January 17, 2014


by pyrad
Categories: General Running and/or Fitness
Tags: ,
Comments: 13 Comments

There’s a piece of paper I’ve been carrying in my backpack for several months. It felt like it was burning a hole in my pocket because it was time sensitive. It was like an opportunity that was ticking away.

Paper burning a hole in my pocket... ticking away, forcing a decision
Paper burning a hole in my pocket… ticking away, forcing a decision

Last fall I begrudgingly withdrew from the Berlin Marathon due to injury. I got some of my money back, and I didn’t pay for flight or hotel so I was glad I didn’t lose that money. When they sent me the cheque back with the partial refund they also included a “coupon code” and some instructions.

The obviously awkwardly translated instructions
The awkwardly translated instructions

So I had until January 4 to take advantage of this guaranteed registration to the Berlin Marathon.

I had to do a lot of soul searching. I understood the costs. It came down to weighting goals: Do I want to run all the World Marathon Majors or concentrate on general health?

Going for a run does spectacular things for thinking. I think it was on Saturday, December 28 that I came to this epiphany. My Dopey Training has been successful in terms of strength, health, and weight loss. I worry that going back to the grind of Marathon training would jeopardize that all over again.

This may be blasphemy, but I’ve decided I won’t do another marathon until I’m fit enough to take a genuine shot at qualifying for Boston. I used the McMillian Running Calculator and it says I should be able to do a half-marathon in 1:27:54 to be sufficiently healthy to run a full-marathon in 3:05:00. So, I will not register for any marathons until I do a half in less than 1:27:54. That probably won’t happen this year, or even next year, but that’s the benchmark.

This has been on my mind for a while, and it’s why I struck out the new Marathon PB from my New Year’s Resolutions list. I’ll be focusing on the resolutions to lose 20 pounds of fat set a new Half-Marathon PB.

I guess one of the good things about that half-marathon distance is that I can make several, several attempts in a year. You only get about two good shots at a full-marathon each year.

My first crack at setting a new Half-Marathon PB will be the Chilly Half-Marathon in about 6 weeks. I’m looking forward to epic training between now and then!

Dear readers, do you think I’m doing the right thing?

Comments closed


  1. Henry says:

    Paul, 01.04.2014 is April 1st, 2014. EU date format 😉
    So you still have some time to think about it!

  2. Prudence says:

    Paul, Hi! Happy New Year! Congratulations on your Disney Challenge! Did you lose weight?! You’re looking fine and strong! Friend… Just focus, on your goals, the strength and speed will come to you eventually. Be patient, and keep on working – never mind about others or the crazy time goals. Those ‘marathons’ and ‘half marathons’ you’ll be running from here on, will be your milestones gearing towards Qualifying for Boston Marathon. This is what I am doing, making every race count. Even though my time is slower now, I understand, I’m building strength, then speed comes. Push it, and you’re going to get more injuries. Listen to your body, your heart, and mind. I know, you can do it. You’re great at what you do. Hope you’re doing well! 🙂 And this year, we’ll find a way to meet up!

    • Hi Prudence! Hadn’t heard from you in a while!
      Some people tell me they think I’ve lost weight, but I’m not sure yet. I ate so much at Disney that I bet I gained!
      You make a very good point about treating upcoming races as milestones and ways to build strength.
      And I’m sure we’ll cross paths soon. Are you doing Chilly or Around The Bay?

  3. Prudence says:

    No Chilly this year. Coach said, it’s optional. ATB for sure! Do you have a goal time you want to reach? I hope to see you there! Last year ATB was like a Zoo! I’m still around! Keep in touch! 🙂

  4. macnic says:

    Hmm… maybe I can pace you along one attempt in the fall… that would be FUN!!!

    • macnic says:

      Not the 1:27 attempt, but a different (slower) PB attempt. Also, I highly recommend looking into the Daniels program for training.

  5. Mark Young says:

    Wow! A 1:27 half? Nice 🙂

  6. Prudence says:

    Wow! Paul. If you and you will do a 1:27:00 1/2. You will really kick my ass. Keep working at your goals. You will get there! 🙂

  7. Pranada says:

    I think this is a great approach, Paul, and one I’m looking at too – no marathons till I’ve got a solid chance of a BQ, and focus in the short term on losing 20lbs and bringing my times down on the shorter distances. Good luck!