"It's hard to run when it's no longer fun!" Those are the infamous words I was left with this past week when I asked a long time buddy of mine when I haven't seen him running since the NYC marathon a month ago. I wanted so much to yell, to scream, to badger, and harass him about his blasphemous statement, but inwardly I kind of understood what he meant. After the big race is done and the only people left on the park roads and trails are those who haven't yet run their target fall race or out walking their dogs, it is hard to find the motivation to keep putting on the miles everyday. After all, I know that he know that the only reason I'm even inquiring about the status of his running is because I still have a 26.2 mile race coming up before I can call it quits and join the masses for some winter hibernation.
In case you haven't heard, I'm running a marathon next weekend in Hawaii. But unlike the previous two marathons I've done this year, I'm running this one strictly for fun. I'm considering this race more as a scenic running tour through the streets of Honolulu than as a race for time. In a few days, I'll be on vacation and the last thing I want to do while on vacation is stress about running and racing. (Besides, don't I do that enough when I'm at home?) Still, this doesn't mean I won't try to run my best given the circumstances. It just means I've already forgiven myself for not keeping up the endurance training post-NYCM (using only short and long races as speed and tempo work substitutes). It also means that I won't be looking at my splits at the end of every mile and trying to solve complex algebraic equations with three variables in my head in order to figure out where I should be and what pace I should be running for every single mile. It's been a long time since I've been able to run a marathon without that kind of pressure. For this one, I want to run just for the sake of running and have fun and not care about hitting a wall because I'm running too fast or recording a personal worst because I'm running too slow. Time won't mean that much to me in this race. All I want at the end of this race is to be able to wear a medal around my neck, run to the beach and jump right in the water. I've been wrapped in plenty of mylar blankets after marathons but never by seeweed and ocean water. This should make for a very interesting experience.
Congrats to all my bloggy friends who kicked major booty in C.I.M. today! It looks like more than a few will be coming with me to Boston in 2011! Wahoo! Hope all of you are enjoying the last month of 2009 and making grand plans for 2010.