Impromptu Marathon – What to Do, What to Do?

An interesting situaiton has arisen in 51feetunder-land (it’s awesome here, have you seen our brouchure?), and I thought it might make for fun conversation.

A friend of a relative has offered me his entry to the Ottawa Marathon, and I’m not sure what I should do?

A bit of background: I’ve run a few marathons and Ottawa was 2 of them. I wasn’t going to do a spring marathon this year but instead put my time and energy to other running races instead, specifically the Around the Bay 30km which I ran a 4 weeks ago. Also I was wanted to focus on a course I was taking and get back in to rock climbing; The course is now done, and I’ve injured my hand so I’m realistically out of climbing for the next 4 weeks anyway.

Normally I wouldn’t dream of attempting a marathon without the proper training (I have come to respect the distance through many painful lessons), but I’m not so sure that I’m all that ill-prepared? For instance:
– I’ve been training since January for the 30km race at the end of March
– I maintained a solid and consistant number of miles for the entire training period
– I included some strength work, cross training, speedwork (which I haven’t used before), and even upped my mileage overall
– I have a 30km long run (which I actually raced) in the bag already, and 2 weeks to put in 2 more

…so, why not?…

– since the race in March, my mileage has been WAY down
– the miles I’ve put in have mostly been trail miles, trails are more work for the body which is good but I fully endorse the “train to race the race you want to run” mindset
– I only have 4 weeks to get myself set; 2 weeks of solid training including two 20+mile runs, 1 week of reduced mileage with a halfmarathon long run and 1 week of full rest/taper
– 3-4hr long runs are time consuming, especially when you have family responsibilities

– It’s a beautiful course in a gorgeous city
– shirt, medal, race cred, 4th marathon run
– no specific race expectations to add stress to the event/result

– It’s a long drive and a weekend away from the family (this may actually be a pro j/k)
– expensive, it can be pricey
– lonely, I’m a social body and not having the family or a buddy there detracts from my enjoyment of the event. I don’t need people to be happy, but it sure helps

So…in your esteemed opinions dear readers “what’s a fellow to do?”

Side Note: I know there will be a tonne of “do what feels right” or “what do you WANT to do?” answers, so let me preface them with this: I will be posting this question on a few other places/forums etc. and aggregating the results to see what the general vibe is. Tell me what you think based on the background I’ve given, let’s have some fun with it…nothing is set in stone, the offer may fall through and the situation never actually happen anyway…espcially if my wife puts her foot down


About 51feetunder

Running & Fitness, Rock Climbing & Outdoor Activities, Photography & Rock & Roll.

Posted on April 23, 2012, in Distance, Marathon, Running and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I’d run it if I were you. My 2 cents to your Cons:

    – It’s a long drive and a weekend away from the family > I don’t know your family situations but it’s just one weekend! You can always make deals with your family members to balance everyone’s needs. Offer something they want in exchange for you running the marathon.
    – expensive, it can be pricey > Ramen noodle for lunch after the marathon or cut out some of your vices. Come on, you will be running a marathon! You cannot buy happiness!!
    – lonely, I’m a social body and not having the family or a buddy there detracts from my enjoyment of the event. I don’t need people to be happy, but it sure helps > Bring a friend or two! Do a DailyMile meet up in Ottawa.

  2. I’ve been in a similar situation just a week ago when I entered and finished the Paris Marathon. You seem to be better prepared then myself, so if I can be living proof that finishing a marathon on believing you’re ready only is possible, then I’d say go for it!! I understand all the pros and cons, but I’m crazy when it comes to committing to impossible tasks, so I’m not that good of giving advice against it. Good luck whatever you decide to do!

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