Monday, August 21, 2006

The Half or the Whole

Based on the assumption that all body parts will be functioning at peak preformance on Wednesday I'm going to take another shot at 18 miles. Rather than trekking over to San Francisco and turning a simple walk into the Lewis & Clark expedition, I'm opting to stay close to home and utilize the Iron Horse Trail that cuts a 24.50 mile, primarily flat, paved trail through our county. What this means is I walk out the front door of our home, turn left at the end of the driveway, walk a straight line for 9 miles, pivot 180 degrees, and return home. No need for bread crumbs to find my way back home.

A few days ago I blogged that on impulse I'd registered online in the wee hours of the night for the Eugene Oregon Marathon set for April but I've decided that after the Portland Marathon I'm going to redirect my focus toward half-marathons, resulting in a double registration (and fee) for Eugene.

Theoretically full marathons are more alluring since half of anything seems less fulfilling than the whole of something, i.e. eating an entire pizza pie versus half a pizza pie. However, after eight months of training I've gained an insight I feel compelled to share; that being that there's a significant difference between training for a full marathon and eating a whole pizza pie. Perhaps that would account for the difference between the 1% of the population that have completed a marathon versus the approximate 93% of the population that have consumed, at one time in their life, an entire pizza.

Realistically, the LSD training for a marathon of 16, 18, and 20 miles have been overwhelming to me, not only in terms of hedging them into my schedule but as much as I love walking, trekking those distances alone can be tedious even with great views and a tune-packed Ipod. When I'm looking ahead to something that's ultimately tedious then my motivation to get out the door decreases exponentially to the increased mileage. That's not to say I don't feel an incredible sense of accomplishment in all this because considering where I started and where I am, this is all just beyond amazing for me. I just want to find a way to continue to push myself and continue to enjoy it because if I enjoy it I'll continue to do it. There's some profound enlightened truth.

For that reason, and I'm just thinking out loud here, if I stay with half-marathons, there are some benefits to reap. First, even my longest walks of 12-13 miles will stay under three hours which would be a great help with time management. Second, how amazing it is to say this, but 12-13 mile LSD walks are an en-joy-able distance that leave me feeling strong at the end. Third, with less emphasis placed on endurance I can get back to focusing more on improving my pace, and ideally I'd like to get one more Dave McGovern Racewalking Clinic under my belt so I can begin augmenting my walking with spurts of racewalking. If that happens and I could get my pace within a 12 minute mile pace then I could begin to look at participating in 5 and 10 K events.

Just future thoughts. For now I have one goal in front of me and that's the Portland Marathon and that alone will get me out of bed on Wednesday for another stab at 18 miles.


Steve said...

My thoughts exactly.

I think one FULL pie will be enough for me too.

13 is much more repeatable.

Jules said...

Anita...Good luck on Wednesday! I have been away from the web for a while, so I enjoyed getting caught up with all your happenings. Now I need to catch up my own blog.

UTI's are a menace. I had to have bladder surgery when I was very young because I got them repeatedly. Stay away from milk, carbonated beverages and bubble baths...they'll get you every time!

jeanne said...

I like the analogy of marathons and eating pizzas! I don't know what i'll be up to after my next marathon; but right now, half marathons are looking REALLY GOOD!
and i hear ya on the motivation thing. 18 is a loooong way to go by yourself. Is there a group you could hook up with? Or can you at least load up an iPod with a book? That makes the time really fly. (Well, relatively speaking.)

Jess said...

I like the pizza and marathon analogy; I've never come across that comparison before.