Saturday mornings are great! There's no job responsibilities, don't have to take the kids to school and I get up early enough that's it's all quiet on the Western Front (or at least the downstairs portion of the house) before the kids get up and shatter the stillness.
I usually brew a pot of coffee, sit down in front of the laptop and browse...check my usual sites...and ponder.
The spinning wheel of pondering thoughts this morning stopped on the Little Rock Marathon. It's a well organized race. One that continues to grow in popularity and stature. It has the biggest finishers medal on the planet. Urban legend has it that smaller framed runners have toppled over after having the ribbon-clad medal anchored around their necks while crossing the finish line in exhaustion. Yet, more material for "Myth-Busters" should someone decide to send it in.
For me the LRM represents the Great Underestimate of '08! I ran the 2008 edition of the race in 4:42:51! It was a little embarrassing for me considering that I ran a 4:57:and change marathon after swimming 2.4 miles and biking 112 at Ironman Wisconsin in September of 2007. That's a difference of less than 15-minutes!
It is certainly my own fault! I can blame no one else. I didn't respect the distance as a stand alone challenge. I mean, really, 26.2 miles is nothing compared to 140.6, right? Of course, I certainly said all the right things and thought the right thoughts, but when it came to training....I didn't train the right way. And I paid the price walking a large part of the second half of the race on my way to a blistering 4:42+! I got what I deserved.
After the race I said I'd probably not run another marathon unless it was part of an Ironman. Well, I changed my mind. I'm running the LRM again this coming March. I want to see what I can do when I train the appropriate way. I've got a training plan and I'm already into it. My goal for 3.15.09 is to run a sub-4. My stretch goal is to knock 1-hour off my '08 time: 3:42:51! I wonder if it's do-able?
What's been your experience? Is it possible to knock an hour off your marathon time from one year to the next? If you read this blog and have an opinion I'd like to read it. If so, what made you successful? I need all the help I can get.