Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Two Weeks Till Go Time

"There's a certain Magic to running 26 miles 385 yards."

In exactly two weeks I begin training for my first marathon. Typing such words of intent is almost as intimidating as knowing I'm actually going to have to run 26.2 miles at the end of all this.

The marathon I've signed up for is the 2010 Marine Corps Marathon which takes place on Sunday, October 31st in my hometown and current residence of Washington, D.C.. And according to the Marine Corps Marathon website ( there are exactly 136 days, 18 hours, 33 minutes and 12 seconds until I attempt this feat.

I plan to follow an 18 week beginner's training plan designed by Hal Higdon (marathon runner and coach extraordinaire) and his other marathon running tips outlined in his book: "MARATHON:THE ULTIMATE TRAINING GUIDE" and I'll try to blog about my efforts to do everything that training for a marathon requires from logging my training runs, to learning to eat nutritiously for the first time in my life and hoping to drop a few pounds, to cross-training, to sleeping and stretching better, to figuring out the mysteries of running gels and energy bars and so on.

While I didn't google them, I'm sure there are hundreds, maybe even thousands of blogs about running; there are probably many about first-time marathoners like me. Mostly I'm writing this to hold myself accountable. Because I'm really scared I can't do this, which is why I really have to. Plus I figure there are a lot of "fit" and talented and experienced runners that have a lot to offer in the way of advice. I'm just a total beginner who has absolutely no idea what she is doing. So what I have to offer is a bit of self-deprecating humor and possibly moral support for anyone else starting out in running, training for a marathon or just simply bored at work.

My reasons for running the marathon are many. I'm in my late 20's, single and a little overweight and both my personal and professional lives are a bit of a mess. So partially I'm doing this because I just need a change and a change has to come from somewhere. Why not a marathon? I'm hoping that the focus, energy and confidence that I gain from this experience might put some spring back into my step--literally--and then spill over into the other areas of my life that are in desperate need of some "tweaking." Also, I've just always liked to "run." We'll get into a discussion later of whether what I really do is "running" or actually just "jogging" but whatever it is, I've always sort of liked it. I've never been very fast but I've always found that getting out of the house and pounding the pavement for a few minutes or a few miles has somehow quieted the nagging voices and stresses inside my head and healed whatever ailed me (if only for a little while). Maybe training over the course of the next four months will help me find some solutions to fix this rut I'm in. Lastly, for some crazy reason I've just always felt that itching need somewhere inside me to run a marathon. To prove something to myself and to prove something to others. After all, the marathon is the ultimate goal for many of us runners; It's just something many of us have to do.

I know this is going to be really, really, really hard! And I know that no one (not even my own mother) thinks I can do it. That's partially why
I'm calling myself the "Marathon's Mistress." "Mistress" is defined by the Free Online Dictionary as "a woman having control over something specified." Right now the marathon is my cruel mistress and has complete control over me - my time, energy, body, mind and desire. But come October 31st, maybe I'll become the Marathon's Mistress and take control of it. Until then...

Come Run with Me.