Marathon training has officially begun and I’m on track. That’s not saying much, it’s only week two. But with all of the upcoming travel on my schedule, I don’t know how long that will be the case.
It scares me to think about all of the miles I have yet to lay down all in preparation for the long run through the streets of Chicago. If I follow the training plan that I adopted, when all is said and done, I will have run over 425 training miles before running 26.2 on race day in October. That’s like running from Chicago to Canada.
The training plan pictured above you can find at the Chicago Marathon site at http://assets.chicagomarathon.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/2013_finish.pdf. After reviewing several different types of plans from CARA’s training peaks plan to Hal Higdon’s plan to Runner’s World’s plan – a plan I also loved, but this one to looked to be the most compelling. Incorporating weight training, cross-training, and yoga plan feels good as long as none of it is overdone. The RW plan includes running exclusively, is 20 weeks long, and claims to be foolproof. Either will probably get a beginner in a place to complete the marathon.
And that’s exactly what I am, a beginner. My goal is to finish the race. If I do that, I’ll have achieved all that I set out to do. I hope I can.
Not more than a week ago, I was struggling to run in this (image above). Thick, cold fog, wind blowing upwards of 40 mph, and hills steep enough it seemed that they were designed to break you. The paths and streets of San Francisco were unforgiving. For some runners, they are a welcome component of training. For me, they are a pitiful reminder of how out of shape I am; together, they made running feel impossible for me. And so for the past year, I made it out the door maybe a half a dozen times with my running shoes on. Usually the endeavor resulted in a brisk walk.
But this situation is no longer the case. In fact, just last weekend we moved from cold, foggy, windy, hilly, freezing San Francisco down the peninsula to sunny, less hilly, less windy, warm, and beautiful Mountain View. Not only do we love our little cottage, new yard, cute street, plum tree, and my incredible commute has gone from 1.5 hours to 15 minutes, but I can also run out my door and make it to the Stevens Creek trail in no time. Wow, a real running trail that isn’t on a 45 degree angle.
This has changed my life. Don’t get me wrong, I still seem to find ways to talk myself out of running, like how I got a blister earlier today from the 30 minute dog walk I did in my Birkenstocks. I mean the thing was the size of a large Mike & Ike candy and it was stuck to the side of my foot. The last thing I wanted to do was pull a sock and running shoe over it and subject it to repeated pounding. Plus I have a swollen inner ear thing going on. It aches so badly I’ve had to take ibuprofen. I couldn’t run with an earache. But a good friend of mine reminded me that all my aches and pains were a lot of nothing. That it was my mind, not my feet or my ear, that would carry me the 26.2 miles across the finish line in October. And to get on with it. No more excuses.
She was right of course. So I ran, earache, blister, and all. And it was a little painful, but I was happy I did it. I ran today.