I'm actually sitting hear listening to Steve Colbert talk about running a marathon and I'm blogging a post about the same.
I can remember when a marathon was a big deal to me, and now I have to say that is not the case. That's probably not such a great thing to say, especially when I'm staring one down in just 6 days, a marathon that in fact was a pretty humbling experience in 2005, when I failed to break 3 hours.
I have mixed feelings about this, to be sure. I ran the Hartford Half-Marathon as a tune up and was up at registration in the Civic Center the night before. I heard people talking to one another at expo- about how excited they were, about how they were looking forward to the marathon. There's a certain energy and excitement at a marathon, but I have to say, it leaves me unaffected personally. I am more interested in getting up on the line, getting started, and getting finished.
Maybe it's the fact that the number of Ironmans I've done (4), is starting to feel close to the number of marathons I've run (7?). I have to say that as emotional as the start of the Ironman is, as much energy as is there, I mostly just want to get the race started. Don't get me wrong. I think the Ironman crew does an awesome job from 6:30 am to midnight and you'll usually find me in the stands until the race is over, but when I'm staring down that crazy mass-start in Mirror Lake, I just want to get from the extreme right-hand corner to the far turn alive.
What does that have to do with a marathon where I can start in the front or second row if want ? Not much. It's been hard to get my head out of triathlon. The day before Mystic will be Kona, the race everyone else wants to go to- a race I passed on going to this year for family reasons. When we got back from Lake Placid I knew I had to commit to Mystic, get my long runs in, have some focus.
Now, less than a week away from the race, I feel a little guilty about how I'm looking at it. Is it a big deal ? Of course, it's a marathon- and let me be clear, running 26.2 miles as hard as you can is extremely hard- the run in the Ironman is a break for me in comparison. Mystic is not as easy a course as some people make it out to be. Not a ton of hills, but the big hill is late and there's wind every year.
Still, when I think about people who train all year for a marathon, who hold it out as their goal race or A race- I feel a little guilty heading out there to basically run the race because I think I need to do, because it will help- hopefully- prepare me for Arizona 2007 next April...
I hope everyone has a great day and after running every day for about three weeks, I am looking forward to the taper...