Sunday, December 20, 2009

Honolulu Marathon - Dec. 13th, 2009

Just got back from a week in Waikiki with the family. Had an awesome time.
The flight on Dec. 12th to Hawaii was decent enough, and although it was difficult managing the 3 kids, we made it (thanks to my unbelievable wife).
We arrived at U.S. Customs at the Honolulu Airport and the agent there looked me up and down and said, "You here for the marathon?"
I said, "What marathon?"
"The Honolulu Marathon tomorrow morning," he replied.
I looked over to Janelle and there was no doubt that she recognized the twinkle in my eye. I dare not say a word.
Janelle then said, "You can go in it if you want to."
I quickly said, "I'm not sure."
The agent then spoke up: "You should enter. You could probably win it."
I asked him if he knew how many people we in it.
"Around 23,000 people," he answered.
I chuckled and said "Yea, right" under my breath.
So I spent the better part of the first afternoon trying to weight out the pros and cons of literally throwing myself into a major marathon the next morning.
Going through my head was the twist of fate. Was it fate that we happened to show up on marathon weekend? Was this a race that I really was supposed to be in? What are the chances that I will ever have this opportunity again? Even though my distance isn't where it could be, I probably could pull off a 26 mile run. But what about the heat? Even at the ridiculous 5 am start, the temperature will still be 22-23 degrees. And what about the $130 entry fee? What was I going to do? Would I regret not taking on this golden opportunity thrown at me?
These were just some of the questions racing through my head. However, as the day went along, I let common sense take over.
The bottom line is that while I am in great shape, I am not in marathon condition. This race would likely impair me for a good 2 weeks, and then my training for the upcoming Orcas 50k would be severely impacted. The entry fee was very steep. Too steep to enter on a whim. And yes, the heat was bad. And I know I suck running in the heat. Was I ever going to have another chance at this particular race? Perhaps. I wouldn't rule that out. Was I going to regret the decision not to run. No way. And besides, I have my own goals for the upcoming year...and this race was never part of my master plan.
So I went to bed feeling great, knowing that I had made the right decision.
And when I woke up at 6 am, I peered out the window to see a river of people slogging down Waikiki Bld. While alot of me wanted to be there, more of me was happy that I was not.
The rest of the vacation was great. Some awesome family time spent at the beach, Honolulu Zoo, Dole Pineapple Train, Bishop's Museum, Diamond Head, shopping, etc.
I did manage to squeeze in 3 runs while I was there (Monday, Wednesday, Friday): 7k tempo, 11k (7k steady with 8 x 500m intervals), and then a final 10k tempo up the volcano.
All the runs were difficult. The heat was not too bad, but like I said earlier, I am not a heat-type runner. Also, I found it near impossible to stay hydrated there.
Now I gear up for the meat of my training schedule. I have some catch-up work to be done. I have a 30k training run scheduled for today, and it will be difficult. This will be quite a distance jump for me, so the importance of this run is huge. If I can nail a good week now, I should be back on track with things.


Anonymous said...

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Chris Callendar said...

Wow, I'm impressed that you restrained yourself! You probably enjoyed your holidays more without the post-marathon soreness. And looking at the results I doubt you would have won. Top 100 probably :)

A couple years ago I arrived in a small town in Austria and a 10K race was actually in progress, and so naturally I quickly put on my running clothes and ran outside and joined the runners going by. It was hilarious because when I sprinted through the finish chute the organizers were yelling at me in Austrian and I didn't understand a word of it :)