Wednesday, January 22, 2014

So, I'm Running A Marathon

I'm going to be up front here, people are going to get mightily fed-up with hearing about my marathon.  Me, I can't wait.  Oh, don't get me wrong, I'm scared senseless.  I mean, the farthest I have ever ran at a given time is just shy of 18 miles.  This is 26.2!  YIKES!  That is a LOT of ground to cover at once.  I have a few goals for myself.  I am not sure if they are considered aggressive or not because I've not ran a race like this before. Regardless, my goals are below:

1) It is important to know that I am not qualifying for Boston.  I do not have a desire to qualify for Boston.  In fact, my biggest goal is to finish the race in an upright position!  So, that is goal number one; to cross the finish line with my own strength.

2) When I ran my first half I kind of had this lofty goal.  Then I was "educated" by others who have ran them before and I kind of adjusted my goal.  Let's just say I learned a lot on that race.  First, you have to know what your true pace is.  You have to know when to pick up that pace.  You have to know exactly when you need to re-energize and when you don't.  So, that is goal number two; to know my pace and my splits and to know when I should increase. 

3) I've always been one to enjoy short races, 5k specifically.  The goal of a 5k is to go as fast as you can for 3.1 miles.  I have always trained that way.  In fact, I had gotten to the point where I could run that race in under 23 minutes.  There is a BIG difference in a 5k and a Marathon.  I'm not Kenyan.  I will not be finishing it is some supersonic speed induced time.  So, that is goal number three; to finish the race in under 5 hours.  Knowing this helps with #2. (Perhaps I should have switched the two around?!)

Yep, there you have it, my goals.  Only 3 of them.  No more, no less.  I'm sure that brings out the novice in me, but at the same time I don't want to ruin the fun of the run by overpowering it with the math and science that goes into it.  Now, I do have a laundry list of questions and concerns.  They include, but are not limited to:

1) Attire. What on Earth am I going to wear?!  Really!  The location of this marathon is in a place where there could quite easily be a foot of snow on the ground or budding trees and the way Mother Nature has been working this winter I am unsure what to expect!  On top of that, do I want to wear my normal running clothes or go out of my norm and get some of those cute stylish things I see all over the Internet.  Yes, this is an epic question.  One I am sure no male running the race has to face.

2) Shoes.  I have recently (as in just a couple days ago) bought a new pair of shoes.  I tried to hold out, but after my 13.1 training run on Saturday my feet let me know on Sunday that it was time. Sadly, Mizuno no longer makes my favorite go-to shoe.  So I bought their newest one.  Yes, they feel different, but come on they have no miles on them (well they do now) and the old ones had over 400!  So, I'm hoping to get these puppies broke in during my training.  Yet, with all the training (another 4 months of it) It will literally be time for a new pair.  Do I get another pair at the half way  mark and start breaking those in?  AHHHHHH....see the science is getting to me!

3) Nutrition and supplements.  Energy gels, potassium pills, water, food.  When to take it?  What to take?  Is there a better option out there?  I am a person who cannot run with anything in my stomach.  Really! I actually get violently ill.  I can hardly run with water in my system.  The sloshing around makes me want to blow chunks at whomever happens to be the unfortunate soul around me.  Oh, it has nothing to do with them, but the sorry fact that I have a finicky tummy.  Gross, I know.  I can run a half no problem with nary a drink and definitely no food, but a full?  It is so overwhelming. I know it sounds simple enough, but for me, not so much.  In fact, I posted this question to one of the running groups I follow on FB and this is the link that I was referenced to.

4) Biology.  Alright, I've already discussed the fact that I wanted to keep the math and science out of it, but there is one thing that scares me to death.  Biology.  You non-runners have absolutely NO CLUE the meaning of this.  Truth of it is quite icky, but there is a reason longer runs have many strategically placed port-a-pits along the course.  No, these are NOT for the spectators.  Have you ever done anything strenuous for countless hours and not had the need for a bio break?  Exactly.  This is a ginormous fear.  What if I'm between those strategically placed eww packed blessings?  See.  I know.  Shake your head if you must, but read this article and you will understand.  My new vocabulary word is Probiotic. 

5) Training.  It stands to reason that the easiest way to train for a race is to run, right?  I mean, that IS what I will be doing for the better part of 5 hours (hopefully), but I don't think that running is the only thing to do.  When should I start?  (Don't worry, I already have!) How often should I train?  Do I have to stick adamantly to a specific schedule?  Can I create my own?  What about the fact there is so much snow and ice out there that I have to train on a treadmill until at least March?  Yes, you understand now, right?  Anyhow, the same running group referred me to this site for a good training program. 

Alright, there you have it.  I'm training for a Marathon.  Perhaps I will remember to write a couple posts along the way, you know to share with you all (those who aren't constantly reminded by my FB feed) how I'm coming along.  Time to get this thing started.  I just have to remember, they are only miles and I'm running it for myself.

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