I'm getting nervous about the National Marathon. My first (and last?) marathon. It's T minus 18 days, and I'm wondering if I'm ready for it. Especially since the field is going to be fast: To qualify, you had to have run a previous marathon in under 4:30, a half-marathon under 2:10, or a 10-miler under 1:40.
Here's a recent article about the marathon.
I ran 18 miles yesterday afternoon (in 2:57, avg 9:50/mile pace), 20.5 miles (avg 10:05/mile pace) last Sunday, and 18.3 (in 3:06) miles the Sunday before that. That's it for my long, slow runs. The other 2-3 long-ish runs have been in the 15-mile range, and according to Bob Glover's Competitive Runner's Handbook, ideally I should have at least 5-6 runs of 18-22 miles underneath my belt.
Also, by the time the marathon rolls around on March 25, I will have been training for 3 months. But Glover says I should train for four months, and should have begun my training with a solid 15-20 mile/week base.
Hubris?: I may have been too optimistic to think I can finish the National in under 4 hours, even though McMillan's running calculator estimates I can do it in around 3:54. HA! Glover in his book also recommended this for first-time marathoners: Don't worry about time. You're going into unknown land. Just finish the damn thing.
Sage advice. I'm going to follow it.
Not alone: The coordinator of the 10K training program I volunteer-coach for is scheduled to run a marathon the week before mine. Not sure which one. But she ended up bowing out, she told me recently, because of hamstring problems. Also, because she "didn't want to have another bad marathon time" in her books. She finished a marathon in 2004 in 5:51 and change.
"Maybe," I thought, "I can postpone my marathon debut by a few weeks, so I can get more training in!"
The Charlottesville,Va., marathon is on April 16, three weeks after the National Marathon. Then I looked this morning at the hilly course - lots of steep uphills and downhills.
Then I thought, "Naah. Just do the National [which also has hills] and get it over with."