Friday, September 19, 2014

Why I decided to train for another marathon and why I will run/walk it

In three weeks, I will be running my second marathon. It has been two years since the New Jersey marathon. During the past two years, I have gone up and down with my thinking of if I would ever do another marathon.

This is how my thought process went:

No way. No how.
Well...maybe I could do another one someday.
No way.
My body can't handle it.
I don't have the time to train for a full marathon.
Well - maybe I could do it.
It would be nice to redeem myself from the first marathon.
Everyone knows that your first marathon is a disaster. So I need to try again.
No way. I can't do another one. I have no desire.
I will stick to half marathons. They are challenging -but easy to do.
Well. Maybe I will do another full someday.

Yeah. So you can see my thoughts were all over the place. And I should let you know that until about 2.5 months ago - I had no intention of running the full in October. I was happily registered for the half. Even my Happy Runner friend, Felice, could not convince me to register for the full.

She herself was registered for the full and she encouraged me to do it. "No thanks," I said. "And by the way - If I ever do another full - I will NEVER do the Hudson Mohawk full. It would mentally make me crazy because I know the route too well."

I said that to her. Those words came out of my mouth.
And now here I am. Two months later.
Registered for the Hudson Mohawk FULL.
YEAH. I freaken lied to her.
By accident. I really had no intention of running it.

But then stuff happened.

I was doing a 9 mile run one day and then I decided to tack on another mile. So I ran 10 miles. Big deal. I do that all the time. Right? Yeah. But something clicked in my head - where I got the crazy idea that I could do the full. I must have had a great 10 mile run where I got cocky. And the crazy marathon thoughts somehow entered my head and then they NEVER LEFT. Those thoughts stayed there and ran round and round in my head. I decided to share the idea with my running buddy Elisa. I tossed it back and forth in my mind and with her. I lived with it for a few days. I didn't talk about it to anyone else for a while. I didn't want to give it life. I honestly wanted it to go away.

But it didn't go away. It would not leave my head.
And so it was. I decided to train for it and see how the training went and then I would switch over.

So, I started upping my mileage. My 3 mile daily runs became 5 and 6 mile runs. My long runs increased. My 20 mile weeks turned into 30 mile weeks. I was full speed ahead with marathon training.

Not all runs were great. In fact, the day I did my 14 mile run, I was over the idea of running the full. It was a hot day. We ran a hilly route. I was done. I remember thinking - "Why am I doing this?" I went home and basically threw in the towel and bitched about it to Brian. And then I said - "I can't train like this or I will fail. Maybe I need to switch my training to a run/walk plan."

And that's when it all fell into place. I felt that I could probably do the marathon if I implemented walking into my training. So - that's what I did. I decided that at every mile, I would walk for one minute. I would need to be consistent with it, and I would need to start doing it at mile ONE for it to be effective. It was in my head to do it on the 14 mile run. But I never followed though because I was running with Felice and Elisa and I didn't know the route, and it was just more of a hassle to do it. But after that tough 14 mile run, I knew I needed to stick to my plan and train the way I needed to if I was going to successfully run this marathon.

And that's what I did. From then on, I have become consistent with my walking. I even have it down pat that I knew in that one minute - I can walk the distance of .08. I also discovered that those 60 seconds FLY by.

 From all of my research, the idea behind the run/walk is that it conserves your energy and makes you less prone to injury. I did find that on my runs, my pace stayed the same. Even though I was walking for that minute, it didn't slow me down. Once I had that break - I could kick up my running pace a bit. So it all evened out.

What I found the most interesting about the run/walk method is that people say that you will pick up the pace at the END of the marathon. I found that hard to believe. That is until I ran my 20 miler. But it was true. At miles 17-20 - something happened to me. I felt amazing. Fantastic. I picked up my pace. Who would have thought that you could do that after running all those miles?? I attribute it to the run/walk method. It's the way to be for me. And so far - I have had no injuries. No IT band pain. No major problems. Again - I give credit to the run/walk method.

Elisa asked me the other day what my goal is for the marathon. Honestly, my goal is to finish the marathon happy, and feeling good with NO injuries. That's all. I want to feel like a rock star at the end. I think the run/walk method will help me get there.

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