As everyone knows I’m smack in the middle (or perhaps getting toward the end) of training for the Goofy. The Goofy, of course, is a bit Goofy – 13.1 miles on Saturday morning followed by 26.2 miles on Sunday morning. And, yes, I mean on the same weekend. As I approach the 6 week mark, I have 2 of my longest mileage weekends on the calendar. This weekend I’m supposed to walk 10 miles on day and then run 24 miles the next. For a weekend total of 34 miles. That’s more than some of my monthly total mileage!
I’m pretty sure that barring illness or serious injury I’ll be able to finish the Goofy at this point in time. I’ve already done a 21 mile run – more than most training plans require prior to race day. The question at this point is what my marathon time will be and how good I’ll feel on Sunday, January 13th in the afternoon. So in just over 6 weeks I should be able to say that I’ve successfully completed 2 full marathons.
Which then begs the question – What’s next?
And a funny thing happened about that. My local running store – the one that organizes Monday night running for women (which I haven’t attended because of my ecoaching) – posted a video clip on their Facebook page. The video for an advertisement for a new race taking place about 90 minutes away from where I live. The race is called Rock the Ridge and takes place in beautiful Mohonk Preserves. And for a brief moment I actually considered it. So why not? This race is 50 miles long. No, that wasn’t a typo. 5-0 miles. Like almost twice a marathon. And while I’ll admit to insanity, I don’t think I’m actually that insane.
So why would I even think about such a race, even for a moment? I *am* running the Goofy after all. That should give some hint into my mental fitness. And I seem to be someone who needs to do the hardest thing – surgical subspecialty, 3 kids instead of 2, the Goofy, etc. You get the picture. Chronic overachiever type.
Why not run a 50 mile race? I guess I don’t really need to answer that question as even most marathoners wouldn’t do it. But I did ask that question and came up with some interesting answers for myself.
1. I’m slow. I know by Disney race standards I’m mid-pack but I’m really not where I want to be with my running. I think that by focusing on longer and longer races (full marathon and then Goofy), I’m delaying my ability to run faster. Doing long training runs without injury requires a slow pace. While I have been doing some speed work during the week, my recovery from long runs often impairs my ability to do speed work. I have taken several minutes off my half marathon time by being more consistent and adding some speed work. I think focusing more attention on shorter races (I mean 10ks and half marathons), I focus on speed instead of distance.
2. I’m over scheduled. Shocking, no? 3 kids, a husband, and life as a surgeon. How do I not have tons of free time to devote to 5 hour training runs? An aggressive half marathon plan has you run a longest run of 14 miles (maybe a few more in a Galloway “time improvement” plan). That’s about a 3 hour proposition at training pace. As opposed to this weekend’s insanity of close to 8 or 9 hours (in 2 separate runs). Even adding an additional training day or 2 to my schedule still makes half marathon training “manageable.”
3. Really? Why would I even contemplate an ultra marathon at this stage in my life? And I’m likely preaching to the choir on this one.

So my plan, for now, is to focus on the half marathon distance and work on speed. In my fantasy world I’ll some day run a 2 hour half. I’ll let you know when that happens!