Considering: Marathon Training

Well, it is May. I never promised I’d keep up to date with this thing. See here for legal evidence.

Regardless, I’m back. Am I just passing through like I do when I stop by my favorite university town in Iowa just for a coffee from my favorite spot and a speciality Iowan beer? Or am I staying for the weekend like we do when we go visit our parents? Or, am I back for the long-term like moving to Minnesota for college? We’ll just see. Feeling obligated to blog is something I have avoided.  I know this inhibits any desire I have for my blog to become actually popular because, after all, frequency is a necessity for “blowing up.” I have felt like I should write something, but tickling the keyboard just wasn’t coming naturally. So instead of feeling bad about it, I just kind of forgot about it and let nature do its thang. The thang being: eventually something would come up that I was considering enough that I should write about it.

So, I have a consideration to share once again. Albeit nothing of great depth or inspiration.

Marathon training for The H and I is “well” underway. I say this with a scoff because we’ve been running regularly on a regimented plan for about two months. But…this race is in October. So proportionately, we are 20% into training. Technically we’re training for a half marathon right now because marathon training, which was originally scheduled by The H to start in May, begins with the assumption you can run 12 miles…consecutively. I did my best Kerry Washington in Save The Last Dance and said, “Holda holda holdup…”

There was no way I could just up and run 12 miles just because some training plan said to. We thought it smart to train for a half-marathon first, which will lead us into our marathon plan. And yes, we did both get in to the Chicago Bank of America Marathon through the every-s0-scary lottery system. In fact, everyone I know of who entered the lottery got in, so if you’re reading this and you got rejected – sucker! I mean…I’m sorry, that stinks. I hear Des Moines has their’s the same weekend and is lovely in late-October. Trust me, it is lovely anytime of year.

I only listen to my iPod when I’m at the gym, so while I’m running I really only have my thoughts and observations to occupy the time. Time. Lots of time…especially at my pace. I may resort to the iPod soon. A girl can only think about so many things before hair-raising thoughts like, “Did I actually like my hair on my wedding day?” or, “I wonder if I still fit in my prom dress?” take over her psyche and lead to permanent psychological damage. My main takeaway, while considering the time I’m spending running, is that I truly have the time to train for a marathon right now.

There is no better time to train for a marathon than when underemployed. I cannot imagine having to get my runs in before 8 a.m. Given, many of my fellow trainees who work full-time will do their longer training runs on the weekend, still multiple times a week they have to fit in their run between their work, kids, and various commitments. I usually have a good half-day window to fit my run in. I will have to get my poop in a group (thanks Mom, for my favorite phrase) come summer because it will be too hot to do anything besides sit in AC by 9 a.m. But until then, I am appreciating taking my training schedule at my leisure.

I’ll spare you from being one of “those” marathon trainees…for now. Please call me out if I cross this threshold. Trust me, I have called this whole endeavor insane since I attended my first marathon around the age of 7. Yes, my parents are amazing. Truly, they are. But, at 7, I know I was lecturing my dad about how ridiculous marathons were. But one thing I’ve learned about myself during the last year and a half is that while underemployed I need to set goals and actively work towards them. When working full time and a student, goal-setting is a natural, unconscious process for the most part. Goals, many of them that are not personal, are self-populated. My biggest goal right now is to get a fulfilling full-time position in a field where my interests and talents align, but I accept that this goal is a looooooong-term goal. While I keep on keeping on, I will not take for granted the value of smaller, obtainable, yet challenging goals where I have new experiences that push me to try new things and ultimately be proud of myself for accomplishing something that truly isn’t normal.

For those of you with even an inkling of curiosity about some specifics of our actual training, I’ll leave you with these tidbits. For those of you who don’t give a hoot, stop here. Really, stop. You can’t read the following, yet still roll your eyes at me. You are consciously making the decision to read on.

Ever since over-doing it in flip-flops during the summer of 2008 and bruising my heel badly in 2010, I’ve had heel issues. I have inserts, I have this special massage ball, I hobble anytime I get up after sitting for more than 20 minutes. Currently this is my biggest concern in terms of potential injury that could halt my training.

My knees are a close 2nd. As a libero and goalie and overall lover of diving on the ground, my knees have seen as much action as the port-a-potties before a big race. Horrible analogy aside, there is also the fact that I may or may not have refused to not wear kneepads until I was approximately a junior in high school. My friend Ashley even remembers this random fact about me, 10 years out of high school. I wear a funny blue band on my right knee, and try to diligently ice.

Already developing a tan line from my watch. I’m proud of it, you betcha!

Running in a city and being constrained in terms of how far outside my home radius I’m willing to to run, makes long runs difficult to plan. I miss the bike trails I know so well back home. I’m going to make it a point to try out new trails and, of course, go run along Lake Michigan a few times.

My great debate currently is if I invest in one of those hand-held water bottle contraptions. I can only run so many miles before I simply need a drink of water! The only other options I’ve come up with are to plan routes around local parks that have working, sanitary drinking fountains, or to plan routes around my place of work and sweatily go into our break room for some refreshment. So the hand-held H2O looks like the winner so far.

Running skorts are the best! My thighs are too big to wear just short running shorts without risking chaffing and thigh-clapping on longer runs. I have plain ol’ spandex, but that’s not ideal either. I tried out my new running skort this weekend since it was nice enough to show some leg. I loved it! I’m definitely in the market for another one. Thought about my first ever Lululemon purchase being one of their running skirts because they looked cute from the front. But the back is full of ruffles. Yes, ruffles. After I noticed that, the $80 did seem as justifiable.

If you’ve gotten this far, I appreciate it. Here is to more considerations and feeling happy enough to share them.



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