With the Rome marathon training window rapidly narrowing (not to mention the availability of airline tickets to Italy in March), I need to make a decision soon, as to whether or not I’m actually going to do the marathon this year. I’m already registered, but saying I wanna do it, and actually committing to it, are two different things.
As a date with a marathon draws closer, isn’t it funny how we start to recall some of the not so pleasant aspects of the previous one? There’s no better feeling of self accomplishment and joy, than in crossing the finish line of race you’ve trained so hard for. Ah..but how soon we forget just how tough it is to walk or run 26 miles, and how many times we told ourselves, that we would never-ever subject our bodies to this type of voluntary torture again. Let’s face it, even in a setting as magnificent as ancient Rome, completing a marathon is very hard on the body…. maybe even harder because of all the effort it takes to get over there…not to mention the cobble-stone streets that you have to run on.
I guess having second thoughts about doing another marathon just goes with the territory, but what makes this an extra tough decision for me, is that over the last year, my lung function, along with my physical endurance, have really declined. I’ve been hospitalized more than ever this year, and the aches and pains of just growing old are really starting to catch up with me. My muscles hurt all the time. Since this will be my 5th and probably last full marathon, I don’t want to proceed unless I’m confident I can finish faster and stronger than I did last year. Actually, I’ll have to , because for 2009 they’re lowering the course time limit to 7.0 hours! ..(No stress there.)
So, if I decide to go-for-it, not only will I have to train much harder than in previous times, but I’ll also need a heap of good luck to go along with it, to keep me from getting sick from the very training that is supposed to prepare me. (like Portland).
Spring time marathons are also tough to do (at least for me), because the bulk of the required training has to happen during the winter months. Granted, I live in a fairly mild climate here in the San Francisco bay area, nevertheless, it’s been very cold and wet here lately and this weather pattern will probably extend into January and February. Add to that ,the pollens which tend to make their debut in those crucial later months. For the first time ever, I may actually do some of the shorter walks on the treadmill.
Depending on how my lungs act, and the status of this head cold that’s been lingering with me, I plan to do a 10 mile “test walk” this coming Saturday, followed by a 13 mile walk on Christmas weekend. If I can survive those two walks without falling apart or getting sick, then I’ll commit fully to the rest of the planned training schedule, which I will post later.
*One good thing; because I’m so conditioned to walking 4-6 milers, I don’t have to ramp up to 10 miles. Effectively, I can start marathon training at the 10 mile mark. This easily shaves a month off the training.*
Marathon or not, I’ll still be going to Italy in either Feb or March and then again in October.