You may not have caught the conversation in the comments of this post, but the rumors are true: I am planning to run a marathon in 2013. The Chicago Marathon, in fact! Thank goodness it’s not until 2013, so I have some time to wrap my mind around this insanity.
I’m pretty excited, as Raquelita and Chrissy are on board to run this one with me, along with a bunch of other running bloggers. Actually, they are the reason I want to run this race. I’ve never met either of them in person, but I read their blogs daily (or nearly so) and we regularly trade comments back and forth. I feel a kinship and a connection with them, and I’m pretty stoked to meet them both. The chance to experience a marathon with my favorite blogging friends is not an opportunity I can pass up.
It’s a little scary to commit to something in 2013 because I don’t know where I’ll be living in a year. On the other hand, it’s satisfying to take control and say to myself, “Dammit! We’re doing this!” After all, a person can only stand so much uncertainty in her life. Now, I realize that anything can happen during marathon training—injuries, burnout, demands from other areas of life, family emergencies. So I’m just going to cross my fingers and train smart in the hopes of avoiding those misfortunes.
Speaking of training, I’ve got a secret weapon on my side. My friend Trainer Tom is totally excited to sketch out a training plan for me. His face practically lit up when I told him I was going to run Chicago—it was adorable. We haven’t talked seriously about training yet, but we’ll get there. In the meantime, I’ve been eyeing the beginner marathon training schedule in the Runner’s World Complete Book of Women’s Running. I like it because it has you running four days a week, which is about the max that I think I could handle. I really like and need recovery days—my body is happier with some cross-training and yoga to complement all that running. I also like that it has you run by time, which is what I do. Finally, in the training plan, there are six runs longer than two hours. That’s still pretty daunting for someone who has never run longer than 13.1 miles in a single day, but six extra-long runs seems…crazy but feasible over the course of a long training season. The longest run is 3 hours 30 minutes, which translates to 21 miles at a 10:00/mile pace.
21 miles. Yeah. I’m not there yet. But I’ll get there, one step at a time. [Cue the Journey song: Don’t stop believing!]
I’m excited and terrified by the marathon. The distance, the prospect of doing really long runs in August…possibly in Texas. Help! The marathon is not something I believe runners must do to prove something to the world. But it is a pretty spectacular event, and I won’t lie: the idea of being able to say I ran a marathon is appealing. I may only run one of them in my life, but that’s a decision I can make after I’ve run my first one.
Friends, see you in Chicago in 2013.