by Paul Thompson
As the days start to shorten I’m reminded that it will soon be fall. Earlier this year when I set my goals for the year I said I’d consider a marathon this fall like Chicago if the stars aligned and my training was going real well around this time. Well I’m in a hole – a black hole. My legs feel beat and I’m running slower than I’d like. So I’ve canned the idea of a fall marathon. Instead I will likely have crack at breaking my PR on a fast course like London in the spring of 2013.
It seems I’m down to the last few grains of sand in the egg timer as far as setting a marathon PR is concerned. At 46 going on 47 (I hear the violins) the chances of my beating 2:29:56 are getting slimmer by the day. So how can I stay motivated enough to keep chalking up 70 mile weeks. Aside from the club races I’m committed to doing I need a big race this fall if I am to stay motivated.
My shortlist is short – the Philadelphia Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon (Philly). Last year I ran 1:10:48 and came 84th (you read it right, eighty fourth!): what does a guy need to do! The winner came in at 58:46. I had a slight handicap – a full day of travel from southern Italy the day before. But that excuse only goes so far.
Philly is perhaps the best half in the US and possibly the world. In 2011 it witnessed U.S. All Comers records for both men and women. It’s great depth means there’s people to compete with the whole way. And it’s expertly organized under the stewardship of Tracy Sundlun, one of Warren Street’s founders.
These past few weeks I’ve racked up my training to 70 miles per week including 20 mile plus runs and speed endurance workouts. But am I ready to put it on the line and see whether I can dip under 70 minutes. I have little time to decide. Should I stay or should I go?