So I’ve decided to run a half marathon…which is practically like saying “I’ve decided to pull out all of my teeth with dusty pliers,” or “I’ve decided to have my arm chewed off by a bear.” There is no intelligent reason to make yourself run 13.1 miles if nothing is chasing you. You don’t even have to run that much to be healthy. But I’ve decided to do it because:
- The Myrtle Beach marathons benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and American Red Cross. I love contributing to worthy causes!
- It’s an excuse to go to the beach.
- I want to prove to myself that I can do something athletic-y. I generally pigeonhole myself as the artistic type.
- I need a stress reliever. The weird thing is that I can’t identify why I feel anxious and stressed sometimes. My life is pretty tranquilo. My husband says running is a healthy way to clear my mind, sort things out, and refocus.
- I think running more will make my legs, butt, and abs look more amazing.
It’s not the most inspirational list but it’s honest!
The early stages of training for a marathon
I conditioned for training. In the summer, my husband and I began lifting weights. I focused on toning by doing more reps with modest weight. I got better definition in my arms, legs, and abs. (No, I don’t plan on posting half naked pictures so you’ll just have to believe me.) After each weight session, I did about a mile on the treadmill at 4.5mph or greater with 0 incline. If we were on the elliptical, I usually did level 20 with a resistance of 5 or less.
About a month ago, I began jogging 5ks. I was so slow I could literally see the grass growing. I’d average 15 minute miles with frequent stopping to walk. I loathed it. Sometimes I wanted to run faster just to get it over with but I knew my slow starting pace would help me avoid injuries and excessive fatigue.
I found that running each day improved my morale. I made it a habit instead of a deadly phenomenon that occurred a few times a week. Now, I can get through a 5k without wanting to hurt somebody.
I also began reading Galloway’s Book on Running. It’s got a good balance of scientific explanation and layman’s speech; I highly recommend it.
Getting into gear
On Oct 21st we officially started training. No more comfy indoor treadmill that does a lot of the work for you. No more soft, damp trails to cushion the blow to the knees. The half marathon is on a paved course so I need to get acclimated to pavement. The treadmill is reserved for icy, rainy days only.
Since then, I’ve improved to 12-13 minute miles on a good day. I’m up to 4 miles this week. I’m using Galloway’s training method, which steadily increases mileage with easy runs and breaks between. It’s intended for first time runners who simply want to finish the race without injury.
I’m feeling pretty good. Up next: Apps and Gadgets to Make Running More Fun and Tips to Avoid and Recoup from Injury.
Do you have any races coming up? What method are you using to prepare for it?