People often compare running a marathon to giving birth, saying you need to forget the pain before you do it again. Not me: I had barely finished my October 21 marathon when I started scheming about running another one. It was like I was contemplating my next baby even before leaving the hospital with my newborn.
I was driven by a burning desire to run a sub-4-hour marathon. From my coached training, I felt primed to run it on October 21 but I was undone by the super-hilly first half of the Nike Women’s Marathon. Instead of running my fastest marathon, I turned in my slowest time. I was heartbroken. I debated whether I could capitalize on my fitness and run another marathon sooner rather than later. I set my sights on the California International Marathon on December 2 in Sacramento, billed as a “fast, net-downhill course.” Then, until a few days ago, my head was swirling with the pros and cons of continuing my training (more track workouts, tempo runs, and at least a 17- and a 20-miler) and running another 26.2 miles. The few times I internally debated it in the middle of the night, I lost hours of sleep, my mind racing about racing.
In the end, it boiled down to my family. We don’t have $500+ to spend on airfare, hotel, rental car, and the likes. But more important than the money: I couldn’t put the kid-care burden on my husband, Jack, again so soon. He rarely complained about the time I spent marathon training this year, yet I didn’t feel it would be fair to him--or the kids--to keep up the miles or jet away again so soon. Who knows: maybe I’ll try to conquer the distance in 2008 or it might have to wait until the twins are more manageable and self-sufficient. For now I’m going to work on maintaining my newfound faster pace and aim for some shorter races. Just today I registered for a half-marathon. Coincidentally, it’s the day before Mother’s Day.