Saturday, November 21, 2009

Little Table, Big Table

If you’ve ever been to dinner party at the Lams, you’d know that we like to separate our guests into two tables – a big table where the adults sit with their beer and wine, and a smaller table for the youngsters with their cokes and iPods. As one of the ‘tweeners in our extended family, I often have to make a tough decision as to which table I should grace with my presence. Although I ultimately almost always side with the younger crowd (because honestly, there’s only so much news, politics, and economics I can stand in one sitting), I often wonder whether I would ever feel welcomed at the big table and if I’d ever fit in.
In much the same way, I’m feeling a bit lame right now, getting my clothes, my shoes and my gear ready for the trip to Philly. This weekend, so many of my friends are either running the 60K race in Central Park or the marathon in Philly that traveling so far and getting so excited to run a measely half marathon feels a lot like sitting in the kiddie table for dinner to me. Never mind that I have no desire whatsoever to be an ultra distance runner or to kill myself in another marathon so soon after NYCM, I still feel somewhat inadequate racing that distance while so many I know are running for so much longer. Am I being crazy or is everyone else somewhat nuts (especially the ones who are doing NYC and Philly back-to-back)? I just can’t decide.
On the one hand, I salute everything they are doing and admire them for their persistence and passion for running, but on the other hand, I feel as if I’m doing just as good and will be running just as hard in my half marathon too. So why do I feel as if I don’t deserve the same level of respect for my PR attempt at the half as others do in their full marathons? Is this an example of the runner brain going haywire on me or is there some truth to this accusation?
To be completely honest, I actually think the half marathon may be the ideal race distance for me. On the one hand, it is still an endurance test, which I love, but on the other hand, you still get to run tempo pace or faster for much of the race without having to worry about bonking or hitting the wall at some point later on. Half marathons are also so much simpler to run and train for than their older brother counterparts that may require 4 or 5 months of rigorous preparation. I often feel fine enough to run the day after racing a half-marathon, while just walking to the subway the day after running a full qualifies as a Herculean feat. There is also no tapering required leading up to a half marathon while the tapering crazies in the last week before marathon day can sometimes be the toughest part of the race to deal with.
Looking back at all my races in 2009, I can’t believe this will be my 8th 13.1 mile adventure of the year. In all the previous years combined, I’ve ran a total of 9 (and never more than 3 in one year), so I'm thinking this running year will be remembered more for the half marathons that I crushed (PR’d in 2) then for the marathons I didn’t (O PR’s this year).
What a perfect way to celebrate my best half-marathon year of all time than by running the last one for a PR! Yes, Philly I am ready for you! You and your marathon cronies who will inevitably look down on me with disdain better watch out, ‘cause me and my little table of half-marathoners are coming down to represent. Game on folks! Let’s get ready to rock this town!
(As an aside, please don’t get offended if you’re a marathoner or a 60Ker this weekend. You guys all still rock in my book…Congrats to everyone out there who are racing! Let the games begin!)

14 comments:

Running and living said...

Yay for the 1/2 marathon! I love them too, but I feel I do well in them because I run them while training for marathons so I am overlyprepared in terms of distance....Good luck this weekend!

marathonmaiden said...

i think half marathons are for me too but i definitely feel everything you just described!

good luck!!

Lisa said...

You should run the race you want to run and feel comfortable running and not compare what you're doing to what your friends are. Obviously it's so easy to do that, but it sounds like you're really okay with running the 1/2 and I think that's fantastic that you're doing it so close to the NYCM! I'm still in a walking cast after running it because I fractured my foot! I would be so excited just to run the 4M race tomorrow in the park!

I too think that the half is the right distance for me, for many of the same reasons you mentioned. Hopefully next year I can run several throughout the year and would love to run Philly!

Good luck and have a great time!

Saima said...

Good luck for tomm! :D

Ms. V. said...

I saw from @IronBrandon on Twitter that you were doing this. GOOD LUCK!

(...and, when are you coming over to Twitter?)

The Happy Runner said...

Yay! Bring that table! Woo hoo!

Have fun --

lindsay said...

haha. i know the feeling! halves are so much easier on me as well (next day and all), but i often feel "inadequate" if there is a marathon going on too. however, the half is still quite an accomplishment and there will always be a pr to chase. don't feel like the "kid's table"! good luck tomorrow!

Rio Runs said...

I try not to say I'm running "just the half", but I'm "choosing to run the half." We're lucky to have the choice. The half is also a respectable distance.

Malecia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Malecia said...

Half-marathons are my physical (and I suppose psychic) limit, so that is OK by me! :o) I will be happy to merely complete my goal of running all five Grand Prix halves in NYC next year. I've never run a cold-weather half, so I'm curious to see whether my time will drop with the temps.

Yes, you are crazy to feel inferior for running "just" the half. Be proud! :o) Looking forward to the Philly report.

nyflygirl said...

i think you may need to re-read this old blog post of mine from last year...

oh and congrats on "you ain't catching me!" ;-)

carpeviam said...

Funny. I've often wondered if the half marathon is the ideal racing distance for me as well! I typically, though, have felt that after racing a FULL marathon!

Irish Cream said...

Confession: I feel like I am cheating on the marathon when I go to an expo and head to the half-marathon pick-up area instead of the full. Every. Single. Time. This is why I like the Grand Prix series in NYC . . . there is no full option! :) Anyway, I agree that you should run what you love. I bet those marathoners and ultra-marathoners wouldn't be looking at you with disdain if they knew how much faster than them you can run a half (not to mention, a full)!

sRod said...

Don't knock the half! I've traveled (by car) plenty of times for a Half-Marathon. Although I do admit I would feel bad taking a flight someone to run a half.

 
Clicky Web Analytics