The last time I ran this marathon was in 2011 when the leaders were misdirected and ran an extra 3km! After that snafu, swore off the marathon and just started doing the 10. I'm honestly not sure I'll run a marathon this year. I've actually seriously been considering retirement after this season. If it's the beginning of the master's cliff , then it's time to retire. I always said I would when that happens. I will keep running and training because I don't want to morph into those freaks you see on the people of Walmart site, but I will not race. I'm not sure that it's the master's cliff yet though, although since the pneumonia bout in 2014, my times have been crappy by my standards. One thing I will not do is lower my standards of what I see as acceptable performances for me personally not do I want to dumb down my running.
This past spring was just a mess with the lack of tune up races I desperately needed to get into racing shape. I do not forsee that situation improving anytime soon in the future. The other factor-incredibe demotivation because the cost of ever getting out to 100k WC/EC is beyond my pay grade. It's not going to happen without some kind of sponsorship- period. The desire to train for it is there, and qualify I could, but getting there from Alaska- not financially feasible. The last carrot I was hoping to train for- Daugavpils 50k/100k which was moved to May and I subsequently missed it by a couple days as it was the Saturday after school got out. That is something I can get to easily when I'm off school and in Moscow. Random trips to Europe in the middle of the school year- yes I have the personal leave to do it, but not the greenbacks.That whole nasty compendium of things screwing with my running has got me thinking.
My speed is still least to be desired by my standards and I'm not sure what is going on. I have not been ill since the pneumonia and didn't get sick at school last year despite a whooping cough epidemic in the village. I did have a booster vaccine for that one though. So, there have not been major viral issues recently.I'm healthy- no injuries touch wood. Blood- not great but not the end of the world either. Lack of racing opportunity half the year is a big factor, but I think it's just a combination of all of the above. Despite all the crap, I still have the discipline to manage my time effectively so I can continue to train. The problem- really hard to train through knowing there is not much left to train for.
So, since I'm not sure about marathons this year or later on, I figured I'd do Belochka maybe one last time. It was my first Russian marathon back in 98. I've run it seven times now and won it 3 while podiuming at all the others. The ski club now helps with the course markings, volunteers on the course now so I decided to give it one last try.
Belochka is usually damn warm and often hot. Today, it was 32C in the shade and the start is at 11:30. There was not a cloud in the sky. I just went out slowly and put it into autopilot which was fine save for 2 unplanned pit stops at 11 and 24km. Dammit-I suspect I got some bad cheese at the supermarket yesterday. I had a sour stomach in the morning. This course is the same ol same ol 1x 4k loop followed by 3x 12 and change. After the middle of the 2nd loop, I was on my own for 3 and 4 save for when I would pass people. I am so glad they had tons of arrows painted on the ground ! This was indeed a step up from last time. They also had volunteers on some of the tricky turns and FOUR aid stations per loop. Leonid was out there feeding me Vitargo bottles at the end of each loop. I drank like a fish and lost 3.6kg :( Again not good. My training run got me a 2nd place finish. Not bad. Our times were slow but we weren't planning fast in this heat. I felt like shit after I finished. I sat for a bit and drank then hit a very refreshing cold shower. I was ok in the shade, but when they called us up for the awards I started feeling the lightheadedness and after we got done I had to sit before attempting to go home. I have had this happen before where I barely make it home in the subway on days like this and have been close to blacking out.NOT FUN!
We were promised prize money. Ok, it wasn't bad , but the kicker was that the MEN got paid the amounts listed but the WOMEN got less. The top lady got half of what she was promised. That's just messed up and very sexist. We all agreed on that. They did that in the 10k as well. That put a damper on the day to say the very least. I did get a cool book with the history of the Olympics and top Russian athletes at them-something I may use in class for supplemental reading for the kids.
Next race will be in about 2 weeks...it will be shorter.