Thursday, November 30, 2017

Day 3,987: Lottery winner: BMW Berlin Marathon (or "Off the fence and into the fire")

Today before I even was able to get in my run of the day (7 miles easy on the schedule), I received an email notifying me that I won an entry into next September's BMW Berlin Marathon. It was my first time applying for the extremely fast race that has netted world record times.

It's also the first time I've been able to win a lottery entry into one of the three international marathons that are in the Abbott World Major Marathon series (the other three are in the U.S., Boston, New York and Chicago). I've tried without success to get into the London Marathon for several years and did not get into my lone attempt to win a lottery draw for Tokyo a few years ago (I forgot to apply this year).

I put "Off the fence and into the fire" into the title of today's post because the announcement also pushed me towards running in a race that I've thought about for several months, the March 8 Snickers Marathon in Albany, Ga.

All month I've actually been following the Hansons Marathon Method schedule but hadn't signed up yet. This month's 166.85 miles that I ran is my highest mileage since November 2016, coming off of the Chicago Marathon a month earlier that year.

For the last four weeks I felt that running in a run-heavy schedule of 40+ miles a week was a good way to get in shape without necessarily committing to a race distance that I've yet to conquer.

But now that I have a chance to run in my second World Major Marathon (I've run in Chicago twice, in 2010 and last year), it seems logical to put myself through training over the winter to work out the issues I've had.

It would be nice to get through a marathon strong, without hitting the wall and without the painful calf cramps. I'd love to see exactly what the same kind of training I did in 2016 would have resulted in if I hadn't developed a stress fracture in my shin.

I'm really glad now I let myself take a break from marathons for a whole year and now am looking forward to being fresh for the two races next year.

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