Although I don't want to devote the time to training next summer for a re-do (Abe and I are thinking we'll volunteer at next year's Portland Marathon instead) (a fall marathon with summer training is really my only option, due to my work schedule), but I think two years from now might be the time (though I will definitely do more half marathons, and maybe a 30k before then). I'm past the immediate aftermath of "I'm never running again", and looking forward to the opportunity to redeem myself by meeting my original goal (or maybe even a better goal!).
Next time I train for a marathon:
- I will have a better base of weekly mileage. Prior to this training cycle I only averaged about 15 miles a week. I think being able to consistently hit 20 - 25 miles while not training for anything would make it much easier to manage the mileage required for solid marathon training.
- I will have a better base of long runs - be able to comfortably (with consistent paces throughout - no slowing down the last few miles) do 10 - 12 miles at 60 - 90 seconds slower than goal pace. Even though I'd done multiple half marathons, I wasn't in the habit of doing double digits runs as part of half marathon training.
- Be faster at moderate distance runs. Although I had been making great improvements in my speed at 1 mile and 5k paces, I was still pretty slow at long runs before starting training. My half marathon PR pace was slightly slower than my goal pace for the marathon - that probably should have been my first clue that I was being delusional. I thought that increasing my distance would help my speed - and it did - but not enough.
Any other suggestions? What do you think indicates someone is ready for marathon training?