Monday, July 23, 2012


It's official. I am currently in the throws an obsession: training for my first full marathon. The funniest thing (or most ironic, I should say)  about it is that I haven't even registered for the race yet. I registered for the Chicago Half Marathon, which coincides with training week 9 of my Hal Higdon intermediate training program: run a half marathon. Somehow though, I have not registered for the actual race to which I am obsessing over. Maybe it is a sign. Maybe it isn't at all.

I am by no means a novice runner, but I am new to the marathon. I have run all my life. I started competing in the 6th grade. I was a sprinter in high school and college; and a not too shabby one at that. I've won many championships and even was an assistant coach on an NCAA Division I conference championship program. So why is this so hard? I have no idea. I've run a few half marathons and a handful of 5ks and 10ks, but what makes the marathon so different? Its still running, just farther. There are no steeples, no water jumps, no batons or blocks. Just 26.2 unwavering miles.

I can picture myself on race day slowly starting the race, getting into a groove, stopping when I need to and cruising through just about every water station. I can picture myself crossing the finish line. What I can't picture myself doing is running a 6 mile tempo this Wednesday or running 4 miles early tomorrow morning because I have a hair appointment at 5:30 or somehow fitting in a 14 mile long run over Labor Day weekend (amidst my bf's family reunion - which is another post entirely).

What is this phenomenon of marathon training? I've trained before. I've raced before, but there is something about marathon training that feels different.

My boss is an Iron Man. He just completed his second Iron Man competition this past weekend, beating his PR by over an hour. If he can do a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride, followed by a full 26.2 mile run surely I can run a marathon. But the crazy part is that I know I can run the marathon. I just don't know if I can train for it. I don't know if that makes sense, but that is exactly how I feel right now.  In my last performance review we talked about training (which I'm sure we should have been talking about my performance on the job, but it was totally relevant). He said there are 4 distinct levels of goals when training for an Iron Man:

  1. Make it to the start line.
    • That is arrive healthy and able to compete. Therefore, your training should not only prepare you for the race itself, but be such that you are healthy enough to do it.
  2. Finish.
  3. Set a PR.
  4. Qualify for Kona.
Those same levels of goals can also be applied to marathon training. So I am going to channel my obsession to focus on these four goals:
  1. Register. Make it to the start line.
  2. Finish.
  3. Finish in 4:30.00 or under.
  4. Do it again.
    • If I were not operating with all of my faculties this would say Qualify for Boston, but let's not turn this obsession into full on crazy.


Sunday, July 22, 2012


Marathon training is hard. It is much harder than I expected and its only week 3. Training is literally taking over my life. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can ...

Monday, July 9, 2012


I've always wanted to live in a big city. I love the idea of city living. Everything is conveniently close and easy to get to. I have been staying with a friend in Chicago for the past week and am absolutely loving it. Although my training isn't going exactly as I planned (we've been attending a lot of festivals, eating at all the great Chicago eateries and drinking libations) Chicago is a great place to run. It has been insanely and record breaking-ly hot here and with all the fun we've been having getting up at 5 am for a run just hasn't been in the plans. I ran a few times in the heat but didn't go over 3 miles. When I did run the 3 miles, I ran two outdoors and the final mile on an indoor track to escape the blistering heat. Finally, on Saturday afternoon there was a break in the heat wave and on Sunday afternoon I went for a run along the Lakeshore Trail. It was a beautiful run. It was the first long run of my marathon training plan. My goal was to run for at least an hour or 6 miles. The trail was so beautiful and inspiring I continued a little bit further to run 7.68 miles at a pace that felt effortless. I know I'll need to slow down during future long runs, but this pace felt good so I went with it.

A girl could get used to this...

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Rock & Roll

I toe the line for my first marathon in 129 days at the San Antonio Rock & Roll Marathon. My training begins this week via a modified 16-week Hal Higdon intermediate marathon training program. I am both excited and nervous about training and running this race. I have always said that I am not crazy enough to run a a full marathon. Well, 2012 is the year I go crazy. With rumors of a zombie apocalypse and the world's end upon us (not that I believe any of it) I decided I'm going to get a little crazy too and a do a few things I have never done before (sky diving, rock climbing and parasailing included).   

Join me on this crazy journey of running and self discovery.