TITLE: Running Half-Year in Review
AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford
DATE: July 03, 2008 10:55 AM
I usually write year-end reviews of my running, to look
back at accomplishments and disappointments and to
think ahead to what the next year will be like. My
saw a tough January through May, a recovery in June,
and then a good training season for the
Marine Corps Marathon.
I'm in a looking-forward mood as we reach the midpoint
in 2008 because I have a decision to make. My running
year started well, and at the end of April I was 140 miles
ahead of my 2007 pace, though 130 miles behind my record
Then on May 2, the symptoms that set me back in 2006
returned. I stopped running in order to let my body
get better. Unfortunately, the symptoms not gone away
yet, but I eventually decided that if they weren't leaving
I may as well run -- as long as I didn't feel worse.
On June 9,
I ran again,
and I spent the next three weeks slowly building up my
mileage, keeping a close eye on how I feel. I'm not
getting worse and may have gotten marginally better,
though I still experience the wrong kind of fatigue.
After weeks of 15, 20, and 26 miles, I am on target
to run 30 this week. Not much, by past standards, but
it's a start.
Sadly, while building back up, I was unable to run my
now-traditional half marathon at our local summer
festival. (I wasn't the only one ailing... After the
horrible flooding that hit us last month, the festival
had to trim its half marathon to a 10-miler.)
The decision I have to make is this: Should I try to
run a fall marathon this year? Even last year I did
not have to think about this, because I recovered
early in May and had two months to get back somewhere
near normal in time for June through September training
plan. But this week's 30 miles find me a week deep
into July... I'm not strong yet, nor 100% healthy,
and I'm not sure I am physically ready to take up the
gauntlet. I also wonder if I am mentally ready.
But the desire to rise up to the challenge is at
If I do go for it, this is the perfect year to aim for
a marathon with no time goal -- just run it,
finish, and feel that accomplishment. That would be
a refreshing change for me.
If I do go for it, I will keep it simple, stay close to
home. I am considering the
Des Moines Marathon
or a much smaller event, the
On the Road for Education
marathon. At this point, I'm leaning toward the latter
for a few reasons. I've never run a small marathon and
am curious what it feels like to be out there mostly
alone, not in a big crowd with a large audience along
the route. It also has a later preregistration cutoff
date, which allows a later decision and a smaller fee.
Perhaps most important, though, is one lone week: Des
Moines is October 19, and Mason City is October 26. At
this point, an extra week for training may be worth a
lot more than any money or support.
I have to decide soon.