Yesterday I finished my first week of marathon training with a 6.2 mile run (a.k.a. 10k). This was pretty exciting to me, as it is definitely the longest I’ve ever run continuously before. Now, I just have to tack 20 miles onto that distance, and I am good to go!
The run wasn’t actually very hard. The advice I had from one of the marathon books I am using was to take it nice and slow, and I did. I averaged between 4.5-5 mph — in other words, roughly a 12-minute-mile pace (or possibly a little bit slower than that). So, I finished it in 1 hour, 15 minutes. At that pace, I could run the marathon in about 5 and a half hours.
But all the books (actually, I am using two to help motivate me and help me train. They are: “The Non-Runner’s Marathon Trainer” and “Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide”), tell me that I should not be thinking anything at all right now about finishing times — that my one and only goal is simply to finish the marathon, and I guess that makes sense. So, dash those time conjectures from my mind.
Besides the four specific times I was actually running this week, I wish I could say that I had my eyes on the prize the whole time, but alas. Actually, a couple of days ago, I started to back out of the whole plan. “I don’t need to run that marathon,” I told myself. “I just wont run it. Who cares? I have enough on my plate without training for and running in a marathon. It’s not a big deal.”
But then I hunkered down on the couch with my e-reader and started reading “The Non-Runner’s Marathon Trainer.” The book contains a lot of first-person narratives of all sorts of first-time marathon runners in all different levels of fitness and training, and hearing their stories of making the decision to run and getting started got me back on course. Although I still ask myself the question: “why am I doing this?”
Why am I doing this?
1. Because the training will be great physical conditioning for me.
2. To lose these stubborn last 10 lbs.
3. As a celebration of what I have accomplished, physically, in these past few years — to push myself to achieve something that for most of my life never even entered my consciousness as something I would be able to do.
4. To keep myself in line in terms of diet and other bad habits: namely, drinking, smoking, and sloth.
5. Great way to continue to avoid working on the novel I have been revising for the past 2 years!
6. To be bad assed.
Admittedly, some of my reasons are more merit-worthy than others.
To point #4, (the gluttony and sloth rationale), this week was not exactly an ideal model. Nikki and I attended a dinner party with friends on Thursday (brie, baguette, wine, chocolate mousse, 2 cigarettes), and then hosted a dinner party on Friday wherein a bunch of other friends stopped by (copious amounts of wine, cheese, even more chocolate mousse, and I don’t even want to tabulate the number of cigarettes). But Saturday was one of my scheduled non-training days, and so I was able to recover in time for the long-run on Sunday. But still! Bad marathon-training Kathie!
God, that is so gross!
This week I will try to be better.
So, week one of my training is in the books. Overall, I ran 16.2 miles this week. Next week, my midweek runs are the same as this week, but I step it up a mile for my long run — to 7 miles next Sunday (the training is I using is about progressive advancement. It’s designed by Hal Higdon and it seems to be one of the most popular (and succesful) training schedules out there). It still seems like I have a long way to go, and I still get a funny feeling in my gut when I think about actually running a real marathon for really real. I feel like I should end with some kind of inspirational platitude, but all I can think of is “keep on truckin'”