Remember How Normal People Run?

Note: Philly Marathon recap is coming as soon as race photos are up.

I was not the only Runner’s World staffer to run Philly last weekend, nor was I the only one to have a subpar race. Caitlin set out looking to improve on her 3:48 Marine Corps finish and finished in 3:54. Robert set out to keep up his now six-year Philly Marathon streak and nearly dropped out at the half. (He finished, but unhappily.) And I, SPOILER ALERT, ran my slowest marathon ever by 45 minutes (but by more like 15 minutes if you subtract the 30 minutes I spent standing on the sidelines, waiting to tell my running-his-first-marathon boyfriend that I was dropping out).

Why did we all have such crappy days?

Caitlin ran Marine Corps three weeks ago, on top of the three other marathons she’d run earlier in the year. Robert ran three marathons in October alone, including Marine Corps. And I, the underachiever of the group, ran a marathon six weeks before Philly, with two others earlier in the year.

Normal people run a spring marathon and a fall marathon, max. Thus, normal people are able to improve on their finishing times. In the Runner’s World vortex of all running, all the time, we seem to think we’re special. That we can have it all. That we can run more marathons in a year without risking our health or our speed.

liz lemon

YO, COWORKERS (and other insane runners who don’t work at Runner’s World): WE CAN’T HAVE IT ALL.

We can run a whole lot of marathons for fun, posting mediocre (for us) times, or we can go for PRs. The two cannot happen at the same time.

I’m committed to this. I’ll likely target a spring half and a fall marathon, with other non-marathon races of various distances sprinkled in. Until I achieve my ultimate goal of running a 3:2X:XX, I’m not messing around with junk marathons.


About Meghan Loftus
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5 Responses to Remember How Normal People Run?

  1. I’m not sure I’m ready to give up the “fun” marathons quite yet, but I do really need to scale them back to a slower pace. Hopefully that will be enough.

    • Meghan Loftus says:

      The one marathon I swore up and down I’d just run for fun was Red Rock Canyon, where I realized I had a chance at an award and “for fun” went out the window. I apparently cannot do “for fun.” At least not when prizes are at stake and I am relatively fit.

  2. Emily says:

    Excellent post. Excellent strategy.

  3. Given the title, I thought this post was going to be “remember how normal people run? Three to five miles, four times a week, max?”

    …I don’t know if I’d put twice-yearly marathoners in the “normal people” category =p.

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