24 February 2008

Week 15

So in only my second week of training I miss a workout! What a bum I am. Well, as I have often said with losing weight, sometimes life gets in the way. I did have a good 9:39 pace 10K tempo run and I went out on Sunday for a 15.1 mile long run. I held a good pace and it wasn't really hard work until the last 2 miles. And during the last 2 miles I was pushing the pace as well, to simulate the kick at the end of the marathon. All confidence again this week.

I've been enjoying more marathon stories from the books mentioned last week. A few from some really gifted runners, a few more from just regular guys (and girls). I like the latter, it's hard to put yourself in the shoes of someone who goes out at a 6:30 pace in their first marathon, but someone who stumbles through the training and needs everything he has physically and mentally to finish the beast I can relate too. I have started playing out my marathon finish in my head to get me through parts of my run. It worked well for my first half, I expect it to again.

Now playing: Joe Cocker - With A Little Help From My Friends woodstock version
via FoxyTunes

17 February 2008

Week 16 in the books

This week I did a 6.2 mile tempo run, 3 x 1600 m repeats (including one at 8:21, a PR for me), and a 13 mile long run. Though my paced lagged a bit on the long run, I still felt pretty good about it. It was windy as heck and I still got out and ran. Overall I have felt pretty good about the marathon this week. While there's a healthy amount of respect I didn't feel at all intimidated this week. I've been reading a couple books of marathon stories, First Marathons and The Spirit of the Marathon, both by the same Editor. I have realized that while I am not at the level of some of the people in the stories, I have certainly read some stories of people who were way less prepared than I will be, and they still finished!

For those who know anything about marathon training I plan on following the FIRST (See also) training program, though I may back off on the five 20 mile runs in the plan. FIVE 20 milers seems like it may be more than necessary for a first-timer. We'll see how the first 16-18 mile runs go. Anyway, FIRST is a plan based on running fewer days (3 days per week) than traditional marathon programs, but doing so a little faster with very directed workouts (a speed session, a tempo run, and a long run each week). Additionally 2 days of non-weight-bearing aerobic cross training are required, not suggested. The idea is that you get aerobic workouts with the cross-training while allowing your legs time to heal up and stay fresh. I am really enjoying spin class, have found a great teacher with great taste in music.

Now playing: Elvis Costello - Watching the Detectives
via FoxyTunes

10 February 2008


So 16 weeks from today, Sunday 1 June 2008, I'll be running 26.2 miles in the Steamboat Marathon. 26.2 miles, over four and a half hours. Wow! If you would have told me 5 years ago that I would be running a marathon this summer I'd have laughed in your face.

How do I feel about all this? Some combination of excited, scared, awed, inspired, nuts, stupid, and wonderful. Typically 2 or 3 of these at the same time! I've said before that I'm an adult-onset runner. Growing up, though I played sports, I hated running. Running was punishment in most of the sports I played. That I am about to undertake such a physically demanding endeavor, voluntarily, is at times baffling. And at the same time I knew this day was coming the day I ran my first 5K, Labor Day 2006. I didn't admit it then, even to myself, but part of me knew. The runner in me, patiently waiting to be set free, knew.

My "official" training program starts tomorrow, but I've been building up base miles since early January. Distance-wise I am back where I was last summer and fall, not quite back there speed-wise. I will try and document my feelings and training experiences throughout the next 4 months in weekly blog entries. No promises though.

If you are a runner, or just want to see an inspirational film, I recommend you go check out Spirit of the Marathon on 21 February 2008. I saw this movie in it's first showing last month, it was great. Those emotions I listed above, I felt all of them at one time or another during this movie.

Lastly, after cracking 200 last November I've lost about 5 more lbs. I'd like to drop another 15 before the marathon, the training will likely help with that. But if I don't, I don't. Running is more important to me now.

Now playing: Pink Floyd - In The Flesh
via FoxyTunes