Pace and Considering a Marathon (Read 892 times)

    I've been considering signing up for my first marathon. I've only been running a little over a year, and wouldn't be running the marathon til January (it was a done deal until I got a new job - now I need to figure out more info on that before I can commit to travel right after Christmas). I've been looking at training plans and reading reports, and well, I'm realizing that I think I"m kind of slow, as anyone can see from my training logs. I run by time rather than distance because it's been easier to plan, but my 30 minute runs are usually end up at an 11:30 pace, and my hour long runs are at a 12:30 pace (admittedly, I always end up taking a walk break, but I'm working on that). I was looking online for a group to join for long runs and I keep seeing statements like "While some of our runners do run 7 minute miles, most of us are doing 8-10 minute miles. So don't worry, you won't be left in the dust." Except that I would. Should I just keep training and eventually I'll get faster? Should I work on that before thinking about a marathon (I don't want to get swept from the race)? Should I just not think about it and go out and run?
      Hey Piper, Many marathons have a 7-8 hour course time, and even at a 13:00 pace, you would finish in a little over five and half hours. Don't worry about speed --- it will come with more miles and more running. If you want to run a marathon, run a marathon! You don't need to be fast to run 26.2 miles -- you just need to put in the miles. HTH Trish
      2009: BQ?
        Hi Piper, Thought I would share my two cents. I agree whole heartedly with Trish. If you want to run a marathon...run a marathon! You will be able to do it, for sure! I ran my first marathon this past December and it was an amazing experience. I have set a goal for another one in July as I am in the "kicking and screaming" phase of running at the moment...and, having a goal to strive for helps. But, at your current pace, you will be fine! I say let the elite runners worry about pace and setting records...for the rest of us, the winning is in the finishing. And, I think it is only around 400,000 people in the World that finish a marathon each year. So, we are a little elite group on our own who finish one! Cheers and best wishes in your training! Oh yeah, I am sure you know about Hal Higdon...but, his plan worked for me! http://www.halhigdon.com/marathon/Mar00novice.htm PS. Both you and Trish are in law school. Small world...
        If you go as far as you can see, you will then see enough to go even farther. - John Wooden
          Oh yeah, we are both in law school ... both 3Ls, too. I am sitting for the Maryland Bar in July, and like you, I am nervous about the future. Oh, and my cats refuse to run too. Lazy kitties.
          2009: BQ?
            My cat won't run either! Spoiled Persian that she is!
            If you go as far as you can see, you will then see enough to go even farther. - John Wooden

            Princess Cancer Pants

              My dream is to have a cat to run with me. "Fat" chance when one of my cats is named Thor, but answers to Pig, Piggy, Pigga-Jig, Piggatha, Miss Piggy.... Norm, I want to see pics of your kitty! I LOVE long-haired fluffballs! Megan, I want to do a marathon someday, too. I know I will be slow, but when I did my half marathon this past Fall I know there were lots of folks who were still on the course 6 or more hours after the race started, so don't let a lack of speed hold you back. I have a feeling my first marathon (hopefully next year) will be in the 5 hour range unless I miraculously find some hidden speed.... Tongue k

              '17 Goals:

              • Chemo

              • Chemo-Radiation

              • Surgery

              • Return to kicking my own ass by 2018


              She was not strong. She was valiant. Radiant. Brave and broken. The beauty she discovered in the aftermath was unparalleled to anything she had known before, because it had come at such a cost.

              ~ Unknown

                You can defineitely do it. I am a slow runner, also, but the long distance goals of the marathons are about the only thing that gets me on out running. My 1st was 2004, and I was about 15 pounds lighter than I am right now. My time was about 5:35 (that's hours, NOT pace!!!!). My more recent times have been longer - the 2nd one was more like 6:30 (an all trail), and my latest in Feb. was almost 6:00. I figure i am continuing to lose weight (15 pounds since last March), i enjoy it, and it is the only exercise/diet program i have stuck with this long. I know I could concentrate on shorter distances and speed, but I'm not sure i would be motivated to stick with it. As a slower runner, there are a few thing to keep in mind when choosing your 1st: travel distance from your home (i made sure mine was driveable, with a hotel stay at the race, so I didn't have to worry about canceling airline reservations); the race cut-off time (i look for 8+ hours); make sure you get the coveted hardware (medal) no matter what your finish time is, since some actually give to those that finishunder a shorter "cutoff" time; the profile/topography of the course (make sure not too many hills). Nutrition for us slower runners is critical, so you'll have to work on that. We are out there about twice as long as the faster runners, and we need more calaries to keep going. I'm still trying to figure this one out! If you decide to do it, come join us at the Marathon Madness User Group, and ask lopts of questions - that's what we're there for! Go for it!!!
                Next up: A 50k in ? Done: California-Oregon-Arizona-Nevada (x2)-Wisconsin-Wyoming-Utah-Michigan-Colorado

                madness baby

                  You should totally do it. Running a marathon is an incredible thing, and pace doesn't matter at all. I love your avatar, by the way! Smile
                  Nutrition for us slower runners is critical, so you'll have to work on that. We are out there about twice as long as the faster runners, and we need more calaries to keep going. I'm still trying to figure this one out!Go for it!!!
                  No kidding. If I do another one I've got to figure out how to get a peanut butter & jelly sandwich at hour 4 or so. I was so hungry!
                    Hi! I will have to find my pictures...but, here is a link to a movie my RA's made. Elektra is in the opening scene on my lap. http://www.metacafe.com/watch/429896/ra_on_duty/ She is a cutey! Also, as far as nutrition and marathons...I am slower, too, as I did my first in 4:41, about a 10:45 pace. I ate a gel every four miles and alternated water/powerade every two miles and that seemed to get me through fine. I also enjoy Cliff Shot Blocks. Cheers!
                    If you go as far as you can see, you will then see enough to go even farther. - John Wooden

                    Imminent Catastrophe

                      Piper, definitely do it! It doesn't matter how fast you run it. There is nothing quite like the feeling you get when you see the finish line and realize that you've done it and all those months of hard training have paid off.

                      "Able to function despite imminent catastrophe"

                       "To obtain the air that angels breathe you must come to Tahoe"--Mark Twain

                      "The most common question from potential entrants is 'I do not know if I can do this' to which I usually answer, 'that's the whole point'.--Paul Charteris, Tarawera Ultramarathon RD.


                      √ Javelina Jundred Jalloween 2015

                      Cruel Jewel 50 mile May 2016

                      Western States 100 June 2016