I decided to take the April marathon off of my calendar. There just wasn’t enough time to get into the training, and getting enough midweek miles in to make the weekend long runs feel good and not like a miserable slog of a chore wasn’t working. I’m not done running marathons, but I won’t be running this one. We’re going to shift back to the half-marathon which is a much more manageable.
Training for a marathon can take me up to eight hours a week of running, on the big weeks, and getting in some 40 miles. That takes a big toll on the body, and on the clock. Especially when the Saturday long runs stretch into 17+ miles and take three and a half hours or more. After one of those, I can’t really do much the rest of the day. I did that all during the fall. Now it’s just a little too soon to mentally get up for it again.
But the half marathon I can train for in about three and a half hours a week. That will give me additional time to do things on the weekends – a ten mile long run doesn’t wipe me out. And it lets me invest a little more energy in my strength and crosstraining. And I’m hopeful that it will help me drop a few pounds again – marathon training makes me so hungry all the time that I make bad food decisions.
So. Half-marathons, triathlons, and maybe a few shorter fun races like 10ks and 5ks, to round things out. I like the challenge of the marathon. The discipline it requires. The willingness to endure pain and injury. The fight against self and landscape. But it’s a fight that leaves me broken and beaten-up. I’m too slow to train for it in a reasonable amount of time. So I’m going to let it go for a while. Maybe the fall. Maybe next year. We’ll see.
The half-marathon though: that I enjoy. It’s a great distance and a fun challenge. It takes about two hours and then I get pancakes and I’m done. It doesn’t break my body. It doesn’t take huge amounts of planning or equipment. It’s just a show-up-and-run kind of a challenge. I like that. It’s what I feel like I have mental space for right now.