Marathon Maniac

Posted by dwallace on May 21, 2010 in Douglas Thomas Wallace, marathon, running |

I’ve decided to run a marathon. If you knew me you’d say, “Yeah freakin’ right.” But regardless of what some haters have said to me, I am going to do it.

The decision to run a marathon came about a month ago when a co-worker, who I’ll call Mrs. S., came into my office and began talking about how her two sons had just finished the St. Louis Marathon the day before. I looked at my officemate Ken and said, “That would us give exactly one year to train for it.” His response was, “Yeah.” He said it more in agreement of, Yes that would give us a year, and not in a, “Yeah, let’s do it,” kind of tone. But for some reason, in my head, we were both in.

I began looking up guides for beginning marathoners. I’ve always wanted to run a marathon and thought that a year was plenty of time to train for it. Right when I decided, OK, I’m going to do a marathon exactly one year from today, Mrs. S. came back and said, “Oh yeah, I almost forgot. There’s another marathon here in St. Charles (where I work) in October of this year.”

“What?” I said. “That’s in like six months!”

“Yeah,” she said. “That would be exactly in six months.”

Before I could protest Ken said, “That’s the one I want to do.”

I whipped my head like a dog watching a fire hydrant pass him by in a car and said, “What? We won’t have time enough time to train for that.”

He said, “Well I know that I’m not going to run in the winter and this is about as flat as you’re going to get.”

Mrs. S. said, “Well good luck,” and left me feeling like I had been hit with dream wrecking-ball.

Part of me agreed with Ken. I’m a cold weather baby. What can I say? I grew up in Hawaii. It took me two winters before I learned you were supposed to dress in layers in the winter. So knowing that I’d be hard press to run outside in the cold, this bumped up my race by six months.

I began looking at training schedules. I soon learned that 26.2 miles could be accomplished with as little as five months of training as long as you were already in shape. I thought, Damn, I wonder if I can get active enough in one month to get up to par to start training for the five month training program?

After one month of training, I’m happy to say that I can run/walk 4 miles and this Saturday I’m doing five. I’ve created a hybrid run/walk schedule using this schedule.

Basically I run for three minutes, then walk for two minutes. Many programs say this is the best way for beginners to train. I wanted to wait a month before I shared it with most people because it seems like such a huge undertaking, especially after I started running.

The first day I literally wanted to quit within the first twenty seconds of running. On day two my legs hurt so bad that even though I was going to walk that day, I decided to ride my bike. The following day, I walked. The day after that, I rested. And so began my run, bike, walk, rest schedule, then I rinse and repeat with my long run on Saturday’s.

There’s a half-marathon on July 18th that’s called the Joker’s Wild Run. This half-marathon is exactly the half-way point to the full-marathon in October, so I’ve decided to run that too.

One thing I’ve learned about running is it’s all mental. Nobody wants to run at the beginning but it’s about pushing yourself to do it. After that, the distance becomes addictive. One mile, two miles, three miles down, before you know it, you’ve done your first 5K and that’s without any crowd there cheering you on.

So what’s your marathon? What have you always wanted to do but thought it was too big of a goal? What ever it is I can guarantee you can do it as long as you put in the prep work; but I encourage you to start now or you’ll be sitting around a year from now say, “Someday I’m going to _________.” My advice is pick a date that you want to accomplish something by, then cut that date in half. That way you’ll get your lazy butt up off the couch and doing something about it.

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