When you decide to run a marathon on low mileage and no long runs, it's difficult to gauge how fast you'll go. The only way to know is to go out there and run it.
So that's what I did on Nov. 30 in Sparks, Md. at the Northern Central Trail Marathon. The result was 26 miles in 3:21:13, which was a good indicator of my fitness.
Here is what it looked like:
The splits for the race were strangely consistent, despite not training the way I would have liked. I got a little tired and tight around 21 or 22 miles, but was able to keep moving at a decent clip.
You know ... considering.
It was a pretty good day. The footing on the course was a little tough in spots, and it was cold. But the race was fun and well organized.
The best part about the race was I didn't get too banged up. The day after I ran five miles with only a bit of post-marathon soreness. By the end of the week, I was holding myself back so I don't overload myself so quickly.
But that marathon itch is tough to scratch. Because I'm old and time is short, I'm running the Central Park Marathon on Feb. 23. That one is five loops around the park, a very familar loop from trips to New York City.
It should be a lot of fun.
And then after that one, how about the Garden Spot Marathon in Lancaster County, Pa.? Yeah, why not? I know a lot of serial marathoners and it seems as if the weekly workload isn't too hot. The key will be to drop some weight and get those long runs in.