Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Is training for a full marathon exponentially more icky?

On Sunday, I was asked about my running goals for 2012.

That’s a bit like asking a woman at the beginning of labor if she wants to get pregnant right away and do it all over again.

“Oh, sure! This is a snap.”

Talk to her 7 hours later and she might not be so keen.

Ask a woman who just volunteered to cook her first Thanksgiving dinner for 12 people if she’ll do it again next year.

“Oh, sure! It just takes a little planning.”

Ask her at 0400 Thanksgiving morning when she gets up to put the turkey in the oven, realizes her potatoes have eyes and the dog threw up on the couch.

What did I say about my 2012 running goals? Naturally I headed to the land of reaching high. I said I’d still like to run the Marine Corps Historic Half. I said I’d be interested in a destination race like Myrtle Beach in February.

“What about a full marathon next year?” came the question.

As I am currently training for two half marathons, this isn’t an uncommon question. That is to say I have heard it before. I said,

“Oh, sure! I could train for that.”


Instead of getting up this morning at 0500 to run four miles in air so thick it was like breathing hot beef stew, I would have gotten up at 0400 to run seven miles in same stew-y air.

Instead of running 9 miles this Saturday in 90-degree heat, I would be running 17 miles on a run that would last long enough to see the heat creep up way past my stay-happy point.

Instead of trying to go to bed at 8:30pm and hoping to be asleep by 9:00pm, I would be asleep at 8:30pm no matter where I am or what I’m doing. Concert? Asleep, head on a table vibrating from the bass. Grocery store? Curled up in the cart and stuck in the produce section. Car? My head against the steering wheel parked in the driveway or on a convenient exit ramp.

Are you getting the picture?

My office door has a lock on it. Snoozing under my desk takes on a new dimension if my door is locked and I sleep through the pounding from someone who just can’t live without telling me yet another person no-showed their job interview.

Let me sit back and reflect on the madness. Right now training for my two halves is still fun. Yes, I have to say I am having fun. Earlier in the year it was hard work getting myself out the door, but I’m in the routine now and I’m happy to leave the house and get outside.

While I really enjoy this, I do have issues. It’s a bit of work because getting my carcass out of bed at 0500 is no easy task. There’s a lot of talking that goes on four mornings a week. There's one technique that works so far: I ask the painful question, "What happens if I don’t run this morning?"

1. I have a neighbor who runs most mornings and if I see her on my way to work I will want to slam on the brakes, get out of my car and look at her with my stabbiest eyes until she apologizes for having more get-up-and-go than I do and for running where I can see her. See note*

2. I will feel a little tight knot of insane jealousy in my chest when I drive past people I have never met who are outside running.

3. I will have to run later in the day when it will be 20+ degrees hotter and the air will be 35% chunkier.

4. There will be no chance, zip, zero, nada of doing anything remotely enjoyable in the evening. Like eat or clean my ears, dust or do some laundry. You know, things that have to get done that I can't do in the mornings anymore.

So far, I think I’ve only had to use one of the above options in a morning to get my feet on the floor. When I have to start using more than one, I may need to bump up my game.

I’ll let you know.

Note: I saw this neighbor today at the beginning of her run, looking fresh and springy when I was at the end of my run looking a bit like a piece of cabbage that had been boiled too long. I said in my most peppy and cheery voice that I always use so people think I'm a better runner than I really am, “Good morning, Lisa!”

She said “Good moooooorrrrnnniinggggg,” which I’m thinking means she doesn’t remember my name. But she’s still good for competitive motivation, so I’ll let it slide this time.


Rose said...

You are so kind to let it husband remembers faces but not names. Sometimes I get that way, too...but I never used to at all.

I don't see how you make it running...but then I know I deal better with heat if I do get up early....when I worked at the orchard...if I knew what I was going to be doing, I would get up and be there and started at 6:30 on some of the hottest days...the last year that slipped to 7:00--8:00....but it is just so much better to get out early.

Caron said...

Yes, to get out and get it done in this heat. On top of that, I feel like I've accomplished something before my day really starts. That helps at work. It's OK if people don't remember my name. I would prefer they just say hi and often, if I'm thinking clearly, I will say my name just in case they need it. :)

Rambling Woods said...

Chunky air...I like that..getting up at 5 will kill me before I could get my running shoes on....