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I'm completely excited about running my first half marathon! It seems like forever that I've been wanting to do this and in all reality the goal was a full marathon not just a half. Each time I find a marathon I'd like to do I chicken out totally overwhelmed with whether or not I'd finish in the amount of time given....hence taking on a half marathon instead. I know I'll do just fine with timing just makes me a bit nervous as the reason I run is more for the clearing of the mind and those ever so lovely endorphins. Ultimately this is all about celebrating my love of the run heaven help me if I become competitive with my time. Slower than molasses is all I can say when I even think about how long it takes me to do my runs....ten minute mile and slowing for about a minute to have a drink pretty much one. The anticipation is killing me....can't wait to know what it'll feel like and know I did it. I'm thinking marathons will be a source of undeniable addiction just as the everyday running itself has. I'm not a competitive runner hahaha...yet and was curious if there are others that weren't overly competitive and if marathon running have changed your views on how and why you run after doing a couple?
I haven't run a full marathon yet but I'm like you in wanting to run a full marathon. I plan to run the Baltimore full marathon next year. This year I'm running the half marathon.
I never thought I would ever run a full marathon or ever feel an inkling of interest in a full marathon, but I fell in love with the training. I love organized plans and accomplishments. The benefit of feeling like I accomplished something every week at the end of a long run is just so wonderful. I'm also amazed at how at what the human body can do when you push beyond your mental limit. I'm interested in exploring that even further through marathon (and triathlon) training.
So, I found a gift of endurance inside of me. Even if I'm not the fastest, I have something in me that most people don't and that's the will and determination to endure. I suggest you find a marathon with a generous time cap. I know there are a number of them out there that say you have to finish within 5 hours or less but there's a good number of marathons that make enough time for walkers to finish. But running a 10 min mile will definitely guarantee a decent finish time so I wouldn't worry about that.
Completed Races 2012:
Rock and Roll USA Half Marathon, 02:54:26 (1st run POST injury)
Cherry Blossom 10-Miler, 01:49:00
Upcoming Races 2012:
IronGirl Half Marathon, 4/29/12
Frederick Half Marathon, 5/6/12
Atlantic City International Sprint Tri, 09/17/12
Rock and Roll Philly Half Marathon, 09/18/12
Baltimore Half Marathon, 10/13/12
Marine Corps Marathon, 10/28/12
ING NYC Marathon, 11/4/12
Personal Record from 2011:
Teach, Learn, Play 5k, 10/02/11 00:26:57 (PR)
Marine Corps Marathon 10k, 10/30/11 01:05:38 (PR)
Baltimore Half Marathon, 10/15/11, 02:24:15 (PR)
I normally run and race shorter distances (5K/10K) but I've also run two half marathons (2007 and 2008) and a full marathon (2009). The longer distances are not my best ones, because I haven't been running them for years, and do have more natural ability at shorter distances. Nevertheless, in my early 50's, I was looking for a couple of new running challenges. I found that the half marathons, and especially the marathon, required a lot more physical and mental discipline, as well as significantly more structured training, than the shorter distances to which I was accustomed. I finished the marathon in 4:43, which was not terribly fast (about 10:45/mile - that's nearly 3 min/mile slower than my 5K race pace), but I did finish with a big smile and waving my arms in the air, realizing I had just run the equivalent of over 8 consecutive 5K's.
I would like to eventually run another marathon, but haven't gotten around to it yet. Nevertheless, the marathon taught me a very different kind of endurance-oriented running discipline that I think has made me a more well-rounded and better runner overall.
By the way, a 10 min/mile marathon pace, especially for a first marathon - I would not call that "slow as molasses". Check out the distribution of finishing times for most large marathons anywhere in the country - 10 min/mi is a very respectable midpack pace.
@ 5K: Ontario Mills 5K, Ontario, CA, 25:17
New Balance Palm Springs 5K, Palm Springs, CA, 24:32
@ 10K: LA Chinatown Firecracker 10K, Los Angeles, CA, 52:15
I have run a few marathons (~20) and the main change I have seen is that my training year-round is more oriented to the marathon. I do race at all distances because I enjoy it, but also partly because you (most of us anyway) can't run a marathon every couple weeks. Training for and running a marathon is different because it is so hard to put it all together, where the training goes well and the race goes well. It's a lot more than two half-marathons back-to-back (or 8 5Ks!). I am a little competitive but mostly with myself. One sort of nice thing I find about the marathon is my time is always in the perspective of what happened in the race. If my ankle starts going south at mile14 and feels twice it's normal size by mile 20, and by mile 18 I can't even drink water without having to walk to settle my stomach (all this happened in one marathon last year), well, then just finishing is an accomplishment. Time is way down the list.
I ran another marathon a few weeks later (unusual for me that close together) and by carefully watching my pace, and what I ate/drank and when, I avoided all those problems, finished over 30 minutes faster, and finished comfortably - comfortably enough to run the last mile (relatively) hard.
I've only run one HM, never a full, so my opinion may not amount to much. Like you, I'm not overly competitive and did the HM with the only thought being to finish it. I only compete against myself out there (probably because I'm not likely to beat too many others), but that "competition" is what drives me forward. Also, like others have said, 10 minute miles in a full marathon is nothing to sneeze at.
I agree with all above and would add a couple of things: I also trained year round for distance Fulls and Halfs but enjoy all distances. I have hit my potential on every distance except the marathon. I have run 5 marathons and they have been good each with a better time, but never what the calculators say I could/should run one. I am competitive with myself and the Boston Qualifying Standard which I have not done. I do very much enjoy the schdule that training for marathons requires. Here is a quote the explains my feeling for marathons:
"There will be days that you don't know if you can run a marathon...but there will be a lifetime of knowing that you have. Marathons are all different, but each time you cross that finish line, you hunger for the next one...it's a great feeling of accomplishment! "
Good luck, I have one on 2 Oct
I too am running my first half marathon next Sunday. I thought I would just be an "5k Guy" but I was challenged to do the half marathon and I'm happy that I decided to do it. I think I have become a much better runner because I took this on.
I did a practice run last weekend and did much better than I thought I would or could do. I did well enough that, now that I know I can do it, I'm looking towards putting in a good time. I'd love to do it in 2 hours flat after running about 2:10 or so in the practice, but I ran pretty well (for me, anyway - I thought I would be closer to 2:20) in the practice. I think I would be happy just beating my practice time. I'm hoping to see some pacing groups that I could latch onto and maybe they can pull me along to a better performance than I think I am currently capable of. Even though it wasn't a race, the practice run had about 500 people show up and it had very race-like conditions.
I'll decide if I wan't to train for a full marathon next year. I definately want to do one before I turn 40 - that gives me about 3 years to get ready.
"Whether You Think You Can or Can't, You're Right"-- Henry Ford
Upcoming races: Super 5k 2/3/13
Select Recent Results: Brooksie Way Half Marathon - 1:49:09 (Half Marathon PR), Open Door Julie Run 5k - 22:16 (2nd place age group, PR)
Check out my Running Blog: http://clippinalong.blogspot.com .