Marathon Training Update – Not Dead Yet

marathon character perserveranceIt’s been 3 months since my last blog post.  I added several new things to my plate in the fall including training for my first marathon, helping to coach my son’s soccer team, and serving in a couple of new capacities at church.  Those things along with work and family just became too much.  I just couldn’t do it all.  Some things had to give, and blogging was one of them.

I did keep up with my marathon training (more or less), and now my first marathon is less than 4 days away…

I ran my first half marathon, the Blue Moon Half Marathon in Dunedin, FL, October 29.  I finished around 2:04:20.  See the results. 

My best training run was probably December 1, a 20 miler.  I reached the 13 mile mark at 1:51, just over an 8:30 pace.  I slowed down after that, but still finished the 20 miles in 3:06, for an average pace of 9:20/mile.

Training became difficult in December, though.  In addition to the normal busyness of life, plus the busyness of the Christmas season, I had a huge work deadline December 12.  I actually worked 90 hours that week.  After working 18 hours on Monday and then sleeping only 3 hours, I still managed to do a 6 mile short run.  But after working 2 more 18 hour days on Tuesday and Wednesday I couldn’t run Thursday morning.  I did a long run Sunday morning, but I ended up cutting it short (after about 15 miles if I remember correctly).

The following weekend my wife, 3 kids, and I joined my wife’s family on a cruise to the Bahamas.  The cruise was good, but not very condusive for a long run.

I did my last long training run Saturday December 29.  I decided I was going to do 22 miles no matter what.  Everything was going well through the first 16 miles.  I was running just under a 9 minute mile pace to that point.  Then I had to visit a restroom for several minutes.  After that my legs just felt so heavy.  I ended up alternating running for a minute or so and then walking for a minute or so for miles 17-19.  Then I just walked the last 3 miles.  The 22 miles took 4:08. 🙁

So, I’m a little disappointed in how I finished my training.  When I did my first run of 20 miles and finished in 3:06, I started thinking that maybe after another month of training I would have a shot at doing my first marathon in under 4 hours.  I know that’s not going to happen now.

But I’m still excited about the marathon and very much looking forward to the experience.  At this point my goal is to simply finish my first marathon.  I will try to avoid walking as much as I can, but I’m not shooting for a particular time.  Just finishing will be quit an accomplishment. 

With less than 4 days go go, I’m trying to get as much rest as possible and trying to get as much advice about running a marathon, and in particular about the Disney Marathon.  So, if you have any race-day tips, especially if they’re specific to Disney, please post ’em.

4 Responses to “Marathon Training Update – Not Dead Yet”

  1. What happened at the marathon? How did you do? I am reading The non-runner’s marathon trainer and just did 6 miles. I am wanting to do the 1/2 marathon at Disney in March. It is the princess marathon. After that I would love to run a full marathon. Are you still running?

  2. Lisa, thanks for asking. I guess I never got back to posting the details of the marathon. It was a warm and humid day, and despite the warnings in the book I started too fast and couldn’t help having an unofficial time goal in my head. I started cramping around mile 9 and had to do a lot of walking the rest of the way. I did complete it but it was difficult. I guess because my time was a lot slower than my dumb expectations I didn’t want to write about it at first and then forgot. I should do it though for anyone who stops by to read about my training experience.

  3. Hi Paul,

    i am almost through with the same book, and until week 10, did all the runs, did 12miles in 1:57 and felt so good about it. Then i got shin splints and was knocked out for almost a month, missing all the long training runs expcept for the last 18 miler – which i almost did, 17 miles in 3:26. (I have the stop watch waiting at home as I dont want to be glancing at it all the time.. no time goal , right?!)
    But because i missed so many long runs, I am really worried I wont make it!
    I have 3 weeks left, with the last one being marathon week and according to the book, i should do short runs only now. However, I would like to sneak in a 20miler just to see that i can do it. Whats your thoughts?
    AND, how did you go in the end?
    Thanks, Lisa

    • Hi Lisa, first of all I think it’s really great that you’re training for a marathon. It will be a great accomplishment. But even more than that I’m really impressed that you’ve raised so much money for New Light India. Way to go!

      I’m not sure I’m really the best person to ask since I’ve only done one marathon, but if I were in your situation I would probably try to do two more long runs as long as it didn’t aggravate the shin splints.

      Since you asked… I did finish my marathon, but I never blogged about it. Probably because I’m somewhat embarrassed to say I was dumb and broke a couple of the main pieces of advice in the book – I had a time goal in mind and I started too fast. In addition to that it was unseasonably warm and 100% humidity at the start. I had a lot of problems with cramping. So, don’t do what I did. 🙂

      I wish you all the best with your marathon, and with reaching your fundraising goal.

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