Monday, October 17, 2005

A March Marathon?

Yesterday I decided to take a day off from training, my legs were pretty stiff from the 10K race on Saturday so it seemed like the thing to do. I am trying to slow done a little anyway for the next couple weeks to give the body a rest.

It was a nice warm sunny afternoon yesterday so I decided to go to our garden club and clean up a little for the winter. I did get in some “upper-body training” emptying out one compost bin and digging up a couple garden beds. I also picked about 40-50 lbs of butternut squash and packed it in the car to take home. This keeps pretty well in our unheated cellar during the winter.

In any case it was a good time to do some thinking, my wife stayed home because she still has a bad cold, so I was able to meditate on my world a little. I have to reorganize my entire workload at work in order to assimilate some tasks from a person leaving the company. This will mean that certain times of the year will be a nightmare. So I have been trying to think through various solutions.

Then of course I was thinking about where I want to go with my running in the future. Basically I started running to lose weight and to stay healthy. Racing and marathon running just kind of evolved as a means of motivation to keep running.

Anyway, next year I am considering running the Bienwald Marathon on March 12th in the Rhineland-Pflaz area (about 40 minutes from our town).

The main advantage to this marathon is that it early in the year, which would leave more time to do other things in my life the rest of the year. This would please my wife immensely!

The disadvantage is that I need to train in the dark at the mercy of cold and wet weather. The winters here in this part of Germany are mild compared to most northern states in the USA and in Canada, but it can still be nasty. Of course running in the dark, mud, snow, and ice all contribute to a slower training pace and increased risk of injury.

From an optimal training standpoint, if I want to run a sub-4 hour marathon then I am better off waiting and starting my training in the spring. But methinks that the reality of life is that I need to consider other factors affecting my life, e.g. family, friends, job, house, etc. and keep my running goals in the right perspective. I will probably end up having to be satisfied with completing ANY marathon next year.

I've just decided to run a March marathon as well - I know what you mean about running in the cold and dark. But hey, I'm sure it's character building!
I love butternut squash - are they hard to grow?

It is hard in the winter b/c weather can throw your training schedule off. Good luck - whatever you decide. :-)
Jack - I would say go for it in March. There is nothing like emerging from the dark winter fit and ready for a marathon. Yes, it is hard, but there is also a certain serenity to it - quiet early mornings with soft snow underfoot. Ok, there is also ice, slush, the bitter stinging wind and other things, but come spring you will be rearing to go! Just my 2 cents.
I like the idea of a race, marathon or other early in the year. It keeps me motivated to get out there during the "ugly weather".
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