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Need help with big decision. (Read 777 times)

RunFree7


Run like a kid again!

    The heat is making me rethink my original plan. So I am looking for help making this decision. The ultimate goal is to qualify for Boston in the next three years. Plan A - Run the Columbus Marathon to learn how to run a better marathon and finish strong instead of hitting the wall. Plan B - Run the Columbus 1/2 Marathon to learn how to run at the pace I will need to run for the full marathon to qualify for Boston. Something to build on for the Flying Pig. With the heat it sounds like Plan B is the fun option but I feel like I am turning into a big wimp. I've been training pretty well the last few months for this race but have yet to do a run over 16 miles run. This week I am scheduled for an 18 mile run and then a 20 miler the following week. I have a hard time imagining doing this with the weather conditions outside. It is not the mileage I am worried about but the mileage and the heat. Thoughts. Feel free to call me a wimp or anything else you can think of. I need to know if I am being a big whiner or if I am being smart? Currently I am leaning towards the 1/2 marathon.
      2011 Goals:
      Sub 19 5K (19:24 5K July 14th 2010)
      Marathon under 3:05:59 BQ (3:11:10 Indy 2010)
      If you are a runner, the heat can't make you rethink your original plan. Only YOU can make you rethink your orignal plan. The heat can only force you to make adjustments day to day. Just like the cold, the snow, the wind, getting a cold, allergies, stuff at work, sick kids, traffic, out of state weddings, the locusts, etc. These are all things you need to deal with and occasionally make adjustments for. But despite all that, runners run. Others just talk about running. What's your QT? If you're aiming for a 3:10 and your best so far is 3:52 then I'd say it doesn't matter too much whether you race a marathon or a half marathon as your goal race for this fall. What you need most is time. Time spent running mileage. Your training shouldn't be a whole heck of a lot different for a half or full this fall. Running a BQ is not about "learning how to run goal pace." You don't need to "learn" how to run a certain pace, you need to train for it so you're capable of it. Experience at racing the marathon definitely helps, so running a marathon this fall will have that added benefit, but it will require more recovery afterwards. So you need to decide which will benefit you more long term AND which you'd rather do--which one would get you more excited and motivated.

      Runners run.

        That's a tough question. I would keep training like you have been if I were you. It looks like the weather is going to snap and temps are going to start coming down this weekend so the ridiculous heat index days we have been having the past 3-4 days should start to fall off. I'm around Zanesville and it looks like the temps for next week are going to be in the mid-low 80's so that will feel nice and cool in comparison. I am going to be doing the half and so far my training is just getting back into the swing of things. I have been doing a lot of biking with some runs when the weather has permitted or my schedule has permitted. The flying Pig is also in May and you never know what that weather is going to be like either. I have seen weekends in May that the temp wasn't too far off of what we have been experiencing lately. I would say that the Columbus in October would be much more conducive to running a qualifier if that is what you are shooting for. I also think the Columbus course is a bit easier then Cincy's but I could be wrong. I have volunteered at Columbus in the past and have read about the Flying Pig but have no experience actually being there to compare. Don't know if this helps at all but my rambling while putting off doing anything too productive at work.
        "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty, and well preserved body, but rather, to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: "WOW... WHAT A RIDE!!!" Muskingum College XC
          I'm with Coach, I would keep training the way you have been. If you really feel you can't handle the weather this weekend, maybe push this particular long run back 1 week, or else do a 2 a day, and run two 9 milers, one early in the morning, one late evening, so that you are in cooler temps the whole time. Like mikeymike said, regardless of which race you are going to run this fall, if you really want to qualify within a year or two, you probably shouldn't change your training too much based solely on the race. You are going to need the higher mile days soon anyway. There's not a wrong answer here, as far as which plan is right for you. Just make sure you are making the decision, and not letting the weather be an excuse. I read this quote from Bill Bowerman yesterday, when I was looking for some motivation vs. the Ohio heat. I used it to get me moving this morning, maybe it helps you too.
          There is no such thing as bad weather, just soft people. - Bill Bowerman
          RunFree7


          Run like a kid again!

            Thanks for the reply guys. I don't see me being about to run a BQ time at Columbus. My time was 3:52 in the flying pig but I know that if I had run a smarter race it could have been 3:45. I feel right now I could run a 3:30 at columbus for a marathon or I could be able to do my BQ time for the half since I ran an 8:05 first half in the Flying Pig. From what I have heard the Flying Pig is a much harder course and I have been training a lot harder these days then I ddi training for the PIG. I think I am going to stay the course and back off the mileage from this weekend. I think I will at least do 10 on Sunday outside with the possibility of doing 18. I am just going to have to run at a slower pace and see how I feel. The quote's definatley help. Anyone else got any good ones.
              2011 Goals:
              Sub 19 5K (19:24 5K July 14th 2010)
              Marathon under 3:05:59 BQ (3:11:10 Indy 2010)
              I see on your log that you have been running some longer runs on an indoor track. Where have you been running? Man I can't imagine 8 miles on a 200m track. LOL> i would get dizzy or way too confused and lose track of laps. Glad to see you are sticking with it.
              "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty, and well preserved body, but rather, to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: "WOW... WHAT A RIDE!!!" Muskingum College XC
              RunFree7


              Run like a kid again!

                The Mason rec center has an indoor track. 8 laps is a mile. It is much better then the treadmill. I feel like a hamster in a wheel with those things. Plenty of activities around me to keep me busy. Usually some baskeball, gymnastics and swimming going on. Plus the people getting on and off the track. Usually I get on the track and watch everyone come and go. Usually one or two people will pass me but they are usually just running a mile or two. It is nice being the fastest person on the track. The other day a girl got on after I had already run two miles and started to try and pass me. She did a good job for about 4 laps gaining a little advantage on me. I could tell when I would speed up she would speed up so she was trying to beat me. Next thing I know she is doubled up and looked like she was getting ready to make a big mess. Made me feel good that I was still just in the middle of my run. It is good for the confidence. I'm not sure if I should have felt bad for her or not but I felt like she was messing with me so I didn't. Last night though some guy got on the track and was just flying by me. He passed me a couple of times and I thought in my head that he would only be on for a mile at most like all those others who pass me now and then. Then after a mile, well he can't be going more then a 5K. Turns out it was about 6 miles and he was a lot faster then me. That one hurt the confidence. I've never ran around anyone that fast before. He lapped me a lot. I ran father then he did though. I know at least that much!
                  2011 Goals:
                  Sub 19 5K (19:24 5K July 14th 2010)
                  Marathon under 3:05:59 BQ (3:11:10 Indy 2010)
                  omg...64 laps on an indoor track! That's pretty amazing Bearcat. If you can do that, you can do just about anything. I'll join in with the others and encourage you to keep training for the 26.2. Good luck! "Self-conquest is the greatest of victories" - Plato
                    I agree with everyone else, go for the marathon. I've done both the Flying Pig and Columbus, with Columbus being about 30 minutes faster for me. You're more likely to have a better time at Columbus, both due to the course and the weather. Fall marathons in the OH area are always good because the bulk of your training has been in heat + humidity, and then race day is cooler and not as humid. Any training you put in during heat + humidity only makes you stronger when it comes time to race in the fall! Spring marathons, the bulk of your training is cooler weather, and then it's more likely to be hotter on race day than what you're used to. You could get a really good time, closer to your BQ time, and the confidence from that could carry you through a tough winter of running and leave you more motivated next year. Any time you can put in 16-20 in through heat and humidity - think how strong that will make you! Early morning starts always help me too. Unfortunately, in this area, there's only a few months where running weagther is really 'ideal'! I can never make up my mind whether I prefer snow to humidity or vice versa... Good luck with either!


                    Burninated Peasant

                      I agree with the other commenters - go for the whole marathon. If the heat's really killing you, try to do some of your running when it's dark out - evening or early morning. I know that can be tough on the western edge of a time zone, but it does help. Plus, if it is consistently hot the rest of the summer, your body will eventually adjust so it doesn't seem quite as bad. Still, those morning temperatures under 70 degrees look awfully inviting to me - I wouldn't be able to resist getting up early and putting a bunch of miles in. It could be worse.
                      RunFree7


                      Run like a kid again!

                        tschepsit: Well I gotta say that those current temperatures in Texas are about what they have been around here. However, I have crazy stories about the temperatures in Texas so I won't even pretend that Cincinnati and Dallas/Ft Worth are comparable.
                          2011 Goals:
                          Sub 19 5K (19:24 5K July 14th 2010)
                          Marathon under 3:05:59 BQ (3:11:10 Indy 2010)
                        RunFree7


                        Run like a kid again!

                          Thanks for all of the support! It really helps. With your encouragement I set out today hoping to do 20 miles but really thinking 10 -12. I was running at a 9:30 pace which is much slower then my long runs have been and about mile 5 decided to go for it. Anyway, I finished the 20 miles at a 9:30 pace stronger then I did the 10 miles (hotter weather) or 16 miles (in cooler weather) at an 8:20 ish pace. Amazing what shaving off a minute of time will do for your stamina. With this new confidence and everything you guys have said I am going to go ahead and commit myself to the marathon and sign up this week. I have to admit though that even though I had already read the book listening to Harry Potter book 7 helped a lot too. I need a good book to download and listen to. I am banking on everything t_runner (Teresa) said to be true. That was a very motivating message since you have done both. Where is Brecksville Ohio? Are you racing Columbus or the Flying Pig this year or next year?
                            2011 Goals:
                            Sub 19 5K (19:24 5K July 14th 2010)
                            Marathon under 3:05:59 BQ (3:11:10 Indy 2010)
                            Brecksville is a suburb of Cleveland.. about 10 min south. I have enjoyed the Columbus and Cincy marathons a great deal more than Cleveland's though (not to knock my own hometown). I have actually slipped out of great marathon shape myself, so I will probably not do Columbus this year. I was contemplating it in an attempt to join a friend at Boston next year, but it's doubtful I will do that, my long run base is pretty much non-existent these days. I am planning on ramping up mileage soon, so I am looking for a race later in the fall, and am leaning towards this one in Bloomington IN : Tecumseh Trail Marathon . I did a seriously hilly trail marathon in CA last year, and it was a really great experience, although my time was 2 hours slower than a standard marathon for me! I still believe I may be hooked on trail races... Good luck!! It sounds like you are on a really great track already with that 20 miler! When you are running Columbus in the nice brisk morning air, you will be so grateful for all the times you gave up gallons of sweat to put in a long run now.