I'm wondering how many of you guys have done a marathon? My guess is a bunch.
I did about 1100 miles last year and I don't think there was any point at which I was ready to do a marathon on that mileage. I mean, I think I could have ran/walked 26.2 miles if I had to, but I wouldn't have been able to run a marathon. I did a half-marathon in September. A hill-riddled bitch that I did in 1:55 last year and am hoping to get down to 1:45 this year. That is my main goal race.
The issue for me is time. I don't consistently have the time to spend more than 45-55 minutes on running a day and when I get busy (I'm a theatre artist - actor, director, designer, technician) I have barely 20 - 30 minutes a day, 3 or 4 days out of the week. Of course, that only lasts a couple of weeks or so, but when it comes along it really slams me and, while I've had the intention of training for a marathon, I really haven't ever been able to put in the miles.
So... I'm not sure if there's a question in there...
7. Have fun!
A marathon is nothing special, anyone can do it so long as having enough will power and/or enough time. If you don't have enough time to properly train for it, then keep running half-marathon is perfectly fine. Just keep up the consistent running, if you never find the time to properly train, then run a marathon when you get to retire age. At least that's what I think.
Not to gloat on you but just applying my principle above, I do have more time to run this year, I might run a marathon this year. And I don't look forward to run a marathon every year, I will be fine with running up to half-marathon most of the years.
My chosen distance is between the range of 50km-100km and whilst it took a long time for me to get to the current level of fitness (it took a year of consistent mileage gain) the fitness does remain if you tick over. Your half marathon time goal is good and easily achievable with your mileage.
My main issue is time with the amount I run but I have had to fit it around my life as best as possible, I have two jobs, the lesser one as a sessional lecturer and I have found that doing 6 day weeks is a killer for the training so make a point of buying a one way ticket for the train and running home from College, or (and this kills me) getting up at 6.00am on a Sunday to get back before the family get up from their teenage sleepy lie-ins.
So I think my point is that it can be done, the sacrifices have to be made but the sense of achievement finishing your first "long" race is brilliant
Jerry A runners blog-updated daily
I did my first marathon in 2007. My total mileage that year was 1036. I wasn't properly trained. Mostly, that was because my longest long run was 18 miles on road, and it was a trail marathon. My legs were swollen the next 3 days.
I used to think marathons weren't anything special. In fact, I avoided them and went for trail ultras. There was less stigma and less pressure with trail ultras, in my little brain. That said, after running the marathon in Greece, I think the marathon is pretty special. Sure, people are designed to be distance runners, but a lot of people can't because they don't. If a marathon is something you want to do, set your mind to it and go for it. If you cannot put enough miles in to "race" (as a lot of people say), then make your goal to enjoy the experience. There is nothing wrong with enjoying a marathon. After all, we run because we like it, right?
Live the Adventure. Enjoy the Journey. Be Kind. Have Faith!
In it for the long run..
I have run about 34 marathons since 1978. I am now 58 years old. "Back in the day" it was a lot different. 4 hours was a pretty slow marathon time because only pretty serious runners even attempted marathons. You didn't run them every week or even every month. You picked two or maybe 3 a year- and that was pushing it. We trained hard and raced hard. I'm not saying this was better- but it was a lot different. Courses closed at about 5 or 5 and a half hours. There was no chip timing. Boston qualifying times were a lot harder to get.
I came out of retirement in 2009 and ran 5 marathons in 2009. I qualified for Boston (although I hate that race and would never go again) and placed in my age group in 2 big marathons and won my age group in a smaller one. I finished the Flying Monkey Marathon in a good time and I consider that one of the highlights of my running career. It was a huge accomplishment because it is such a hard course and such a fun event. I picked up a small sponsorship from a major shoe company. I over-raced and over-trained and I've been injured since last March. I ran 2200 miles (roughly) in 2009 because I was hell-bent to make that goal in the Swamp. I had a streak of 387 days before the injury took me down. To keep that streak I ran through illnesses (nothing major) and some severely bruised ribs from a bad fall in a marathon. The streak was stupid but it took on a life of its own. I thought I was invincible. I was wrong.
I also got very stressed out about races- ALL races. You would think I was in the Olympics instead of the neighborhood Turkey Trot! It got to where it wasn't worth it. It was fun when it was over, but getting to that point wasn't at all fun. I have a demanding job and a family (grown kids, but still plenty of things to deal with). It turns out that as you get older rest is more important AND you don't heal as quickly from injuries. I didn't believe any of that in 2009.
The positives- I met so many wonderful people and have a great running community here in Nashville. I just have to respect my age and my own limitations and not get sucked into stuff that isn't right for MY training.
So-where am I now? I'm in this group because 1500 miles makes more sense for me than 2000. I am training so slowly (since the injury is getting better but is by no means fully OK) that many people could walk faster. I am doing a low heart rate training program because it MAKES me go slow and not run up hills. I look like an idiot, but at least I'm out there and not on the stupid elliptical. I may or may not get to where I will want to race or be able to race. When I enter races with the intent to walk or go slow, I fail at those goals. I don't seem to be able to do that, so it isn't good for me to enter races right now.
I should also say that I HATE January and February here. I am a morning runner, and I find it difficult (if not impossible) to get up in the mornings like I am able to the rest of the year. It is cold and dark and miserable, and sometimes there is ice and I am paranoid about falling. So- every day is a scramble to get the run in at some point. I know I'm whining, but once we get to March things go more smoothly.
This is my story and I'm sticking to it. For now.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
"It's not who wins the workout..."
Thanks for the encouragement, or the "STFU-and-run"-ement. I guess I'm going to lock in on 30 mpw for this month and see how I feel at the end of the month. I'm thinking about trying the Flying Pig marathon in Cincy on May 1. I don't have any major productions planned between now and then so if I can figure out how to work around my crazy Thursday/Friday schedule and at least log a few miles on those days, I may be able to pack some quality training into the other five days.
I have a race on January 22nd that I'm looking at as a fitness gauge. "The flattest 10k in Asheville" and I ran 52:25 last year. Not a great time but one that I'd like to beat this time around. If that 10k goes well and the slight tweak to my knee heals as I think it will (I think I over did it running through sludge the other day), I may seriously look into 26.2.
Pie-in-the-sky long term, I'd really like to run is the Mt. Mitchell Challenge (which is a 50 mile race set in February through the snow over the tallest Mountain east of the Mississippi) and the Shut-in Trail run....but that may be a few years down the line.
I haven't run a full marathon yet either, although I would like to do one sometime in the next couple years. I haven't been able to get my mileage high enough to give me enough confidence to even sign up for one yet. I have run several 1/2's though with my best time being 1:57:16, which I would like to improve upon.
It's not going to happen this year because I'll be over in Afghanistan. I'm not sure how much running I'll be able to do while I'm over there, but if I manage to get in the mileage I'm looking for, then maybe I'll attempt one about 4 or 5 months after I get back... If not, I'll stick with the half marathons a little longer.
@ Lu - Thank you for your service and I sincerely hope that you find plenty of time to run while in Afghanistan! God speed to you and my best wishes to you and your family. Keep in touch here on RA.
Lu, we really appreciate your service and sacrifice. A number of Stateside races have arrangements for those serving in war zones to run with all the same benefits of the runners running here. The Peachtree Road Race is one. There are others. That might give you some motivation while you're over there. Keep on running, and keep us informed when you can!
"Able to function despite imminent catastrophe"
"The most common question from potential entrants is 'I do not know if I can do this' to which I usually answer, 'that's the whole point'.--Paul Charteris, Tarawera Ultramarathon RD.
"They just couldn't believe that somebody would do all that running for no reason."--Forrest Gump
√ Boston Marathon 15 April
√ Big Sur Marathon 28 April
√ Bighorn 50 Mile 15 June
Tahoe Rim Trail 100M 20/21 July
A Saucy Wench
Baten...one thing to do then during techweeks is to make the most out of those workouts. If you have a good solid base the rest of the time, I dont think there is anything wrong with doing a little extra speed or hill work when you are limited to a few short runs a week. And then remember that you do not need to scale back up. Just jump in where you left off. Which also means that if you do decide to train for a marathon, just PLAN for your downtime. You've done the theater thing awhile, you should be able to predict your down weeks. So take a training plan and stretch it a bit more and pick a marathon where you wont have the theater interfere in say the last 5-7 weeks if possible. (more importantly dont make techweek either your taper or your first recovery week - I know what techweeks are like and they are NOT taper or recovery)
And screw planning if you cant predict. You say you cant consistantly get more than 45-55 minutes a day...that means on the days you can take advantage of it even if it means several longer days in a row. Run when you can, rest when life dictates it.
Scour your life for wasted time (*ahem RA) and find the extra minutes.
And dont try to train perfectly. If you want to run a marathon, run a marathon. Dont wait for training to be perfect. Every marathon is a learning experience anyway.
I have become Death, the destroyer of electronic gadgets
"When I got too tired to run anymore I just pretended I wasnt tired and kept running anyway" - dd, age 7
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