Help! It's driving me crazy! (Read 940 times)

    I'm newly back to running after a 15 year hiatus. I quit smoking 3 months ago and started running 2 months ago. I signed up for a 5 mile race in early May to motivate me - I finally ran 5+ miles last night and feel pretty good today. But that's not what's driving me crazy. I ran a half marathon (and quite a few 5-10K races) pre-hiatus with the intention to run a marathon with a friend - I chickened out and she didn't - so I feel like I have unfinished business until I run a full marathon. Before this week I've been reading a lot here and elsewhere on the web and it seems that many people advise not to run a full marathon until you have a year of running behind you. Since I'm not interested in injuring myself - I'm thinking that that's probably good advice. So my plan has been to continue running the rest of the year - mostly for fun, base building and mixing in some 10K races and finishing the year with the White Rock half marathon in December. I would then plan to run the full marathon in December of 2008. On advice from reading posts around here - I bought Higdon's book Marathon this weekend and I'm starting to get the idea that maybe I could (or should) run the full marathon this year. Last night's run felt so good that now I feel like I need to decide so I can start planning ahead. So the question is - whole or half for 2007? I don't want anyone to decide for me, but I would appreciate some of the sage advice that is so prevalent here. Thanks, Mike

    When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?

      December of 2008? That's like a lifetime from now. And anyway you do have a year of running behind you...it's just waaaaaay behind you. Do you want to run a marathon? Why?

      Runners run.


      CPT Curmudgeon

        There are always exceptions to every rule. Some people can ignore the 10% rule, for others, it's less than 10%. Also, I tend to think that the no marathon within the first year rule is two-fold: 1) It helps protect against overuse injuries, especially in those who are just starting out with running, 2) it gives the person a chance to really think about goals, and what he or she wants to get out of it. I think it's great that you're getting back into running. But if it were me, I would look at your goals, and think about what you want to get. Is it to finish a marathon? Is it to live a healthier lifestyle? Is it to compete against yourself / the clock / your friends and neighbors? Nothing wrong with ANY of those options, but it can certainly help in terms of planning. All that being said, I'm fairly certain you could train up for and successfully finish a marathon in the timeframe you've specified. December will be about a year from when you start, so I don't think it'll be a big deal.
          Could you finish a marathon in 8-9 months, if you're already running 5 miles at a time? Sure. Why not? But I agree with those people advising you to wait. I think you'll be more likely to train smart, to stay healthy, and to enjoy your training; more likely to build a solid base, too. Most of all, I think that if you could ask your future self, you'd find out that you had a better time running the actual marathon - and became a lot more likely to keep running, and run more marathons in the future. A lot of people do a little quasi-training, run one marathon, and then quit. Not saying it'll happen to you ... but I think if you slowly build up, run your half this year, then do a full next year ... that risk gets a lot lower. Then again - it was running a marathon I was completely unprepared for that got me back into running. So who knows? But I'd still wait. What's your rush? Just my seven pesos.
          E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com

            A couple thoughts: You say you came back to running 2 months ago... that was Feb. If you did a marathon in Nov. or Dec., that's not *too far* from being a year. More importantly... I came back after a 13 year hiatus and discovered that once the 16 lbs. of age came off me, I'm pretty much a slower version of the guy I was back then, meaning I can handle the same things I could back then and the same things make me sore... So if you were pretty durable about handling mileage back then, I'd bet you could sensibly build it for a marathon this year. If your body takes longer to tack on mileage, you might be pushing it. Final thought... A November marathon training program wouldn't kick in to full gear until July/Aug, anyway, so enjoy yourself for a few months, run shorter races and take stock mid-summer.

            Go to http://certainintelligence.blogspot.com for my blog.


              i ran my first marathon after about 6 months of running. Was i underprepared for it ? Heck yeah...5 hours of pain, but i had so much fun that i was already contemplating plans for the next one in the last few painful miles. But having that big goal and the fear and respect for the marathon worked for me as far as keeping me motivated to keep running. So it can be done if you're not too ambitious as far as finishing time and just focusing on learning about the marathon and having fun. One thing i find is that you need to be flexible with your marathon-specific training and listen to your body...squeeze in extra day-offs here and there when you feel like you need it helps a lot.
                And yes ... it is a surfboard, and yes .. i am happy to see you.
                Ba ha ha ha!
                E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com

                madness baby

                  Do it. Or at least train for it. If it's not going to work out closer to the time, then you'll know. Like Steve, I ran a marathon after only running for 5 months. Do I regret it? No. Was it hard? Yes. Will I do another someday? Most likely. If you listen to your body, you'll be fine. Take easy days and days off when you need them. You got it. The full. Steve, i've never noticed quite how long your surfboard was. Wow.
                    Thanks everyone for the advice. The fearless, indestructible Mike still wants to run the full Marathon this year. But I think the older, wiser Mike will finish losing some weight (26 more pounds to go) and focus on the half this year. This lets me plan in some strength training, weight loss, and run some other races of shorter length. Something I hadn't really considered before reading your replies and talking to a few coworkers who marathon is that I don't necessarily need to wait until next December for the full one. Duh. (Slaps forehead). Blush Austin is in February and I'm sure there are plenty of others within a reasonable driving distance. I like Marcus' idea of re-evaluating in a few months. Thanks again for the replies, everyone. Very much appreciated.

                    When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?

                      Mike, I was in a similar situation. I was given Hal Higdon's "Marathon" as a book for x-mas in 2005. Finally got around to reading it last summer and I became inspired, and started running. However with no real goal in mind, I found it all too easy to not run. So I decided the best way for me to stay motivated, with a little push from my sister, was to sign up for a Marathon. So in Sept 06 I signed up and started to build a base by running about 10 miles / wk until my official Marathon training started at the end of Jan. I am now on week 9 of 18 using Hal's Novice schedule. I just completed a Half Marathon trainng run Sat and feel really good about where I am in regards to the training. I also signed up for a HM (3 1/2 weeks away) as a training race which falls in perfectly for the Marathon. I am very concerned about over-training, as you read often on this and other runners forums about naive runners like me getting injured. I believe this is due to the fact that once you get past the early pains of running, the cardio picks up a lot quicker than the muscles and joints, and people over-train and get hurt. (the main reason for building a good base). So if you are conscious to keep your pace down, stretch before & after your runs, and realize that rest is almost as important as the run, you should be able to ramp up for a marathon this year. You'll read there are quite a few in here who have gone against the sound advice of waiting and still had great experiences training for and completing a marathon. There are a few too, who probably wished they'd have taken that sound advice and waited... I hope I am of the first group and have a great experience, i'll let you know June 4th.

                      Imminent Catastrophe

                        You could certainly do a Fall or Winter marathon, there's plenty of good ones. Just one piece of advice...don't be tempted to run it hard. Avoid the speedwork, plan just to finish with a steady effort.

                        "Able to function despite imminent catastrophe"

                         "To obtain the air that angels breathe you must come to Tahoe"--Mark Twain

                        "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.


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