Marathons are addicting. I've loved everything about my first two marathons, from the excitement of the start line to the overwhelming sense of accomplishment at the finish. The pain after the race - which I liken to having gotten hit by a truck - is not pleasant but that fades away and so to does the memory of it.
I want to keep marathons a pleasant experience. The training is grueling - there's just no way around it. From the constant double-digit mileage runs to the 18-, 20- and 22-mile runs to cap off training, preparing for a marathon is the hard part.
One of the best things I did was to decide against running another marathon this year, even though both Long Beach (on Oct. 17) and Las Vegas (Dec. 5) were tempting.
Today I ran 12 miles, my longest distance since San Francisco. Had I decided to run the full at Long Beach I would have needed to run 18. I don't think I had another six miles in me, so I would have already been hating my decision.
I know it is a long time from now until Feb. 6, date of the Surf City Marathon. But I am excited about training, excited about the race and excited about the three races I have planned from now 'til then (Long Beach Half on Oct. 17, Mission Inn Half on Nov. 14 and the Loper Classic 15K on Dec. 5). My next 18-mile run will be on Dec. 19, and I know I will be pumped for that one.
When I think about marathons, I want to feel excited. I want to feel it is a big event that I am just itching to participate in. I don't want it to feel like a chore. I don't want to have to run 18-milers, I want to anticipate with excitement my 18-milers.
So while running another marathon this year probably would have been fun, putting one off until Feb. 6 is the best thing for me - the excitement is guaranteed.