Sharpening the Saw - Random Ruminations Remotely Related to wRiting (and Running)

To say I ran a marathon four years ago would really be glorifying the experience. I ran the first seven miles.

It was the St. George Marathon. If you know anything about that event, you probably know the first seven miles is very scenic and all down hill. After that it may have been scenic. I have no idea.

The next thirteen or so miles was a run walk. Three gruesome miles seemed like I was climbing straight out of a gorge and though the next ten miles were roughly level, it seemed like I was still going uphill. I don't remember much of the final six miles. The last mile was accented by terrible body cramps. At one point, with the finish line in sight, people were cheering me on with "You can do!" type encouragements, but my legs had physically seized up and I could barely move. Somehow, I made it across the finish line in something like five and a half hours total time. I think two or three people came in behind me.

Clearly, the saner side of my brain vowed to never do that again, and truth be told, I may have run ten miles in the last four years.

When I began a running program in July of this year, my goal was to make running a part of my reasonable life. Or was it, a reasonable amount of running part of my life. However I said it, I meant that I would consider myself a runner, get in reasonable shape, reduce my weight, and not overdo it.

Starting with only a mile and a half with more walking than running, I slowly built up to four miles, twice during the week, and five to six on the weekend. Then the insanity hit me...

I reconsidered running another marathon.

My problem at St. George was that I had stopped preparing about six months before the event. My long runs had gotten shorter with more gaps in between. By the time I hit the marathon, I was running, maybe, two days a week.

Long story short, I've set a goal to run the California International Marathon in Sacramento in December of 2019 with the goal of running at a Boston Marathon qualifying pace for a 60 year old. I'll turn sixty the following June. I'll follow up with the Modesto Marathon in March of 2020 to keep my momentum and improve my time. However, I will not do this if I haven't kept up my running lifestyle for the next four years. The intermediate goals are three half marathons in 2016, four in 2017, five in 2018, and at least six in 2019, before the CIM. If I can maintain this level of running, I should be able to comfortably run the CIM and Modesto Marathon with a qualifying time. Then it will be off to Boston in the fall.