Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Day 2,571: I signed up for the Honolulu Marathon!

Draped in a leopard mink, girl standing next to me/
Probably should have washed this, smells like R. Kelly's sheets ... piss/
But shit, it was 99 cents!
 -"Thrift Shop", Macklemore

It's been 3 years and 3 months since I ran in the 2010 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Then, and now, I felt that while the experience was great, it was frustratingly like being 10 yards away from the Super Bowl.

After nearly bonking out of the 2010 ING Georgia Marathon, because of leg cramps at mile 15, I trained the hardest that I'd ever trained for a race. I was doing long runs every 5 days and completed four 20-mile runs prior to 10-10-10.

On race day, everything was going according to plan. I'd run a little faster than my marathon pace and at mile 20 I was tenths of a mile away from putting away a sub-4 hour marathon. That's when my leg cramps set in and I had to slow it down, coming in at 4:06. (I always think of the quote from the movie Aliens, "Ripley, you've blown the transaxle, you're just grinding metal. Ease it down." That's how it felt).

I'd set three PRs that day -- for the marathon and the 20K and 30K distances. And the rewards for all of that training came a month later with a PR in a 5K and then the following February with a PR in the 10K.

I really walked away from marathons that day, since what else could I do. So why would I be so crazy to sign up for another marathon?

It turns out I must be a road race cheapskate. For several years I'd run in the ING Georgia Half Marathon and its incarnations because of the day-after race blitz. I've run in the races for as little as $25.

Today I was looking at the Chicago Marathon website and found the registration does not start until March (and fills up extremely quickly). I then thought about the Honolulu Marathon, a race I'd always wanted to run in since my aunt has run in it several years.

When I clicked on the fee page, I could not believe my eyes -- the race registration (through Jan. 19) is $55! I got an email the other day for a 5K race in Philadelphia which was $50!! The 2010 Chicago Marathon cost me $135.

So it is exciting to have a new focus, although the Honolulu Marathon does not look like a likely place for me to finish in under 4 hours, as it looks like only 6 percent of runners did so in a recent running.

Either way, as long as I train and show up, I have a great chance for my fourth marathon medal.

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