The Marathon. 26.2 miles of endurance, pain, elation and toughness.
I’ve been running for 10 years now, and haven’t been tempted by the marathon. It’s too far. The training interferes with Real Life too much. 4 hours is such a long time to consider running.
I’m too soft to do it.
But …. recently…. I can feel it’s call…. Last year was my first half marathon, which was a huge milestone for me. This year I’ve done three, and loved them: the distance is manageable, it’s a real challenge but is over in 2 hours so not too time-consuming, and at the end I am still awake enough go to the pub with everyone else. Unlike the marathon, after which I think I’d need to go to bed for a week.
Still. Now that I’ve got my head around the half, I’m looking for the next milestone. And I’ve seen how Gilly’s training regime really helped her develop as a runner (did you see her time?! Amazing). And this weekend has seen some amazing performances from the NYC marathon runners, which has been celebrated on Twitter. And so it should: NYC marathon is definitely something to celebrate.
Plus, as Gilly pointed out, even Oprah has done a marathon. I know that she has magical powers and can actually achieve anything she wants, but something tells me that even she might have had some serious training before she tackled the Big 26.2.
So, basically, I’ve submitted my application to join the Marathon Club: last night I entered the Edinburgh marathon. Right now I’m feeling a little daunted and intimidated, and not even convinced that it’s actually real.
What changed was the realisation that unless I actually did a marathon, it would always be the thing I have yet to tackle. Not that what I’ve done before isn’t valid – sometimes the marathon is portrayed as the only distance worth tackling, but I don’t feel that way. For me, it’s more about pride: to stop being a wimp and go and do it. Other people do, so why not me?!
I have spent a good many runs talking about marathons with people in my running club, and they all said the same thing: don’t do one until you want to do one, as the hardest thing is the mental commitment not only on the day, but also throughout the training period. No one else is going to run fartleks with you on a Tuesday morning, or smash out 17 miles on a Sunday.
So to do this, I have two things I need to get my head around: the commitment the training will require, and just what the heck training programs actually mean. Every time I see a program with things like ‘5*400m tempo, 2ks steady, repeat’ I need to sit down and study it for about an hour before I know what needs to be done. Actually, that will be another benefit to this whole thing: being able to read Runner’s World and immediately understand the training segments.
Does anyone have any first time marathon training schedules/secrets they’d recommend?
In other news, last week I was inspired by Stephanie’s lovely blog here, and bought myself four tins of pumpkin puree online. What followed was a week of baking, including pumpkin brownies, triple chocolate chip cookies (I add three types of choc chips), and banana loaf. I think I can almost confidently say I’m a good baker these days! It’s been a big week for my personal development.
Ellie B xxx