Regardless, my final race of 2011 will be the Philadelphia Marathon. I hope to cross the finish line before Christmas.
Training has been a bit meh. I've been putting in the miles, mostly (if adventure racing counts as a long run) but I haven't been doing the speed work. I know I have the endurance to finish, barring something unforeseen, but I don't have the speed to do anything special on race day. And, honestly, nor do I have the desire.
My lack of motivation this training cycle has impressed me. Why go run for three hours on the road when you can bound around on a trail? When you can get your feet wet? When you can get your legs muddy? A 50k sounds less daunting to me right now than a road marathon (and, speaking of, will someone please do this with me?).
As I am running for the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House, though, it is only fair that I at least put forth some effort in training, even if I am not feeling particularly passionate about the race. There's neither chance nor desire to qualify for either Boston or a PR and I am struggling to latch onto a time goal that will keep me motivated on race day.
On the upside, yesterday's 20-miler with Abby (read her account of it here ... Personally, I plan to read it before every 20-mile run for inspiration) didn't suck at all. Not entirely sure why, but it didn't. Some guesses as to why it wasn't terrible:
- It was early in the morning, at least for me. The shock of such an early wake-up call got me going a bit.
- There were a ton of other runners out. I commented to Abby no less than 10 times that I couldn't believe how many other runners there were. She was all "Welcome to the world of adults who get out of bed before noon and get their long runs in before dinner time" and I was all "Geeze, it's a whole different world out here before 3 p.m."
- The weather ruled. Thank you, Nature, for that gift.
- Nothing really hurt. A few pings in my right ankle toward the end but I woke up today feeling fresh.
- Company! Usually for long runs, Bill will go for a bike ride and we will meet for a few minutes at pre-determined points so he can give me fuel and water. This time, though, the conversation with Abby about everything from adventure racing (shocking) to future travel plans made the miles tick by quickly. I am still sort of convinced that her Garmin was off and we really only did about 5 miles, but if she insists we hit 20, then I guess we hit 20.
The race is only 4 weeks away. Hopefully next weekend will bring at least 25 miles between an organized group 20-miler on Saturday, possibly an orienteering meet on Saturday night and another group run on Sunday. Toss in another 20 miles or so the following weekend and then it is taper time already.
Maybe this marathon thing isn't so terrible after all.