Fellow runners (and random blog readers), it is that time of year again. Time to set goals for the upcoming year. 2008 was fueled by the GTC Running Series, and I managed a year of reasonably consistent running while completing 9 of 10 races. I’ve been considering (and wavering on) plans for 2009. In one option, I step up the intensity and concentrate on faster times in shorter races—the 5k to 10k range. Alternately, I could go after the elusive marathon goal…again.
I’ve been quiet about this second possibility. First, because the memory of the first attempt (which ended at mile 12 of an 18-mile training run) is permanently etched into my brain. Do I really want to put myself through that again? Spending an entire day preparing for and recovering from the weekly long run still makes me cringe. I don’t have particularly fond memories of nasty gel substances, either. Jelly Belly Sport Beans, you’re not much better. Blech.
I’ve also been embarrassed to admit that two mostly miserable experiences at half the marathon distance are apparently not enough to dissuade me from attempting the full. Everyone remembers the whining, right? And the complaining? And the vows of “never again, that’s just crazy!!!”? Yeah, well. I’m apparently a slow learner.
But mostly, I haven’t said anything about another marathon attempt because I didn’t want to get husband’s hopes up. Husband is an extraordinary planner, and nothing needs planning like a 26.2 mile run. Plus, I think he’d really like to see me run one and would love to help me across that finish line.
And then, over Christmas break, the movie that magically appeared from our Netflix queue was “Spirit of the Marathon.” That’s a neat little movie with some interesting juxtapositions. Elite runner/beginning runner. History/present. Struggle/triumph. Now, I’m motivated…and a little suspicious about the timing of it all. I wasn’t the one who added “Spirit of the Marathon” to our queue. How did he know? And how did he get the movie just in time for my goal-setting dilemma? Is it a coincidence…or a conspiracy? I’m sensing a master planner at work.
To be continued…