Sunday, February 3, 2013

Thoughts on running the Milwaukee Marathon

First of all, damn if that marathon is not filling fast. They are adding about 50 runners every 2-3 days. Currently they are at 835 runners or slightly more than 1/4 of their 3,100 cap. I was hoping that by postponing until they had > 2000 runners, I would have a few more weeks if not months to decide but she's a filling up!

On the plus side, who doesn't love a fall marathon? Train through the brutal summer and than have a somewhat guarantee of a nice cool day (though the 20,000 runners who did not get the chance to finish the Chicago Marathon on the same week-end in 2007 because it was cancelled MID-RACE due to extreme heat and humidity might disagree on this point). It would be beyond wonderful to meet fellow bloggers SeaLegsGirl (who I note is occupying one of the 835 spots), Ingrid and Marathon Mom. Geographically it makes sense as we could easily tack on a trip to visit hubby's family in rural Wisconsin before and after the event. The timing is great because it falls on Thanksgiving (Canadian) so I would only have to take one additional day off of work to make it a worthwhile trip. The course seems really fast. Also, I drank the best beer of my life once in Milwaukee on a business trip at the Lakefront Brewery, So: probably good weather, meet cool women, visit hubby's family, not use too much vacation, fast course, good beer.

On the downside, I was kind of mentally done with marathons for awhile. I can't phathom doing the training while working 40 hours a week in an office, with two small children one of whom who doesn't even sleep through a sitcom let alone the night. (Marathon training on no sleep ... so not tempting). The training will inevitably have a large, negative impact on my family, something I promised I would avoid. There are other factors at play which make this perhaps not the best idea right now. I think there is likely no PB in it for me... I ran my marathon PB in Chicago in 2006 while running 90-115 km/week. I cannot really imagine putting in more than 60-70 km per week and that just won't add up to a PB for me. Investing a lot of training in a race where there is no chance of a PB might feel unrewarding (though if I am honest, my PB days are pretty much behind me at this point... I have run one PB in the past  5 years and that was by 1 second in the half marathon so this issue is something I have to deal with in all of my running, not just this particular race).
So: exhaustion, impact on family, other factors, no PB.

But it is so tempting to go. The siren call of the marathon remains compelling and the draw of meeting SLG, Ingrid and MM is strong. I suppose I could do "marathon training on a diet" i.e. do the least amount of training that will allow me to finish injury free. This will minimize the exhaustion and family impact factor and might put me in the right mindset so I am not in angst over not trying for a PB.

It's $75. For a marathon that is cheap. I might as well just register and leave my options open. The worst that happens is that I waste $75... it's 3 days worth of groceries.


  1. Register!
    Worst that could happen is that you will all starve for 3 days....Not too bad:)

  2. Do it! It would be fun to meet you :) I will be training with a 3 yo, while in grad school full time and working part-time. It's all about doing minimal but smart miles! We considered Chicago but can't go wrong with $75 marathon.

  3. Can you do the bulk of your training during lunchtime at work? I run 4 days a week during lunchtime, and tack on one track session one evening a week and the long run during the smallest boys nap during the weekend. Minimal impact on family. Mind you I'm only training for a half marathon, would you get the distance covered that way? Train smart I guess

  4. Hmm. 3:12 would've got me an award last year. Tempting.

  5. I will send you my training plan. It would be VERY easy to fit it in with a 40 hour work week. I am running like 40km a week. So if you follow my plan - with your awesome base - you will easily run sub 2:50. Just saying. Or at least Ole would say so. Basically, what i am trying to say is I really want to meet you and run a marathon with you. Ok. I can be sincere. And Milwaukee in early October is always gorgeous.

  6. Do it! Now I'm kind of tempted to do it. Hmmmmm...

    And I am with you on 30 Rock. Sometimes there were lines that I just thought were brilliantly hysterical but I never could fall in love with the show. But New Girl, now that is a show I love.