I began training for my first marathon yesterday … officially! I’ve been running for a little over a year now. Starting at age 42 had its challenges, but I’ve been lucky enough to stay pretty much healthy the whole time. Last year I raced in several 5ks, 10ks, trail races, and did a half marathon. My goal in the half was 2:00 and I came in at 1:59:49, so I was happy with that.
My first marathon will be the Madison Marathon at the end of May. Here in Wisconsin that could mean temps anywhere from 50 degrees to 80s, so I’m hoping for the lower temps. Last year I ran in the “quarter” marathon at the MM – essentially a 10k. That seemed like a big accomplishment to me then, and it was! I started running 6 months before and could barely run a half mile on the treadmill without puking. I had also quite drinking a little over a year prior to that. Its something that I did on my own (with support from my wife) because … well because of so many things, but the fact was I was physically dependent on it. And now nearly two years later (in April) I can’t believe how different my life is. Training for a marathon! Training to become a personal trainer – so I can work with other type 2s and alcoholics who want to change their lives.
Actually my marathon training is a bit of a step back in my running. Its an 18 week plan by Hal Higdon (www.halhigdon.com), and starts out with lower milage than I’ve been running, but that’s important. One of the things that has kept me healthy has been fairly conservative milage after a year (about 20 or so a week). My biggest problem is now running less than 5 miles at a time. It doesn’t hurt that its FREEZING out. I love running in the cold, but with temps in the low teens and wind chills in the single digits, I can handle some milage on the treadmill. Basically low 20s and sunny are about my limits outside. While I run hot and don’t mind the temps, its the variable sidewalk conditions below that that are really a problem.
Anyway first week goes something like this: 3 miles T,W,TH, 6 on Sat. Cross training (exercycle or spin) on Sunday. Additionally, I’m doing some light upper body on Wed, Sat, and Core on T,Th,Fri. I found that core was important for me during longer distances (over 10 miles) because I was having some ITB (ilio-tibial band syndrome) issues.
The goal for the first marathon is simply to finish. That’s why I won’t likely be doing intervals etc. in the training. Truth be told though I want to finish in 4 hours. If all goes well, a fall marathon is in order, maybe in San Antonio where I have family. Long term goals? Boston by the time I hit 45 which currently has a 3:30 qualifying time. Who knows?