Ready for a marathon?

Two years ago, I was nearing the end of a great marathon training cycle. Things were going well during a transition back to Richmond with a new job. Looking at three of the four other marathons I've done, I was always in a pretty good place with about a month and a half to go before the race. 

The races, though, all fell a bit flat. Three years ago I was extremely satisfied with my Baltimore Marathon result, but still left something to be desired as I fell off my goal pace. That said, during the training, things were going very well. 

As I look back at 10 years of running -- my first race was 10 years ago this month -- I've been exploring my highs and lows, figuring out what really drives me and what I enjoy doing the most. 

For nearly two years, I've said I was done with marathons for a while. It was a lot of work to pour into training for one day and fall short. It's like saving money for a new toy only to get to the cash register to realize someone stole all your money. 

Many of the moments I've enjoyed with running (especially when training for a marathon) actually haven't been with racing; it's been with the preparation. The summer of 2010 (which ended with an unfortunate injury) was filled with me documenting my training well and going on a journey on Twitter with others. I captured moments like this ...

... and just enjoyed myself and the moments that came with the mileage. 

In the past two months, I have gone from a very nice high with running that lasted about six months to coming back to a low. I got so indecisive with signing up for races that I simply let the opportunity for doing a half marathon this fall come and go. 

I've said before that I have to hit lows to enjoy the highs. I didn't enjoy my high enough earlier this year to build on that momentum. The fact that I realize and understand all this about myself is important. 

It's not too late to end the year on a high note. I have two J&A Races that I will sign up for and discuss in another post. I can easily set realistic PR-type goals to help set the stage for a very wide open 2015.

And that wide open 2015 has to have a marathon in it. I don't know which one yet or what time of the year, nor do I ask for any help in searching for an event. I don't want any influence yet.

The important thing is that I'm mentally ready to train. I have to be physically ready, too. Then I need my brain and body to work together. I just need a little more time to get there ...