Friday, 22 August 2008

Decisions, decisions (Part 2)

A few weeks ago, I asked you all for assistance in helping me decide what to do to commemorate my 30th birthday this November. You were almost evenly split in your choices of the Cyprus half marathon and the Florence marathon.

Well, I’ve finally had a look around at airline ticket prices and, sadly, Cyprus is a no-go. Way too expensive and that’s not even including accommodation. So, my choice is now clear: Florence or bust.

I’m giving myself a few days after my half marathon on August 31st to make my final decision. If my body feels like utter poo, then I won’t run Florence. If I don’t feel half bad, then I will commence marathon training.

If I don’t run Florence, all is not lost. There are still plenty of affordable travel options in order to have a leisurely non-running birthday celebration. Z is keen on Spain. In her strange little mind, she wants us to re-enact the running of the bulls (with me as the runner and her and Ellen as the bulls) and the La Tomatina festival (where they would both get to pelt me with tomatoes and then hose me down afterwards in front of the entire town). My sister, she’s such a kind soul.

Pretty much all our non-running travel options (Spain, Corsica, Sicily, Malta and northern Italy) are real possibilities. As Z, Ellen and I are all kind of busy at the moment, no decision needs to be made right now—we can wait until September when our lives approach some form of normalcy. Till then, I encourage you all to let me know what you think in the comments.

But back to the Florence marathon ... this would obviously be my first marathon and it would take place just three months after my first half marathon (9 days and counting!!!). Crazy? Yeah, pretty much. I, of course, will check my ego at the door and not have any specific goals other than finishing, though having said that a sub-5 hour time would be nice.

My problem is I lack a training schedule. I should probably get one together now in case things look favorable after the half marathon since 12 weeks isn’t a whole lot of time to prepare.

Because of my weird schedule for the fall, I don’t want a plan that has me running five days a week. Preferably just three, with the option of an easy and fairly short fourth run so my friend and I can run together in Rome at least once a week and not leave me feeling like I’m sacrificing my training schedule to run with her. Surprisingly, there are people in the world who are slower runners than I am and she’s one of them. Not that that’s bad, I’m just saying.

In a perfect world, the schedule would also include a 22-mile run. I’m not an overly confident person and I’m worried that a 20-miler won’t leave me feeling mentally prepared to tackle the marathon distance. I don’t know. What do you all think? Can anyone recommend a good training schedule? How about just a reasonable series of long runs?

Okay, I need to get back to packing now. My mom and I are heading to the midwest tomorrow. It’s time to visit with the American half of the family and spend some quality time with my grandma.

Hope you all have a great weekend.

15 comments:

tfh said...

Can't help ya with the marathon training but I think it's a great idea to wait until after you run the half. Happy midwesterning. Your hectic travel and planning-ahead-for-more-travel is making me feel dreadfully provincial. But in a good, vicarious living kind of way.

Meg said...

That's exciting! I'm not an expert at all but I think 12 weeks after running 13 you should be able to prepare for a marathon...not sure about the 20 v 22 thing though.
You might want to check out FIRST because that only has 3 runs a week...I've been doing Hal Higdon's beginner 2 plan and I've liked to so far. It calls for 4 runs/week but I'm not always good about getting all 4 in.

BeachRunner said...

Those are all fabulous choices to have (oh to be 30 again and have such wonderful options). Whatever you decide will be a fantastic and memorable experience that we in blogland will share vicariously.

Marcy said...

I'm all over the FIRST program. 3 days o week running 2 days cross training (or optional easy running) They have a free 1st time marathoners plan floating around the internet somewhere. There is only 1-20 miler in it though, you can always modify it to meet your needs. That's what I always do (and usually the modification is not in a good way :P But more like "ummmmm does this say a 17 miler? Ummm yeah I think I'll do 13 instead HAHAHA)

MCM Mama said...

I'm liking Hal Higdon's Novice 2. It does call for four runs, but I'm sure that skipping one of the short ones or doing it super slow or cross training would get you to the finish line. I'm planning to do a 22 mile run at the end instead of the 20, since it includes 17,18, and 19 mile runs. You could probably start a few weeks into the program since you'll have just finished a half.

Viper said...

I did my first marathon four months after my first half. I think you will be fine. Take the week after the half to recover some and get back to training. I agree with Marcy. Sounds like you're a FIRST candidate. My plan was derived from it somewhat and it has worked well so far.

Running Knitter said...

I don't have any marathon training plans, but just wanted to say you are the hard core runner for considering a full right before your half. :)

MizFit said...

Im not a good source of running info but according to my marathon runnin' sister youd be FINE!

(for what that's all worth :))

man, FLORENCE? the locale is enough to *almost* get my a** running a race!

exciting....

Miz.

rssasrb said...

I think it's so exciting you're doing the half. I'd wait on that to decide if this fall is the time for the full.

Loved your last post about your Greek vacation. Hope the trip to the midwest is as much fun.

Lily on the Road said...

You know what?

We run for fun, FUN....no pressure...whatever....

isn't that the greatest idea EVER?

Have FUN with the folks, whatever you decide to do.....

YOU'RE STUCK WITH US....

LOL....


Enjoy your family time,

*hugs*

Marci said...

I say go for it if you can. Thats sounds like a beautiful marathon to run, and being trained for a half, you should be able to pull off a full as long as you pace your long runs and slowly add mileage. Good luck with your descision!

Nitmos said...

Since you are already trained for a half marathon, 12 weeks is plenty of time to go for the full because a full 18 week plan doesn't even have you at half marathon level 6 weeks in to it.

FIRST is good but intense. For ym first, I followed Higdon's beginner plan but just stripped out a run or 2 each week. # runs...small, medium, long sized ought to do it especially since time isn't a factor for you for this one. Good luck.

The Laminator said...

Hmmm...how about the SmartCoach plan from Runner's World. It has you running 3-4x per week and you can put in your marathon time to get a custom tailored plan with paces specifically designed for you. Highly recommended. It got me through my first couple of marathons so I am a big fan.

Good luck, Xenia!

Viv said...

I think 3 days running is totally doable with XT. That is what my 3 aday marathon friends say anyhow..

Allright the 30th bday plans sound amazing. florence or even the "bull running" in Spain. LOL!

After seeing the new Woody allen movie Barcelona blah blah I am all about taking atrip to Ezzzpana!!

Virginia Dressler said...

I am getting freaked out about my 30th next spring....

If you ever get a chance, Cyprus is a beautiful island to visit! One of my good friends from the program in Leeds is Greek Cypriot, and we toured the whole island in about a week.

Good luck in Florence!