, work and run.

I’m not complaining – anyone in Haiti, or for that matter anyone with cancer, has it far, far tougher than marathoners. But by doing a half marathon once again, I will have more time and energy. I can use this to stay healthier and better rested. I can concentrate my efforts more on fundraising in a continuing tough economy with so many competing charities and causes: mostly really good ones, by the way. I can do more cross training and strength training, and not just focus on running. If my fund raising and my savings plan goes well, I can get that bike this spring and start up cycling. I can spend some time learning to swim better. I have some time to do things around the house, and more balance in my life. As the weather improves, maybe I will have some time to take hikes. That is what it comes down to: time, priorities, energy, and balance. Focusing on fundraising more and training less is really critical this go around: I have set my goal a little lower this year at $8,500, but it will be difficult to reach, given our economic times and the Haitian disaster. I will explain my fundraising goal for 2010 in a near-future post as well.

I want to do more marathons. For one thing, I won’t work my time down to that world record that I mentioned unless I do. I want to do at least one or two more full marathons for Team in Training, and I want to run the Honolulu Marathon in 2012. It is on the day of 10 years in remission from cancer for me. But while it is possible I will change my mind, I think that this season, the half marathon just makes more sense.


TNTcoach Ken said...

Sounds like common sense prevailed in this decision. Is that 3:30 AM??????

Racn4acure said...

Common sense? I don't know Ken, that term is not always found in conjunction with my name. Yep, AM. Only a few times though. But stepping out the door at 3:55 - 4:15 is very common when I train for a marathon. Have to get to work.