5 for Friday: The Great Debate!

Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.

– Anthony J D’Angelo

Life is the great debate! We make choices at every turn whether it is what to have for breakfast, what to do for work or where to vacation. In a runners world, some of these decisions include “what race should I run next,” “which shoes should I be wearing” and “where will my training run take me today?” These decisions always lead to debate because our past experiences always have us do some evaluation of the option so that we don’t repeat any mistakes again in the future. We have this debate between options and then we pick the option that we feel is best given our experience and what was learned from the past mistakes. Like I wrote last week, borrowing from the title of the book from John Maxwell, “sometimes you win and sometimes you learn!” 

Ok, in the current world we live in, the greatest debate at the moment is politics,  on the local level and of course on the national level. With that said, I will NEVER GO THERE or anywhere close to that arena with this blog! I will leave politics for the pundits and honestly, you probably don’t care who or what I voted for yesterday (yes, I did vote early). My great debate at the moment concerns next weekend. Do I run a half marathon or do I run a marathon? Simple options really but by far a easy question to answer. I really want to run the latter but I am only motivated to run the former. 

With that in mind, here are the 5 reasons why as part of this week’s “5 for Friday.”

NUMBER ONE: Afraid of the Wall! In my first marathon, back in May, I hit the wall at mile 20. From that point forward, it was one of the most grueling experiences of my life. I was left in so much pain that I barely crossed the finish line (though with a 4 hour finish, it was a respectable one). I have not forgotten that wall by any stretch since and was sort of reminded of it this past weekend at the Newburyport Half Marathon when I felt like I hit a wall in the last few miles. Bottom line… I am scared of the wall!

NUMBER TWO: Putting the year behind me on a positive note! So if I run a half next week and then another half in December, that should give me a boost for 2017. How you might ask? In short, I want to forget about the injuries of 2016 and start 2017 strong, excited to train and  in the mood to take my running to the next “level.” A marathon, if it plays out like the May one did, could lead to some injuries into year end and that would prevent me from running at all as 2016 winds down. That is not how I want to finish the year.

NUMBER THREE: Time spent running the race.  A great characteristic of half marathons is the preparation time: it is not that long. For a marathon on the other hand, it is longer and the race time is also double that of a half marathon. So instead of 2.5 to 3 hours, we are looking at a total time of 4-5 hours. Big difference when your life is full of kids stuff and coaching. For the younger runners without families or kids, this is not necessarily an obstacle but it is definitely for me!

NUMBER FOUR: Scenic but… I run races that have plenty to see. The Maine Coastal Marathon, my first marathon, was plenty scenic! Heck it was along the coast. The half marathon I ran this past weekend had plenty to look at running along a lake and through the foliage. Other races such as the Reach the Beach relay, had the very best of New Hampshire on its route. The Manchester City marathon does not have “as much” scenery as those. And if I am on the fence, this is not particularly helpful! 

NUMBER FIVE: Am I ready to run a marathon? The injury bug has disappeared over that past 2 months but is it really gone? Will it pop back up in the middle of the race? These questions are swirling around within me at the moment. Nothing popped up in the half last weekend so I guess I am ok for 13 miles but 26? I have been hurt much of the year and feeling injury free is rather liberating. Do I want to risk such? Honestly, I take risks all the time so the answer to this question basically is “screw the past.” But….

So the debate rages on for me. I need to make a decision soon because the spots available are shrinking as well. I shall report back once in solve this debate! – BM


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