I got as far as 17.5 miles, and though I'd held my desired goal paces until the final quarter mile, my body guided me to the right decision - I'll be running the Houston Half in January. I'm relieved by my decision, and am excited to hopefully excel at the half-marathon distance. Since with my coach I'd previously committed subsequent to the January Houston race to take six-months off from marathon training and endurance-oriented competition via concentrating instead on speed, through running the Houston Half I hope to have an excellent transition in that direction.
The weather conditions for this morning's run were warmer than I'd hoped, starting in the upper 50's and finishing in the low 60's with very high humidity. Nevertheless, I don't hold that as an excuse, especially as the conditions were well within the expected range for the end-of-January Houston race.
Until mile 17 I had the benefit of running with an evenly-matched friend training for Boston. The miles always go by much quicker with companionship and conversation, and today was no exception. Nevertheless, beginning at the 14th mile it became very clear from my exertion level running at only an 8:00 pace that the 7:30 marathon pace would prove difficult. As I'd feared upon speeding up at mile 15 my rapid and labored breathing in the remainder of the run provided evidence that I'd not be able to complete the full 22 at my intended pace. This was confirmed in the final half mile slow-down, and after re-hydrating at the Kenyan Way staging area I noticed that I felt as I had in Chicago and San Antonio while nearing glycogen depletion. Though initially disappointed I know I'm making the right decision, and look forward to training for the Half.
“Nothing endures but change.” –Heraclitus