Half Marathon Man
By johan on Jul 11, 2005
I ran the 5 mile race (8 kilometres for us non-imperialists) in Phoenix Park yesterday morning, completing it in about 45:30 - quite pathetic as I have passed the 10 kilometere mark during a half marathon in less time.
Though, considering my training for the year so far consisted of 2 lunchtime runs last week, I'm not too disappointed.
So, now that I've done that, maybe I should keep up the training and do the 10 mile and half marathon races as well. I trained for and finished the Dublin City Marathon last year, but even though I've run 4 marathons and the Two Oceans ultra marathon, I just don't see the benefit of a full marathon anymore. I enjoy doing half marathons - I feel like I've had a decent workout without doing any damage to myself. But I really just feel so drained and sore after a marathon, and the last hour is always painful and I simply cannot enjoy it.
I was crazy enough to run my first marathon in 1997, after only ever having run as far as 16 kilometers. A colleague, Dave, needed to qualify for the Two Oceans, and convinced me on a Friday afternoon to run the Oudtshoorn Marathon the next day. After a busy work week, I drove us more than 400km from Cape Town, stopped to carbo-load with some pasta in Swellendam on the way, and arrived in Oudtshoorn around 11pm. We slept in the back of my pick-up, and got up at around 4am to catch the 5am bus to the 6am start at the Kango Caves. I remember passing the 16km mark and thinking that this was the furthest I had ever run before - and I still had more than twice the distance to go to finish the race! My knees were killing me towards the end as Dave kept encouraging me to continue. I was running in brand new shoes (BIG mistake!) and ended up losing five toenails. In the end, we finished the marathon in 4:12:00, which I would never have been able to do without Dave's help.
Why did I do it? Madness, I guess - or maybe just a sense of accomplishment, of getting to know my capabilities and shortcomings. Anyway, I'm glad I did it then, but I reckon I'll limit myself to half marathons from now on. And having blogged about it kind of makes me feel obliged to keep up the training now.