I think I’m officially a “marathoner”. But to me that means something different than what it’s typically referred to. I’ve seen the title “marathoner” refer to folks who run marathons back to back within weeks of each other. Or folks who’ve won them in record time. I’m definitely in neither of those categories. And it isn’t my goal to fall into those categories either. I run marathons to continue to prove to myself that I can. I run to inspire others to break out of their boxes and tear down their limits. I run to keep from going crazy.
So with that said, I AM a marathoner. And this October, I’ll be taking on the Bank of America Chicago Marathon for the 2nd year in a row. It’ll be my 4th marathon. I’ll also be continuing my role as a Chicago Area Runner’s Association (CARA) group leader for marathon training. Every Saturday morning, I’ll make the trek to Montrose Beach and lead group of beginners and experienced runners on their weekly “long run”. I am more than excited to start this journey again, especially with CARA.
Last year, I used Hal Higdon’s Novice 1 training plan and loved it. It worked so well and any advice or training from Hal Higdon is priceless. He is definitely a legend in the marathon game and has proved this time and time again. This year, I’ll be using his Novice 2 plan. The mileage is slightly higher and every other week I’ll have a “race pace” run in the middle of the week. I’m a bit intimidated by that, but I’m not going to psych myself out of it. I know what I’m capable of and I’m always down for a challenge. I’ve also set a race goal to finish the Chicago Marathon between 4:45 and 5:00. I know what you more experienced marathoners may be thinking…”That’s slow!” Well, to me, it’s going to be a challenge. This will be my 4th marathon and last year when I started the Chicago Marathon, I took off too fast. I also didn’t follow my training (run 5 mins, walk 1 min) and ran 8 miles straight, nonstop. Bad idea. I tired out too fast and didn’t run my best marathon at all. This year, I’ll do much better.
Over the next 18 weeks (starting tomorrow), I’ll be documenting my training each week here on Renewed Fitness. I hope to grow and change and make this marathon experience unlike any other. No matter what, training for such an event like this has always changed me in a positive way. And like I’ve mentioned before, it helps me prove over and over again that I CAN do this. That I can do pretty much anything.
I’m pretty sure I’ll face times when things get difficult and long and lonely. Training takes up so much time. But when I’ve got some cheerleaders in my corner, it does make things a bit easier. So, I hope you’ll join me on my training journey and help me push through it. Your comments, tweets, FB posts and general words of encouragement will mean everything to me. Thanks in advance, and let the training begin!