I have a long training run this weekend and I’m trying not to over-think it too much, because it’s just a training run, it’s something I’ve done hundreds of times before. But this training run just happens to be 26.2 miles – hence the over-thinking. Yep, I have marathon #9 this Sunday, but in reality, it’s a training run for my Fall 50 goal. It’s pretty surreal to think that I’m running a marathon and it’s not the big “hoorah” for the summer – far from it. But it may be pretty significant to me and I may experience something that I never have before in all 8 marathons that have come before it.
I’ve experienced a lot in my earlier marathons.
I have run in my hometown and in 6 different states. I have run large marathons and I have run small. I have run the only 3 US marathons that are part of the World Marathon Majors (and I did it in 12 months – Woot!) and I’ve run no-name marathons. I’ve run with friends and I’ve run solo. I’ve stopped to take pictures and I’ve stopped to drink beer. I’ve peed in a parking lot, the side of the road and in a park while running marathons. I’ve hit the wall (early!), and I’ve hyperventilated, not once but twice. I’ve high-fived, danced, smiled and cried. Yet this Sunday I MAY do something I’ve never done before. Something I swore I would NEVER do in a marathon.
I may walk.
Yep, you heard me correctly, I may walk. The key word is “may”. My Coach wants me to start incorporating walk breaks into my running because I need to learn to do so because taking walk breaks during the Fall 50 is a necessity. And just like anything else, I need to train and practice that as well. My Coach had wanted me to start incorporating walk breaks into my training runs for some time now but I’ve stalled and said I’ll start after this marathon. I just don’t like to “give in” to walking during a marathon. I’ve fought through tough, tough, tough times just so I could say that I’ve never had to walk a marathon. Physically, mentally and emotionally I have pushed myself to the brink in more than one marathon just to keep running and to keep moving forward. I felt that once I gave in to walking, that there would be no going back.
But here’s how my Coach has gotten me to contemplate walking.
I want to take part in a 6-hour ultra in 2 weeks. This is a timed event and not a distance event. I would run laps for 6 hours and when the 6 hours is done, I’d be done. I asked my Coach if I could participate in this event and he pondered it for some time and gave me an answer this week. I’m paraphrasing his response, but basically he said that if I take walk breaks during the marathon, I will most likely recover quicker and I can do the 6-hour run. If I don’t take walk breaks I will take longer to recover and I then won’t be doing the 6-hour run.
Nicely played Coach Craig, nicely played.
So, now you see my dilemma. I want to run the 6-hour ultra. But I can’t run the Ultra if I don’t take walk breaks during my marathon on Sunday. But I hate run walkers. Sorry, I just do. I don’t want to be a run walker.
So, how do I run the Ultra, and not be a run walker on Sunday? This is the question I need to answer. I need to have a pretty good idea of what I’m going to do before heading into my run. I need to have the game plan established because that helps me prepare mentally and everyone knows that with me, it’s just as much of a mental thing as it is physical.
I truly don’t know what I will do yet on Sunday. But I just may be achieving a “first” during my “ninth”… I may be walking.
Until next time,
Gotta run (and walk, and run, and walk)