The deal was this : If I successfully (read: with manageable pain & without murdering passerby’s) completed 14 miles this weekend, I’d run the marathon in Vegas Dec 5th. If not, I’d run the Half and/or spend some time in jail, depending on how that murdering part went.
Before we get into the actual decision, I’d like to clear something up for my non-runner readers. [aka 40 min of lame q&a and LBJ making CLE think he’s gonna stay]. After training for a long-distance race, your perception of “far” gets a little skewed. By the time taper hits you’re all, “12 miles? Pshh I run that on a weeknight. 10K? What do you think I am, a sprinter?”
Combine these delusional thoughts with my apparent disbelief that taking almost three full weeks off would be detrimental to my fitness – and obviously I thought I’d bang this run out, no problemo. Maybe even have enough energy to shower afterwards (because sometimes, that’s an issue.)
I got 8 miles in before fatigue set in, and about 11 before my knee started barking. Since I’m a stubborn asshole I continued running laps around the block determined to get in the 14 I said I was going to do. At mile 12 (which seemed to take 5 hours) I realized that I was done. SPENT. I was begging for red lights and contemplating napping on the sidewalk until B eventually found me.
Reality Check : No way I’d be ready for 26.2 in four short weeks.
So that’s that. The full mary shoes have been stuffed in the back of the closet, and I’ve got my “racing” shoes ready for this Half. I was fast back in the day (1:47something), so I doubt I’ll PR in Vegas, which makes me kind of think “what’s the freaking point, then?!?” but hey, at least I’ll be able to walk afterwards.
It’ll actually work out well, because December is a big month in the Soon-To-Be household and I’d prefer not to be a cranky, handicapped, marathon jerk-off for it. My grandparents will be in Vegas race weekend, and we’ll be back in Sin City the following weekend with B’s parents. Mom’s [FINALLY] visiting, and a home-town friend is coming out for a few days. Cram in another San Diego trip and a fun work function, and then it’s back to OH for the holidays. It’s going to be 100% fantastically hectic-crazy-insane and probably MY FAVORITE MONTH EVER.
Can I get some more daylight savings time? But like a full week rather than an hour? Puh-lease?
Regarding my early marathon retirement : I’m bummed, sure. Disappointed, definitely. Pissed, a little. But I know this is the right thing to do. Sometime down the road I’m sure I’ll get the marathon itch again – maybe after some brain damage or temporary amnesia or something. But for now, at least until after the wedding, I’ll be rocking out the shorter distances and trying to unearth my fast legs. And learning to eat like a normal person again.
Your recently-retired marathoner,