Taking On The Marathon

If you’ve read my bio, you know that I’ve signed up for the 2010 Baltimore Marathon this October.  This will be my first 26.2 mile run and I’m oscillating somewhere between terrified and excited these days. 

The marathon is a distance that has always captivated me.  I want to say I’ve run one, but much in the same way that one says they want to be  world-famous rock star.  Sure, it’s a great idea in theory, but not a wholly obtainable goal for most folks.  Except somewhere along the line I stopped equating the marathon to rock star status and began seeing it more as a karaoke gig.  Still supremely nerve wracking and leaving plenty of room for self-doubt, but plenty doable.  I hope!

I’m still searching through training plans for the perfect fit (there are so many different varieties out there!), but I have a few more months until I need to commit to one and stick to it.  The two I’ve flagged so far are The Rookie Marathon Plan over at Runner’s World which is appealing for obvious reasons – shouldn’t be too difficult seeing as I’m already running an average of 20 miles a week.  And The Less-Is-More plan from the Furman Institute of Running and Scientific Training (FIRST).  The philosophy here is to not run more than three times a week.  I like this plan because it leaves me time for cross-training and  weight lifting which I really enjoy.

Anyone have any advice on picking a training plan or have one they can recommend?

Today’s group run, left me thinking that my initial goal of a 10:00/mi pace was a good one.  I was late to meet up with the group and missed introductions (I was pulling out of the driveway when I realized I was sans lip balm. That just wouldn’t do!  How people run without the stuff, I have no idea.  I once nearly resorted to using axel grease off a random car when in a bind on a windy, lip-splitting run).  Missing that social time may have contributed to why I ran my most of my 8 miles solo.  We started off in a pack together at a nice slow pace, and I kept up with the leader through mile 2 when I realized he had turned up the juice and was flying down the trail like Speedy Gonzales.  I knew there was no way I could keep up for 6 more miles so I dropped back.  Right around mile 3 everyone else turned around to complete their planned 6 miler, while I continued on to meet my 8 mile goal. 

It was a rough go.  The speed I accidentally picked up in mile 2 came back to bite me in miles 6 and 7, and I started having some minor tummy trouble to boot.  My legs felt like dead weight too.  I love how strong they feel after these interval workouts I did this week, but man!  I could feel it today, let me tell you!  I was able to finish strong which felt great and all in all, I’m ok with my time. 

Run totals: 8 miles in 1:25:06 @ an average 10:38/mi pace.  My mile splits were fairly consistent.  You can see where I started out too fast and got burnt out early, but the paces didn’t vary overly much.

Mile 1: 10:55
Mile 2: 9:44
Mile 3: 10:16
Mile 4: 10:22
Mile 5: 10:52
Mile 6: 11:20
Mile 7: 11:14
Mile 8: 10:22

On Thursday I completed a 4 mile tempo run in 39:51 with an average pace of 9:48.  My thighs were feeling that the next day and thus I declared it a day of rest!  I’m contemplating another rest day tomorrow, but I know there will be all kinds of goodies to tempt me on Easter so perhaps that’s not such a good idea.  Who out there is hitting the pavement on Easter Sunday?


6 Responses to Taking On The Marathon

  1. Kirk says:

    I for one will not be running Easter Sunday, but I am proud of you for even entertaining the idea.

  2. Jess says:

    The Baltimore Marathon is so much fun. I had a blast doing it ummm wow four years ago now! What group do you run with?

  3. tosha25italia says:

    I usually use the runnersworld.com/smartcoach site to make up a plan for the training. Baltimore was a really fun race especially the fans – but it was hilly for sure! So make sure you do some hills in your training!
    N.D. @ Lil Runner (nannersbread.blogspot.com)

    Thanks for stopping by my blog 🙂

  4. BostonRunner says:

    I was seven weeks into training for the Boston Marathon this year (then I got sick and couldn’t catch up) and following Hal Higdon’s training plan. I think this is a really popular one and all his plans are great and definitely worth looking into! I’m currently following his half marathon plan and have followed others of his in the past. He also writes a bunch of books (I talked about one on my blog) that are really great! Good luck with the search!

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