Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Deal or No Deal?

Even though I DNRed yesterday, I kept thinking about the Philadelphia Marathon. If I keep this up, my mode of indecision -- in which I wait until the day before a race to decide not to do it -- will take over. What to do?

I tried to apply the sort of decision analysis I use to help students consider their job offers. Yes, break the question down to pros and cons; consider what you value and the likelihood and how much the marathon will satisfy those values; don’t forget the options that you’re not seeing on the table; oh, but make a table; blah, blah, blah.

Here is a list my pros-cons. What am I forgetting? Do the pros outweigh the cons?

Pros (butterflies in my stomach)

  • It’s an awesome feeling to finish a marathon
  • A chance to improve my PR without the headwind
  • A chance to BQ for 2009
  • Local, big races are fun
  • I don’t have to travel anywhere for this marathon
  • To finally give meaning to the “long” runs I’ve been doing all summer
  • I’m in fairly decent shape now (aside from minor knee/ankle/hamstring irregularities)
  • I miss the long runs together and the post-run vegging during the Spring
  • I can do it… there are 5 weeks before the taper
  • My gut says to do it

Cons (voices in my head)

  • Training for a marathon requires time, mental and physical energy
  • I don't feel like doing tempo runs under 7 minute miles and mile repeats at near 6.
  • Long runs alone would be lonely
  • Long runs takes away from trail runs and racing, which I also like
  • I might not do as well as I’d hoped to, since I started training late
  • No good answer for “Why do you pay to run?” when the marathon costs > $100
  • I could get injured during training
  • If I get hurt, I might miss Boston, too
  • Race day could be rainy and cold
  • I definitely won’t win or place
  • I know this course and it can get boring down the stretch.
  • Need to start sleeping more if I run more


noah said...

i'll do your long runs with you (up to 18). but yeah... tough decision.

Leena said...

can you just train and enjoy the long and tempo runs then pay a late fee to run the marathon when the time comes? that way you are not officially committed until the end. I can try to run some distances up to about 6 now and maybe 10-12 after Ramadan.

Julia said...

Would it help to take some podcasts to accompany you on lone runs? If you're going to train for the Boston marathon anyway, could you build in training for the Philly marathon as a sort of early start?