About a month ago, I decided that I would run a marathon. I wasn't sure when or where or how old I would be, but I figured that I'd make the marathon a goal of mine at some point or another.
That point may be sooner than I'd expected.
While glancing through The Other Mag, I saw an advertisement for this: The Long Beach Marathon.
When I saw that, I got a sinking feeling in my stomach. It was reality dropping into my belly, the reality that this one could be it. This one could be where I tackle the 26.2-mile beast.
Why? Several reasons.
First, it's at the perfect time of the year for me, of 2009 that is. With my schedule, it would be less challenging to find time to train during the spring and summer months than the late fall/winter time. Now, that's not to say that such a training schedule that would run through the holidays would be impossible - in fact I'd already tentatively planned for a February marathon - but it would be less stress on my schedule to train in July, August and September. The tradeoff of course is the weather. It was pretty warm for an outdoors run at 9 a.m. this morning, so I went to the gym instead. That would probably mean distance runs that start in the pre-dawn hours, and those can be fun.
However, I worked a lot during the high school soccer season last year and that was a lot of stress on my feet and my heels.
Secondly, though, it's this year. It's pretty much now, in terms of starting my training. I know for this one I'd have to train properly (and that probably means joining the local running group). I'd have to start relatively soon if I wanted to get to the level where I would need to be.
I guess I did get a bit antsy thinking about the marathon and training for a race. I've got nothing set after the Mud Run, which is June 13. I've been looking into races and found a few but nothing like this, that would dominate my training schedule, that would give me something to shoot for. 10K races are great and half-marathons too - I'm not minimizing them at all - but this would something new and that always brings out the best in me.
Also, Long Beach has its nice parts. I've run on the beach there before and it was enjoyable. Lots of good sights and the course is flat, not a whole lot of stinking hills, and it's near the water, in October, so no chance of 80- or 90-degree temperatures.
So I'm just kicking it around right now. Glancing through the Web site makes me excited, anxious, nervous.... all those good feelings. I'm not glancing of course. I've got some time to make the decision, although right now I'd have to say I'm 75 percent in favor, well, maybe more like 73.277 percent. Not a done deal at all but pretty damn close to it.
If I'm this nervous about just thinking about signing up for it, I'm going to be a wreck for the next four months.