My first and thus far only attempt at a road marathon was this spring, and it sucked.
Or rather, I sucked. And as such, it sucked. Let's not blame external factors when my inability to hold pace - or even to hold myself together - covers things nicely. Causation should be kept in the right order, and I fell apart. I ended up running, jogging, the sometimes even walking my way to like 3:25. (I honestly don't remember the exact time and I don't want to look it up.)
Talking about that with some folks today, and it struck me that I need to fix that. ("Need", yeah, I know.)
I'd like to jump in to Kansas City or Wichita this month but I haven't quite had the time to rebuild the fitness I had pre-injury or get my iron levels up above par. (That, sadly, takes months.) Also, I'm broke, and marathons are expensive. Cheap sport, yeah, but not free. So it goes. Injuries hurt fitness and the wallet, because medical bills are a bitch. Again, so it goes.
But spring is months away and has marathons of its own. Iron levels should be replete by then, and of course I'll keep training, because I'm a raging addict who does nothing but run, really. If I'm being honest, there is a part of me that hopes those two things act synergistically and produce something of a tangible "jump", rather than meager gains. Anecdotally, it does seem correcting anemia does that for some. But to be honest, not for others. While it certainly is wishful thinking on my part, wishes do sometimes come true. In any case, it's enough time to achieve the same fitness I had this spring, which - even if I'm not a step "faster" - should produce a much faster marathon time. (The calculators all swear I'm comfortably under three hours! But, I mean, fuck them.)
So here's my motivation then, which I've been missing, of late. It's based purely in negativity, sure, and people will say that's a bad thing. But it's worked for me in the past. To the extent that I've had success in running, it's almost always come from a desire to correct perceived failures. (That, and the fact that I simply enjoy the act. These do seem like contradictory notions. I know. It's strange.)
Light on specifics for now, of course. Hopefully by then I'll be unbroken - or less broke, relatively - and be able to pay someone/something to help with this. Training will emerge from random 70 mile weeks, and fitness will be gauged from real workouts and shorter races. I'll show up healthy, confident, focused, and ready to execute.
And then, I won't fuck it up. (Hopefully.)