Well, I did it. I registered for a real, full, 26.2 mile-long marathon. The Publix Atlanta Marathon to be exact. March 1, 2020.
25 weeks from now. Or rather, 25 weeks from last Tuesday. Which may mean it’s 24 weeks now. I don’t know. It’s 6 months away, or as Siri tells me… 5.52 months. I trust her and rely on her way more than I should.
I hadn’t planned on registering for a marathon next year. Not really. I did some research back in April. I saw the 1 Year Ago flashback photos from the Star Wars races, got really sad about the year of grief-inspired non-running, and made a bookmarks folder of all the upcoming Fall/Winter/Spring marathons that were near enough to drive to.
I’ve periodically looked at the list since, but didn’t give it much serious thought.
I earned my May the Fourth/Revenge of the Fifth virtual race medal that my wife got me, training during March and April to get back to where I didn’t feel like I’d die when I did a back-to-back 5k/10k.
But afterward, I didn’t really run that much over the summer.
And by that much…
I mean at all. I didn’t run at all.
It was hot (it felt way hotter than normal), humid (my asthma hated it), and…let’s be honest here…I was lazy. And I liked being inside playing video games more than I liked running. Or moving. Or doing anything, really.
I still had the last few tentacles of depression from the previous year’s stressors holding onto me. Plus, I just wasn’t feeling running. It just hadn’t been fun the past dozen or so times I’d been out.
March/April runs had been kind of chores, and I told Jennifer often during that period that I “ran every step,” which I use to mean that I was never able to zone out, enjoy the run, and just kind of…go.
It was work. It never felt good. And it was simply not something I wanted to be doing.
I also didn’t help myself along by overdoing it on off days, too. I had started spending more and more time in the late-afternoon/evenings, often 2+ hours of walking and listening to The Adventure Zone podcast.
That burned me out to the point where I not only didn’t want to go out because of the heat-lazy combo, but I also didn’t want to go out if I couldn’t commit to the same amount of time or distance.
So…I stopped altogether.
Now, though, I’ve started running again
What really pushed me into registering and going for it wasn’t the lethargy I’m tired of. It wasn’t the weight gain I wanted to counteract (which did play a part, but not much).
Their encouragement pushed me over the edge to register. I tossed my hundo toward the ATL Track Club and — just like that — was committed to 26.2 miles of early morning pavement pounding.
I’ve never run a race with friends before. Austin was supposed to run the Star Wars 5k at Disney World with me last year, but it didn’t work out.
So this will be a new experience for me. A good one. Especially since I’ve never met Jay and Rose in person. This should be a great trip all the way around.
Training for the Marathon
This is where it gets kind of sticky. I…don’t know how to train for a marathon.
I’ve got five-and-a-half months to get my legs and asthmatic lungs into shape for it. And I don’t know what method to use for that.
I’ve done multiple half-marathons, and the training for those hasn’t been too rough at all. It’s been hard, sure, but it hasn’t taken over my life like I’ve heard full marathon training can. That said, I’ve looked at two options. The runDisney training plans put together by Jeff Galloway and the Hal Higdon marathon training plans.
The Galloway plans (which are run-walk-run plans through and through) are 29 weeks long. Which is, as you know, longer than I’ve got to train. The Higdon plans are 18 weeks, which would allow for a good buffer in the training.
There’s a good chance that I will combine the Galloway methodology, such as how he calculates when you should take walk breaks with the training schedule of Hal’s Novice 1 plan.
So yeah…we’ll see how it goes
I’m excited and scared. But I figure it’s time to really get off my pity pony and get back to moving. For the better part of a decade, a large part of my identity has been being a runner.
Only, I haven’t been running a lot. Or at all.
I want to change that. And I think this’ll really do it for me. Given how big a deal this is for me, I expect that I will be blogging and podcasting about it quite a bit.
The social part of the internet is a big deal to me, and it really helps keep me motivated and accountable the more I can interact with you guys about your training and just everything.
So…yeah. Yeah. I registered for a marathon…let’s see how this goes.
Got any marathon training tips? Toss ’em in the comments, fitgeek! I need all the help I can get.