A Dream Postponed

My self-imposed deadline of March 31st has come and gone, but I haven’t made up my mind about Grandma’s Marathon yet. It’s fine, it costs $115 instead of $105 to enter, but I think of it like a stock option. It’s not quite analogous, but it works for me. There were 4 possible outcomes to my plan: enter before March 31st, pay $105, race; enter before March 31st, pay $105, DNS; enter after March 31st, pay $115, race; or enter after March 31st, pay $115, DNS. I would rather pay $10 more and be more certain about my ability to run the marathon, than save $10 and find that after 15 miles my body falls apart, or to find that I have so much work during the semester that I don’t have 5-6 hours to devote to those long runs. I will not go into this race undertrained.

Now I have until May 31st to decide if I want to compete (unless the race fills up). By that point I will have run 12, 14, 16, 18, and 20 mile long runs. That 20 mile run is going to be the deciding factor, I would guess. As of March 31st, my long run had been 9 miles, which I don’t think was a good enough gauge of my strength and endurance to justify spending $105.

I do have the Fitger’s 5K coming up next weekend, which will be my first real race in a long time, and the first one I’ve done with specific training since high school. (I did do timed runs in college for physical training requirements for the NROTC, so I guess they were kind of like races.) I am looking at the forecast and getting annoyed, although it does look like it might be nice again by next weekend, in time for the race. I need to run the route of the race at some point. I also need to try to get in at least one a.m. workout, because I tend to feel like complete garbage in the morning. I’m also probably going to have to get up at the buttcrack of dawn on the 11th in order to be functional. I hear the sunrises here are beautiful.

I do plan on racing the 5k, rather than running it at a training or even tempo pace, but I also don’t plan on sabotaging my training. I won’t be collapsing in a puddle of my own vomit at the finish line. I do have some time goals in mind. My B standard, let’s call it, is 40:00. My A standard is 36:00. If I finish under 30:00, I will sign up for the marathon right then and there. A sub-30 5k is HIGHLY unlikely, so don’t think I am actually gunning for it. Achieving 29:XX or under would indicate I am significantly underestimating my running ability, hence throwing down the cash for the marathon immediately. I am pretty sure I am only slightly underestimating my running ability, although who knows? Maybe the 5k takes me 48 minutes and I light fire to my running shoes and vow to never run again because I can’t even run 3 miles under my “slow run” training pace. Maybe the 5k takes me an hour because I miss a turn. I am prepared for all possible outcomes.

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