I began running last fall. Prior to running, I worked out 6 days/week, generally lifting weights 3 days/week and doing cardio 3 days/week. Thus, I was in fairly good shape prior to running.
Since I began running, I've run two half marathons (both earlier this year...late February and mid April). I ran a 10K last night and am running another half marathon on Nov. 4th. While I don't love running, I love the competitive aspect of 10Ks and half marathons. I set goals that are appropriate for my running pace, and I strive to meet them. I currently run 3-4 days/week. My long slow run is on Sundays, and I keep myself to a 11-12 minute/mile. My weekday runs are shorter, and I run a more 9-10 minute/mile pace over 3-5 miles, and one of my weekday runs I do tempo springs...1/4 mile sprints at an 8 minute/mile pace, repeating anywhere from 10-15 times (depending where I am in my training) with a 90 second rest between.
I've been contemplating for the past few months running a full marathon in late January. There's one that's 3 hours from my where I live that generally has great weather (for January--30s at the start warming to 50s near the end of the race). The marathon site is flat, flat, flat...truly, there's only 50 feet of elevation change during the entire course. It takes place on an Air Force base, and previous runners share that the venue is visually interesting (there are jets doing touch and go's, farmland with horses and cows, a golf course, as well as spectators and air force men and women doing their morning p.t. It's a double loop course, so two 13.1 mile loops.
I'm seriously considering doing this...I'm already in really good shape, I'm on track with my mileage (I trained for my half with the idea of running a full, so rather than building to 10 or 11 miles prior to my half, I built to above 13 miles at this point). My longest training run is a mere 9 more miles beyond what I'm running now. I have 11 weeks until the marathon. I really want to prove to myself that I CAN do this...that's my motivation. It's not that I love running...it's that I need a challenge, and this is definitely one.
So...I'd love the advice of any of you with marathon experience. Thoughts? Suggestions?
Let me preface everything I'm about to say with "I only run when chased."
My husband (42) and his younger sister (40) trained for and ran the Chicago marathon in 2009. I have a couple of friends who have run several (and I was always the driver/cheering section)--all in their 20's and 30's. My husband's best friend runs several per year (mid 40's physician). And my CRAZY friend back home started doing freaking Iron Mans on a regular basis after I got him P90X a few years ago as a gift.
So while *I* do not run, I have a fair amount of experience with the process.
Do it. I think you'll love it.
The only thing that kind of sucked when my husband was training was the time commitment. We were just dating at the time so it really cut in to our evenings/weekends together.
Every one of my friends/family who have done marathons felt like absolute shit the day after but were so geeked to have done them and continue to do them so it must not be THAT bad,eh?
Schedule a massage for the day after.
Avoid having to sit in a car and drive very far the day you finish--every time I've driven people immediately after the race for more than about an hour, they've really cramped up.
If you haven't needed it already, one thing my girlfriends all recommend is the slippery stuff to put on your nipples to avoid chafing.
That is about all I've got when it comes to marathons. I've done some pig mans and used to do a lot of 5ks (10 years ago)... But you won't catch me doing a marathon though I'm impressed by those of you who do!
A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.
You sound more prepared than I was when I ran my first marathon. I had only raced a 5K before that, and due to numerous obstacles my longest "long" run prior to the marathon was 16 miles. To load insult to injury, the day of the race we had an unseasonal Nor-easter, and the race was on the coast! Cold, rain, wind etc. I took experienced racers advice & covered my cool race outfit with a black plastic trashbag & boy I needed it! I finished in a pathetic 5 hrs & 15 minutes.
All that, and it was one of the greatest accomplishments of my life. I lived off the glow for months. When I mention it nowadays, decade later, people look me in awe. So I'd say if you have the mind to run a marathon, just DO IT!
Only thing that should stop you is an active sore injury. I trained for another one up to the week before, in spite of straining a tendon in my left thigh on a 20 mile training run. I finally faced facts & skipped the race, but that tendon will never be the same.
I'm entered in my first 5K in a decade next Sunday - hoping I can finish in less than 30 mins like I did in my thirties. Wish me luck, & please report on a later off topic day about your marathon!
You both are truly giving me confidence and courage!
I decided that I would wait until the Tuesday after my next half marathon to decide to sign up (so I'll decide on Nov. 6th). I figured I would still be in post race euphoria on Monday, so decision day will be Tuesday.
My half marathon times have been in the 2:09-2:15 range, so I'm not setting any land speed records, and I ran a 10K last night in 59 minutes. I'd like to finish a full in the 4:40 range, but I have a bet with my husband (if I run) that I'll finish in under 5 hours (barring any injuries, etc.). I think it'll be rough, but it's a realistic goal. I figure if Oprah can run a full in 4:30, I can finish one in under 5, right?
Arcadien...I've learned over the past few years about listening to my body when it gets tweaky. I've tried to train too many times through injury and then ended up having to take months off. I do yoga the day after my long run now, and also use the foam roller and stretch daily. It has kept me injury free for the past year.
I ran two marathons in 8 days a couple weeks ago with zero train up other than my usual workouts (run 30ish minutes, some strength training) and yeah the second marathon kind of sucked, mainly because the scenery was boriiiing, but it's definitely doable. You'll be fine.
Pick a good race, though. If it's going to be your first, pick a race that other people rave about, not some podunk one. You want people to be there when you cross the finish line and become a *marathoner*
Best of luck!
“Thoroughbreds are the best. They’re lighter, quicker, and more intelligent.” -George Morris
Several of my friends and my SO have run one. Just to say they did. Now they are back to their halves. Happily. It sounds like you are the type of runner who fits the category of "should do one". If you love it do more. If not you can always have the satisfaction of having done one.
"Those who know the least often know it the loudest."
A quick update....ran my half marathon on Nov . 3. It was rough, and I yelled to my sister at mile 12.8 that there was no way I was doing a full.
Then I went home, ran for a few more weeks and forgot the horrors of the half. I adjusted my schedule and gave myself more time to train. Just this week I registered for the Columbia SC marathon on March 9th. It's hilly, but an hour from home.
My goal is to.finish and be able to walk back to my car under my own power, preferably in an upright position!
Will keep you posted on my progress. Thanks for the push.
I've never had problems driving afterward. In fact, after the first one (totally flat on a rail trail, which killed my quads), I haven't even been hugely sore. I did one a couple weeks ago, drove 3 hours south to a friend's and crashed on her couch, then got up the next day and ran a 5k with her before we went out for the most ridiculously over the top breakfast ever, and then drove 5 more hours home
If my youngest daughter could run a marathon you can.
At end of her freshman year in high school she had one of our hunter horses fall with her breaking all but one bone in her right foot. Initially the doctors wanted to amputate the foot, we quickly located a pediatric orthopedic surgeon who immediately took her into a nine hour surgery. The out come was questionable.
The surgeon knew how to push the right buttons with my daughter placing challenges in front of her telling her she would never walk with a limp, she proved him wrong quickly. He told her she would have to forget about gymnastics (she had been a All-American) ... she did go back to do balance beam.
But he also told her that her riding days were over.... three years later she was won two reserve national championships.... one was in distance riding were she competed in over 700 miles of judged rides in one year
She always told her surgeon she was going to run a full marathon to prove him wrong... she did that last year
Just a quick update on training....ran 15 miles this past Saturday. While it wasn't fun by any stretch of the imagination, it wasn't a total horror!
I had to bow out of a half marathon last weekend due to some sort of icky stomach bug. I was a bit disappointed as I really wanted to see how much I could push my pace for the 13 miles, but it is what it is. It took me a week to feel sort of normal again.
My weekday runs have been feeling REALLY good, and I'm really working on the hills, particularly near the end of my runs. I even surprised myself today during an easy 4 miles when my final 1/2 mile stretch was uphill and I didn't feel as though I was laboring at all.
Here's hoping for 10 more weeks of good runs and a healthy mind and body.
Just wanted to update....marathon was March 9th and I have never had a better run in my life! I felt good the entire way and finished in 4:54:01. Huge hill at miles 16 and 24, but I trucked along in my average long run pace and had energy left for a few more miles in the end. It was a great experience and I would do it again.
Was hardly even sore the next day. I give credit to a solid training plan (Hal Higdon).