Let's talk pace.

So my marathon's coming in, oh, 11 days. Whimper.

I'm not worried about it, I know I'll be just fine, but my mind's been consumed lately by pace. I ran my spring marathon in 4:10, a fabulous time for the likes of me. I don't know if I can swing that this time around. But I feel like I have to. I just don't know if my training was intense enough. At this point, I'll be pleased with knocking out a 4:30, which I don't think will be a problem.

I'll settle with a 4:15. Although that twat Sarah Palin finished in 3:59 once upon a time, and dammit if I don't want to beat that one day.

This'll be marathon No. 4, and certainly won't be the last. The benefit of multiple marathons is that each time I learn something new in my training. It gets better, more precise, friendlier to the body. Unfortunately, this time around, I didn't focus on pace during my training. I ran to run. Could I have pushed myself harder to maintain a target pace? Yes. Did I? No.

So I tell myself, "Next time."

And next time I will.

I plan to run a spring marathon, though which one is still up in the air. There is a good chance I'll be reconnecting with my long-lost AJ to hammer out a fifth 26.2, and I'm so pumped about that. By spring, after months of surrounding myself with all things running (thanks to the new job), I'll be ready to do something good.

Hell, I'm already looking ahead to next fall, debating which marathon I want to complete. I'm happy to have something to work toward each season. By the time I'm 34, I'll run a 3:40 and qualify for Boston.

Right.