Friday, June 19, 2009

Scared but Willing to Try

It's not quite official, but I printed out a new training guide for a marathon. A MARATHON!!! This from a girl who said she'd never run. This from a girl who used to say she'd rather get stabbed in the eye with an ice pick than run. This from a girl who said she NEVER had the notion to do a marathon. A marathon was beyond my scope of comprehension. Well, since I've done 2 half marathons I started thinking, "Maybe I actually CAN do this." Never say never right? I am completely terrified. Even though I've been running for about 2 years, I still feel like a newbie that knows nothing.
I have had several people message me about how I started running. I had lost all but 10 pounds of my weight when I really took to the gym. I started with the elliptical, then the ArcTrainer, and the rowing machine. The ArcTrainer and Rowing machine really got my heart rate up and made me sweat (which I like in a workout). I never really got sweaty or out of breath on the elliptical unless I had the resistance up full blast. I started reading my Weight Watchers books about how long it would take me to earn 4 daily activity points. If I did a moderate exercise, I would need to do it for 90 minutes to earn 4 pts. Now I am a mother of 3, 2 of which are twin toddlers. I don't usually have 90 minutes a day for cardio. Then I looked up what Weight Watchers considers High activity. This included jogging and running and to earn 4 activity points I'd only need to do it for 35 minutes. That I can handle. So my sister-in-law, who also used to be overweight, took up jogging and it really slimmed her down. Plus I watched Biggest Loser contestants running so I finally thought I'd try it. I started at a really slow pace, probably 4.8 and would try to run for 5, walk for 5. Then I'd bump it up the next time to maybe 7 minutes running, 5 minutes walking. Eventually I was up to 35 minutes. Once I could handle that time for awhile without feeling like I was going to die, I gradually increased my speed. I ran at the gym at first one summer. Then of course school started and I quit running because I let that be my last priority. Not healthy I know. Then for Christmas I bought a Treadmill. That was money well spent. My hubs and I run and it still to this day. Now that I've run outside though, I definitely like it better. I don't stop running when I'm outside. I seem to find excuses to stop and start a lot when I run on the Treadmill.
My hubs, who I love but is cheap, cheap, cheap, told me that a friend of his whom has run several marathons loved the Portland marathon. He said it's not too hilly and the crowd is fantastic. I like the fact that you can run with your Ipod. I can't believe some races will disqualify you for running with music. I couldn't do it! I need my tunes for motivation. So that's the marathon I am going to train for. I have 15 weeks which makes me a bit nervous because they recommend 18 weeks. I haven't really been doing much exercise since my half. I will officially start on Monday. I hope to truly make a commitment but next month!
Any of you runners out there have advice for me on training for my 1st half? I printed out Runner's World Marathon guide for beginners. Any one try that plan? How often do you eat during your long over 13 mile runs?


purple_moonflower123 said...

Congrats on signing up for your first marathon. I don't have any advice, because I am just starting to jog/run as part of my exercise. I started out walking, but I really wanted to just start running/jogging at about 4.5-5.0 on the treadmill.

I think that 15 weeks is a good time frame though, from looking at all the sites and runner's world advice. I will be checking back to see how your training is going. You are such an inspiration to us beginners. :-)

Dando said...

I have run one marathon so far and I think it may be the most rewarding experience of my life. Please don't mistake what I am saying. There was something wonderful about the marathon but it was also completely horrible. It was those horrible moments of the marathon that made the finish so glorious. For your smaller races you have that voice in your head asking you "why did you sign up for this?" The voice during the full is screaming at you to quit... and that voice is very compelling. The ability to persevere and overcome the marathon will enable you for so many other things in your life. However a half marathon psychologically is also a great accomplishment. I certainly don't mean to down play it. I bought "Spirit of the Marathon" and it is a great documentary of the Chicago Marathon. It was very inspirational. Whatever you decide it looks like you have accomplished so much. You have much to be proud of. However if you decide to tackle the full, I look forward to reading about it. Good luck!

Rebecca said...

Good for you! I've run two marathons and consider myself "hooked". Plus I live in Portland, so I'm extra happy for you.

You have two years' running under your belt, so it shouldn't be a problem to start at 15 weeks out. If you follow your training plan (especially the long runs) you'll be fine.

When I was training for my first marathon last year I experimented with my eating on long runs. I think that's the best way to find what works for your body. Personally I eat a Clif ShotBlok every fifteen minutes or so (I bite it in half and let it dissolve). That's equivalent to taking a gel every 45 minutes but you avoid the heavy feeling an entire gel can give you, plus it's more evenly spaced. On 20+ miles runs I will take a gel though, around mile 15 to get something more solid in my stomach.

Good luck with your training! I'm actually more proud of myself for sticking with my training goals through heat/ice/rain/etc. than for actually finishing the races!