Goodbye marathon, hello metric marathon

That’s it?! I just ran for three hours and I only got that far.
I felt faster. Sure not all the time, but I did (at least it felt like it) better than that.
In the words of Eric Cartman, “Screw you guys, I’m going home.”
I just finished my longest run ever according to MapMyFitness (review and comparison to Endomondo to appear mid August). And it took me 3-plus hours.
After having the roof cave in on me and a basement flood (long stories related to my adventures in being a landlord), I didn’t have time for three-plus hour long runs. It was only going to get worse, as I worked my way through my marathon training program.
I was devoting too much time to running. This was a bit too much for me. It was like a part-time job.
I dutifully got up at the crack of dawn, walked the dogs, ate a light breakfast and went running. Some days, I’d wake up at 5 a.m. after getting to bed at 2 a.m. because of my real job. Believe me, running when you’re already tired isn’t fun.
On the day of the longest run, I looked back at my running. I spread myself too thin. I was training for a marathon but doing all these low-mile, speedy races for the grand prix. My goal was to finish in the grand prix top 10 and do most of the races.
I was in the top 10 but got bumped a few weeks ago. Looking at the scores, I knew why I wasn’t in the top 10. I had less points because I’m not fast. The other people have either done more races or are faster than I am.
Also I wasn’t happy with running. Yes, we all get into a rut sometimes, but this was gnawing at me for a while. I love distance running — the alone time, the sense of pushing to your limit, etc. But I like the thrill that comes from pushing hard at a shorter distance more.
So no more marathon. I’m going metric.
The Potomac Highlands Distance Club puts on a race, the Run for the Gold Metric Marathon. The race takes place on the Great Allegheny Passage, and goes from Meyersdale, Pa., to Frostburg, Md., about 26.2 kilometers (16.28 miles).
I can do 16. It will be my longest run yet, but I get to accomplish several goals at once. They are:

  • Run in two states during a race.
  • Go through the Big Savage tunnel. It’s very long and neat to run in from what I hear.
  • Cross the Eastern Continental divide. This truly divides east from west.
  • Go 26.2. Sure it’s kilometers, but it’s still 26.2.

I also plan on using my training time more wisely and concentrate on my grand prix races. I want to train smarter and harder. I don’t have the time not too.
Hopefully, come December, I’ll accomplish my goal of being in the top 10 of the grand prix.
I just need to remember, running is just part of my life. There’s no need to make it more or less important than what it is.
NOTE: The PHDC also puts on other events. They’ve timed quite a few in my area. They do a great job. If you’re ever in western Maryland or eastern West Virginia, and need someplace to run, look them up.

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