I know, I know. Since January 2011, the day I ran the Walt Disney World Marathon, I told anyone who would listen that I was never running a marathon again, ever. I stuck to my story for almost 4 years, pretty much until this past November.
I suppose it’s pretty impressive that it took 4 years to forget the shear pain of the marathon. But like many things I end up doing, a friend planted the seed and it wasn’t too long before Alyssa and I were researching races and settling on Phoenix Rock N Roll in January.
Why am I doing this again? I’ve asked myself that many times the past couple months. That’s simple; curiosity got the best of me and I need to know how fast I can go. Plus it’s a good excuse to get out of Virginia for the winter without traveling with my bike.
So what did I do wrong way back in 2011? You know how some people get real excited and take a 5k out fast and the last mile is a combination of trying not to puke while also trying to get the race over with as fast as possible? Well I did that. But my race was 26.2 miles and it was the last 6. It’s the only time I cried at the end of a race. Literally cried. And they weren’t tears of joy.
In hopes of avoiding a repeat, my plan is “The build.” Aside from taking the race out too fast, I also fixated on a pace. After that first mile, which was too fast to begin with, I was determined to hit that same pace mile after mile. This is very dangerous for me as I race solely by feel. I don’t even own a Garmin watch (gasp!). So, I plan on taking it out conservative and building to a strong finish, and we’ll just pray I can handle the pain at the end.
It’s scary how nervous I am about such an insignificant race (compared to Ironman). But it should be super fun racing with Alyssa, because it always is. If you haven’t read her post on our little 5k showdown, you should definitely check it out. We can always push each other to the brink. We’ve already agreed that we will not be racing each other in the marathon, though I suspect if it came down to a sprint finish, we would both gut ourselves.