3.17.08

I have really struggled with the decision this weekend of whether or not to switch from the full to the 1/2 for the ING GA Marathon.

Saturday’s training run was disastrous – probably the worst I’ve ever encountered. I barely had any energy at all, even after the SPIKE and a couple of GUs w/caffeine– one with 2x caffeine. I’m about 20 lbs. up from my ideal race weight and that’s like running with 2 gallons of milk + some. I haven’t been as diligent this training session as I should be– sleeping in many mornings when I should have been up running :/

Right now, I’m leaning towards the 1/2 and pretty sure I’ll stick with that decision. A couple of things swayed my decision that way, the biggest being this morning’s revelation that I could actually finish the 1/2 about the same time the elite are finishing the full. SAD, I know… but true. My best 1/2 marathon time is 2:01. Last years winning marathon time was 2:19. So, I could be there to see the elite cross the finishline and the possibility of that is VERY EXCITING to me. Another thought I had is of sitting in the Starbucks [.3 mile from the finishline] sipping a latte for a couple of hours waiting for my running partner who will do the full. I could get to see her cross the finishline also which has never happened. The third thought was just the thought of enjoying a nice 13.1 mile run with no pressure and no pain.

When I first started running some years ago I was always competing against myself. Every 5K had to faster than the last, etc., etc., etc. Now, I am much more philosophical about running – it’s not so much a competition anymore as it is a peaceful way to enjoy myself outdoors and have time to reflect on life.

I’m pretty sure I’m in this one just for the 1/2 and I’m not beating myself up about it 🙂

I have long wondered about these two photos on the ING GA Marathon site. Then, just last night, it HIT me — I had wondered about the people running in the background — how did they get up there with the elite? Then it hit me — they are 1/2 marathoners!

chirlee-passing-half-runner.jpgchirlee-at-20.jpg

The first pic is Joseph Chirlee of Acworth, Georgia at the 1/2 way point of the marathon, the second is the same at the 20-mile mark. Joseph Chirlee won last year’s inaugural ING GA Marathon with a time of 2:19:17 almost 3 minutes ahead of his closest competitor.

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