... while some others (like me) have marathon running thrust upon them?!!
Why do I say that? Well, for one, I am wearing a Carlsbad Marathon Finishers T-shirt (note, no "half" in there, anywhere). Why am I wearing this? The original half-marathon T-shirt that I got, when I went to pick up my bib, at the expo, the day before the half, was one size too small. So I figured I'd try and exchange it for a bigger size after the half was over. Exchange I sure did, but what I ended up getting in return was a full marathon finishers T-shirt. If I had noticed it right there, I would have taken care of it, but, neither did the person at the expo nor did I, until I got home. And so, as fate had to have it, here I am with my "undeserving" marathon finishers T-shirt :(
So, anyway, now I am left wondering... could this be a sign? Is this destiny's way of telling me that I am destined to run a full marathon??
Well, if you had asked me this question during the few hours immediately following my first half marathon, I would have gladly said "hell ya!!". Heck, with my "runners high" I had almost resolved to run the 2009 Rock 'n' Roll Marathon , in June, this year (in addition, of course, to the the triple crown resolve I made right after I had that little "chat" with Mr. Rauschenberg, during the expo).
A nice lunch, some resting and a cooler mind later, I began to think. And I started to wonder if not signing up a half marathon as my first running event (I have been doing shorter, 8K/ 10K type races for about 3 years now), had any effect on my performance on my first half. Did doing several shorter races over a fairly long period of time, before deciding to "officially" start training for a longer (13.1) race, help me become a better long distance runner? Would I have run the same pace and finished the same way I have, if I just woke up one fine day and decided to sign up for a half? Would I have been better or worse?
Well, my gut says I was way better off "working up" to the half, rather than just shooting for it straight. And, I think I am going to stick to that same gut feeling with the half marathon -> Full marathon gradient. I will put my full marathon aspirations off till at least 2010 (heck, even that number seems like the year to, for doing something major :) and continue running half marathons with the hope that they will do to my (somday) marathon performance, what the 8Ks and 10Ks did for my half.
I am hoping some of my running buddies (Bharat?) will decide to take the other route and shoot straight for the stars. I think that is a pretty darn awesome and gutsy move. Here's wishing them luck and hoping I can use their experience as a reference....
... and, here's me signing off for today, in my "guilty" finishers T-shirt!