I needed to sign up right now for a few reasons. First, the price increases after January 31st (granted it's only a $5 increase but I'm cheap!). Second, if I'm not signed up for it, I still have in the back of my head that I may not do it. Maybe with the guarantee now that I'm doing it, I can have that mental push in the back of my head while training! Mentally I have been completely unfocused this marathon training as opposed to the last one.
Until recently, I didn't really have a reason why I was so unfocused. After thinking about it for a few weeks now, I've come to the conclusion that the winter training was throwing me off. Running in the evenings after work, it's dark and cold. Maybe it's also the snow and ice. I've been running more on the treadmill (I absolutely hate running in place!!). In the summer, it's
But all this is a moot point. It's winter marathon training. It's dark at night (and in the mornings). It's cold and snowy. I may have to run on the treadmill. Suck it up! It's what you signed up for! And that's the reason I signed up for it. I figured it would give me a 100% reason to run through the winter months. Normally, I put running on an almost nonexistent back burner for January and February! I may run once a week on a treadmill or outside on a nice day but that's it! I wanted to keep up the good mileage even in the winter and this was the way I could think to do it. After all, I've become somewhat addicted to running since training for the marathon last year and want to keep running! And I would like to get better and the only way to get better is by continuing to do it. And I can use the treadmill for speed training. I can use my Saturday running in Palos to get better at hills. And maybe come spring, I won't feel like I'm just "starting" again, because I will have still been running for months on end!
And then there is of course my marathon goal! I finished the Chicago Marathon in 4:53. Not the time I wanted but not bad considering it was my first marathon as well as other conditions of that day. Basically, I wanted to finish. I ran conservatively. I learned some things that may help in the later miles. I would like to finish as close to 4:30 as possible (with an ultimate goal right now to break 4:30). April weather in Chicago is definitely unpredictable (as is any other time of the year...temps have ranged from 30's to 80's in very recent years for the October Chicago Marathon). Of course I would love to have perfect weather in April when I run the marathon. But I have to be prepared for any weather. Will it be hot? Cold? Rainy? (I think I can eliminate snow but you really never know). After my 20-miler run I did in preparation for the Chicago Marathon, it rained almost the entire time and I knew I was miserable! So my fear is that it will be rainy! I've run in the rain plenty of times but usually it's not more than 3 or 4 miles.
The only thing I can do is train. Ok, the other thing I can do is have confidence in myself that no matter what the circumstances are that day, I will be able to do it. Nothing ever goes as planned. The key is how you handle those situations.