Decision time is here. Of course, if you’re running a marathon this season, such as, oh, I don’t know, Long Beach; you’ve probably already made the decision, but maybe haven’t mailed in the registration. You can still register for the half or full, but the price has gone up by $10. There is no 5K this year, but I recommend the Veterans’ Day 5K/10K in Seal Beach the day before.
If you’re not sure whether to do the half or full, I would look into a couple of factors: ONE, have you run a half marathon before? If not, I would consider running this distance first, just to get a feel for the distance. It is true that a marathon is twice as far as a half, but there are a few mental obstacles to overcome. If you have never run half the distance, it would be very easy to sign up for the marathon, and then just quit, because it seems too far. TWO, if you have done a half, how many long training runs have you been on? Long training runs are NOT mandatory. I did NO long training runs before my first, but I think I would have rather been more prepared, because I couldn’t fathom the distance until I was at the end! Long training runs REALLY help both mentally and physically.
The basic idea here is, are YOU ready for a marathon? Don’t feel pressured to run one, because it isn’t the be-all-end all distance. Many people NEVER run a single marathon. They’re also dead. I knew a guy who waited until he was ready to run his first marathon, and he won...the national championships!
The most important thing to remember is be comfortable. Comfortable with the fact that you are going to do a marathon. Don’t worry about being nervous. Even Todd Byers got nervous before each and every marathon. If you believe in yourself, you CAN finish...even if you finish last, even if you have to walk, even if you vomit every 5 steps for the last mile (‘96 Olympic Trials Winner).
Remember, as always, I’m available for last minute training runs. I’m available for running and training advice. If you want me to carry you across the finish line, uh...I’ll be out of town!