Marathoning

Marathons and Me…Me and Marathons

I guess there is no hiding what this post is about right?

Right now I’ve run two marathons and neither of them have been enjoyable.  That is the blunt honest truth and yet I find myself pondering whether I should run a fall full marathon.  Right now I plan to train shorter distance and then see where I am at the end of the summer.

Will I run another marathon at some point?

Yes I do know I will eventually…I am not satisfied with either of my marathons…

Is it my favorite distance?

No…

Let’s rewind to a brief history of my running…

I had a very long period of staying injury free.  When I evaluate myself and my training, I can see that period of injury free running stopped when I began training for marathons.  Admittedly I didn’t train that well for either marathon but I did make it through. 

Reflecting upon my running the last 2 years:

I made it through the entire New York City Marathon training cycle injury free.  Since it was my first marathon, it took me a lot longer to recover afterwords .  The marathon was in early November and I was comfortably running again in late December.

YAY marathon...
YAY marathon…

January through April of 2014 were my only “solid” months of training from the last 2 years.  I PRed in a half marathon (which was shocking) but other then that there have been no other PRs or solid races.  Was that half marathon a fluke?  Well I haven’t come anywhere close since!  

A year ago, I ran Broad Street 10 miler at roughly the same pace as my half marathon PR. and until Broad Street yesterday, 2014 was the last race I deem “successful”.   

Cue in the multiple injuries:

My first issue was plantar fasciitis in June of 2014.  I took two weeks off and it didn’t seem to heal.  From mid June until mid July, I dealt with the dreaded PF.  I was training for my second marathon: Wineglass…and the race date kept creeping closer.  Finally by August 1st I was running again.  I still had hope that my base might pull me through.

Then I woke up with a stress fracture in mid August and everything was shut down.  I’m not sure if that stress fracture was a mental relief or not.  I didn’t really want to run Wineglass full marathon but I probably would have if I didn’t have a fracture.  Before my plantar fasciitis I had invested so much time that I didn’t want to waste.

Lots of races...
Lots of time and races… 

From mid August to Mid October I took off from running.  Running on a stress fracture is dumb. I healed well and decided I wanted to run the Phoenix full marathon in February.  Little did I know it would be the perfect break to get out of the east coast during the worst winter in a while.

I actually had really good training for the race and I felt really confident at the race start.  I didn’t race much from December until January but I did have quality training  from November until February.  I was satisfied that I would PR and be around 3:10.

Except the Icicle 10 miler...that was a great race for me
Except the Icicle 10 miler…that was a great race for me

But I didn’t finish around 3:10 like I had hoped because I finished the race in a lot of pain.  I am not saying I would have broken 3 hours in Phoenix if I was injury free but I would have been closer to my goals.  I finished the race with a lot more energy than I should have. I also finished with a lot more hip pain than I should have…

But I somehow cracked a smile
But I somehow cracked a smile

From March until now, I beebopped around with hip, butt and leg pain.  Now that I’m finally running injury free again…do I start another cycle of marathon training?

No…my history right now points to steer clear of marathons.

So where do I go?

As I said my history with full marathons has not been fulfilling.  Not only have I missed my potential but I also haven’t enjoyed running either marathon.

I’m ready to go back and toy around with shorter distances for a while.  I don’t have a number of days, weeks, months or even years to quantify a “while” but I do want to work on shorter distances for a while (I do know it will be at least until the summer).

I plan to run a lot of 5ks in the future.  If everything goes well and according to plan I will be running a 5k nearly every weekend.  I enjoy the availability of small and local 5ks.  I also enjoy that small and local 5ks don’t take commitment and I can sign up a few days prior.  I don’t have to worry about a race being sold out (like it seems every half and full marathon these days!)’

A random 5k in the hail
A random 5k in the hail

Will every 5k be a PR?

Since I haven’t come within 40 seconds of my PR in 2 years I doubt any 5k will be a PR for a while.

Will each 5k work on speed and turnover which eventually could help in longer distances?

Yes…and that is what I’m hoping.

It will be a nice break from 15-20 miler long runs that I don’t need (or want to do) now.  I do enjoy running long, easy distances but I know I will enjoy some faster and shorter races too.