A week and some after a great run. As much I can recognize from the splits that I ran—maybe—a perfect marathon last week, I continually counter with the thought that maybe it wasn’t that perfect if I still had more in me. Now my sights are on shaving just a few minutes off to come in at 3:4something. That :4X is so much more appealing than a :5X (as in 3:5something). As much as I would love to run a spring marathon, I’m not sure how fair that is to Don and Henry to begin a new round of training with long runs on the weekends. Don would probably say it’s okay. I would have to ask him. It is more an issue for me to work through. How badly do I want to now run a fast marathon (versus a comfortable one)? Or how comfortable will I be now with my 2013 Boston Qualifier in the bag so that I don’t have to hold back or have that concern in my brain for 24 miles (because at that point—and especially with Ben calling out to me “you’ve got it, Laura”— I realized I was going to make my target— and at that point was I even looking at my watch?).
I have a few weeks to live with the tension between enjoying my strong finish and achieving a goal, and seeing room for an even better race. By December I would like to know what my race card looks like for next year.
For now, I am looking forward to the 5k with Henry on Thanksgiving morning. The run around the lake at Central Park in Schenectady is my running homecoming. It will be my third time with this race. The first time I ran it was sometime in the mid ‘90’s: it was my first race ever and I ran it with David Clayman. I wouldn’t have any idea what my time was but I think I was exhilarated to just run a race. The second time I ran it was two years ago when my training run at that time was not quite a full 4 miles.
In that race, a woman close to me in age gestured at about 2 1/2 miles for me to catch up with her and we panted together up to the 3 mile marker by the casino when she turned to me and said, “go for it!”. That camaraderie is what pulled me into a love of the race. I miss that a little now that—especially with the shorter race—it’s all out mental focus and battle.
I’m checking over the times of the age group winners and see some really fast women in my age group with sub 20 minutes times. I have no idea what my time will look like after distance training. Clearly, my next goal is to work on speed over the next few months.