mountain of a marathon

The summer heat is in full swing here in South Louisiana and it already has me longing and wishing for cooler temps.  Hopefully, by mid-October we will be back into reasonable temps but until then, it will be a long, hot training summer.

So, what does one do over the summer?  Well, cross train, build up my  mileage, stay cool, and dream/plan for some fall races! Until a couple of weeks ago, I had in my mind that I would plan for some fun half-marathons in the fall.  I love racing the half-marathon distance.  It is long enough to where you feel really accomplished training for the race, yet shorter than the full so that you can avoid the dreaded “wall” which creeps in somewhere between mile 20-23.

041 My dad running the last mile with me!

Of course…my thoughts on the marathon have changed.  A friend of mine e-mailed me last week and told me that she set a  new marathon pr and ran a 3:33 marathon, qualifying for Boston.  I was so excited for her!!!  She was my coworker when I was living in Texas and so we trained together with a local running group, the Dallas Running Club. Our job also involved frequent travel so I could always count on her to meet for an early morning run before we started our work day. It was great to have a training partner on business trips and we got to run and sightsee through some great cities.

run5 Dallas Running Club peeps!

Without this friend, I seriously would have never made it through my marathon training. I got sick, had to miss several long runs, and my training was pretty erratic.  But she would not let me quit!!! Looking back on my low mileage, I’m not sure how I managed to run the race but it was my first and I was excited to just experience and finish a marathon.  She was from Tennessee and my sister was living in Nashville so we decided to run the Country Music Marathon together.  Despite her cursing me for the hills, we had a great first marathon experience.  We both wanted a sub 4 hour marathon and I was pleasantly surprised with my 3:47 marathon and she was right behind me with a 3:55 marathon.

045 ahh…I finished!

That was April 2008.

Since then, I have not run a race longer than a 10k.  My husband and I moved back to Louisiana, we started new jobs, had our first child, and while I run regularly on my own, with my  husband’s busy work schedule, I have not taken the time get involved and run with the local running groups or to train for another marathon.

But at 3:47, I am only seven minutes away from the current Boston Marathon qualifying time and twelve minutes away from the 2013 Qualifying Times. Based on my recent race times and the McMillan Training Calculator, I feel like with hard work and more focused training, a 3:35 marathon might not be that out of the question. Yes, it would be tough but then again, running is not easy!

I can think of a million excuses as to why I can’t or am scared to train for another marathon (particularly to get closer to a BQ time):  the summers are too hot here to train for long mileage, I don’t have a dedicated training partner/group to do my long runs with, I will be tired all the time, it will take  precious time and time/energy away from my friends and family.

My husband and I would love to plan for another little one see before my toddler gets to old and the thought of those early sleepless months makes me think that I maybe I should get one marathon under my belt and perhaps get one step closer to achieving my lifelong goal of running the Boston Marathon.

eek…I know this is a significant commitment so I am going to take some time to decide but if I am going to consider committing to something like this, I figure I need to at least write about it to make myself accountable for my decisions.

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5 thoughts on “mountain of a marathon

  1. Pingback: Week One… | running on faith

  2. I trained for a marathon last year through the summer (the race was the last weekend of September, so literally all my training was in the summer heat – including an afternoon 20-miler that was 98 at the start and 94 at the end!). It can be done, but I ran a lot slower than usual, and took lots of walking water breaks. I also drastically increased my sodium intake, as I found that running for over an hour in the heat caused me to sweat so much that I would faint from low blood pressure. I highly recommend early runs and carrying gatorade if you take this on.

    • thanks for the info!! I think if I decide, I may look into a November/early December race. Yikes, a late September race? I hope that was not in the South but I can’t imagine the heat! But yes, I will definitely be starting my long runs early!!

  3. Hey girlie! I’m on my way out the door to leave for our trip for my marathon but thank you so much for your comment. Great to hear from you and hope to get caught up on here. 3:47?! This is great and you will SURELY get Boston!! I will be back to read more in detail and leave a better comment. 🙂

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