This week’s Tuesdays on the Run topic was a check in on 2016 goals, which I already wrote about a bit earlier this month here. Instead, today seems like a good to talk about a goal I’ve been tossing around in my head lately – do I want to run the Walt Disney World marathon in January 2017? Early registration opened today, with general registration next week so it’s time to decide.
When I first started considering the marathon, I told myself I’d see how my training went this spring before I decided on the marathon. Last fall with the training I was doing for the Des Moines Half Marathon, I developed some knee pain toward the end that cut some runs short. I turned out to have a good race without knee trouble, but definitely wanted to see if that reared its head again with this spring’s training before I decided on the marathon. So far, I haven’t had any injury or knee pain and I’ve got enough long runs under my belt this cycle to feel comfortable saying my body is handling this training well. Importantly, I’ve taken this training easy in terms of mileage and have rarely run 6 days a week like I did last fall.
I would use the Hal Higdon Marathon Novice 1 plan for training, picking up at the “half marathon” in that plan after the back to back half marathons of the I-35 challenge. I used Hal Higdon for my first 10K and my first half marathon. I like the straightforward building up of mileage, focusing on that gradual progression of miles. The maximum mileage would be 40 miles a week, just above the peak of 35 miles I did with half marathon training last fall. Can I safely do that mileage? I think I can if I’m smart about following the plan and keeping the runs easy. My goal in a marathon is just to finish, so I’m not going to worry about paces.
- I’m not injured (and am in fact fairly injury free in my running life overall – KNOCK ON WOOD!)
- While my life is never stress free, I at least shouldn’t have another huge grant to write between now and the marathon and my work schedule between now and then is actually pretty friendly for training. This is as low stress as I’m ever going to get, so now is as good as any time.
- Is my lifestyle conducive to this? I’m actually more worried about training for the back to back half marathons, which will have me away from my family both Saturday and Sunday for a couple of hours at a time than I am the one long run of marathon training weekends. Of course, I’ll also be more tired than I’ve been with any other training cycle but Darrell is on board with this, even knowing that it’ll make me less effective on the parenting/wife-ing front for the fall. His agreement may be because he’s bribed with a cruise after the marathon and a chance to do Harry Potter worlds at Universal on the Saturday pre-marathon while I’m resting and getting ready.
- I’ve been running for almost four years now and have 7 half marathons under my belt, so I’m comfortable running long distances, fueling, following a training plan and listening to my body. I know the marathon will stretch me beyond what I’ve done before, but I’m coming from a good base.
- Most importantly, I think I can do this and I want to do it. That “want” is going to be really hard when I haul myself out of my house for a 20 mile run in December in Nebraska.
Time will tell if this is a good idea or not. 🙂 This definitely informs a lot of my running goals for the rest of the year. I’ll need to focus on maintaining my fitness and building a good base of strength training during the off-time between the Papillion Half Marathon next month and the start of training in the later summer. I’ll need to be conservative in my runs for the I-35 challenge so that I build my endurance and my strength for those back to back half marathons, which will give me a good base for the marathon, without pushing too hard and injuring myself. Importantly, because that back-to-back half marathon race weekend falls in the middle of the marathon training, I have to be extremely careful about not pushing the pace during those races and derailing the marathon training still to come after that.
You know how I know this was the right decision? I pulled the trigger on registering a little over an hour ago and I don’t have that “What have I done?!” sense of panic yet. I’ve got this.
How did you decide when to tackle the marathon? Any advice for me?