At the end of June 2006, I started training for a marathon. I had thought about running a marathon several times before, but was too intimidated by the thought of running that far. Now, after running regularly for 6 months, I have a lot more confidence in my ability. Besides, now is the time to do it since I've already got 6 months invested - I may not have this opportunity again. I ran half-marathons on September 16 and October 15, and plan to run the Orange County Marathon on January 7, 2007.
To build up to Half Marathon distance, my training consisted of running 3 days, cross-training 3 days, and resting 1 day per week. Cross-training was usually swimming for 30 minutes or riding my bike for about an hour. Often the bike ride turned out to be a search for new running routes or a distance measurement of a route using the bike's computer. On most weekends I did a Long Run in order to build up to race distance.
After reaching the Half Marathon milestone, the long runs started to get pretty long, so I cut out most of the cross-training and alternated between "Really Long" runs and "Sorta Long" runs every other weekend. That program allowed me to steadily increase my mileage without being too stressful. Below is a log of my Long Runs. The times given are total time and include stops, walk breaks, etc. Pace and average HR are calculated from the total time.
|July 1, 2006||4 miles||?||?||?||MV Cowboys track - several fast laps|
|July 8, 2006||4 miles||00:52:00||13:00||?||MV Cowboys track|
|July 15, 2006||4.8 miles||00:59:12||12:20||146||CW PCOM loop - hot!|
|July 22, 2006||4.8 miles||01:00:30||12:36||153||CCW PCOM loop - hotter!|
|July 30, 2006||6 miles||01:12:56||12:09||148||Oso Creek Trail - cooler|
|August 5, 2006||5K "race"||00:30:43||9:53||167||CW around MV Lake - warm|
|August 13, 2006||7 miles||01:30:25||12:55||149||Oso Creek Trail - new shoes!|
|August 20, 2006||8.5 miles||02:03:41||14:33||135||Oso Creek Trail|
|August 27, 2006||10K "race"||01:21:22||13:05||155||2 laps around MV Lake - hot!!|
|September 2, 2006||10 miles||02:15:08||13:30||141||Cook's Corner - last 8 miles uphill!|
|September 16, 2006||Half Marathon||02:49:20||12:56||154||Heartbreak Ridge, Camp Pendelton|
|October 1, 2006||12 miles||02:37:32||13:07||137||Out & back to Alton & Irvine Blvd|
|October 15, 2006||Half Marathon||02:35:16||11:50||151||Long Beach ICB Half Marathon|
|October 29, 2006||16 miles||03:41:59||13:52||142||Out & back - Christianitos to Helipad|
|November 5, 2006||10K||01:01:14||9:51||160||Dinosaur Dash - Tustin Marketplace|
|November 12, 2006||10 miles||02:25:22||14:32||?||MV Cowboys track - knee hurt|
|November 25, 2006||20 miles||04:58:04||14:54||144||Out & back - Home to Cook's Corner|
|December 2, 2006||13 miles||02:59:33||13:48||144||MV Cowboys track - no water last 6 miles!|
|December 9, 2006||20.4 miles||04:39:32||13:42||147||Out & back - Christianitos to Las Pulgas|
|December 23, 2006||12 miles||02:27:18||12:17||149||Out & back - Jeronimo to Cook's Corner|
|December 30, 2006||8 miles||01:48:25||13:33||146||Out & back - Jeronimo to Toll Road|
How did all this training pay off? Well, I finished the Orange County Marathon on January 7, 2007, but I suffered like an animal. I think my training was too minimal (3 days/week max), my long runs too slow, and my taper runs too fast. The weather was warm and windy that day, and I got nauseated from eating too many GU's, but I crossed the finish line without limping, bleeding, or even getting a blister! Running a marathon is something I will seriously consider doing again.
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