Monday, 26 October 2009

Looking ahead

You know when I said I might not run the Rome marathon in the spring?

Yeah. Well, I’ve changed my mind.

Yesterday I was chatting with the smartest person I know (my mother, natch) and she helped me to see the light. I explained I was afraid that I would obsess about marathon training which would in turn distract me from finishing my dissertation. This is a valid concern as this is exactly what is happening with a friend of mine. Either that or it’s his mid-life crisis. Hard to tell sometimes.

My mother’s response to this? “Then don’t obsess about it.”

Word, ma. Word.

She proceeded to point out that this was obviously something I really wanted to do and the only thing holding me back from doing it was me.

See, she’s a smart lady.

This is pretty encouraging talk from a person who REALLY wants me to finish up my degree and soon. And no, it’s not because she wants a grandchild.

Because my mother understands that if I wanted to play Russian roulette with an explosive colon on a daily basis, I’d just move in with my grandmother.

The plan now is to spend the next five weeks building up a base and then officially start marathon training on.....yup, my birthday. I like the symmetry of that—complete my first marathon on my birthday, start training for #2 on the same day a year later.

So I’ve been taking a look at potential training plans. I kinda like Hal Higdon’s Intermediate II plan, mostly because I like the idea of running half the distance of my long run the day before. My major weakness in running is not pushing myself enough. Since I don’t expect to be experiencing the same zen-like I-don’t-give-a-shit-what-my-time-is-hey-look-at-that-pretty-cloud attitude I had in my first marathon, I need to better prepare myself this time around. Enduring extra difficult slug-fest long runs during training should better prepare me mentally for the pain of race day. I like that. Well, at least in theory.

However I like to cross train so I’m worried about burning out with running too many miles each week. So I think I’m going to limit myself to running three or four days a week. What type of runs all those are going to be yet is still to be determined.

I guess things will become clearer once I figure out what my race goal should be. My ultimate marathon goal is 4:30. But that’s gonna take a hell of a lot of work over the next five months to accomplishment as well as needing a big whopping miracle. Me thinks I need to get realistic and lower my goal.

How does 4:50 sound? It would be a 26 minute PR and shave exactly a minute per mile off my time. It may sound like a cop-out not going for 4:30 but I’m all about keeping my expectations low with running. And men.

Speaking of men underperforming (mildly awkward segue but I’ll take it)....gentlemen, have you seen this affront to your collective marathoning machismo?

Yeah. Why does that not surprise me.

All right, folks, that’s it for me. Have a great week ahead. I’ll catch up with you when I can.

Later gators.


joyRuN said...


Here's to a smart mama, & marathon training :D

Spike said...

your mom rocks; moms can point out the obvious like that.

also, yeah for a new marathon. I've used the same Hal program you are considering, and I did feel like I got a bit burned out on running. so, if you are going to use it, I would drop the thrusday base mileage and cross.

RazZDoodle said...

I did Hal beginner and got fried. I'm going to shop around if/when I run Lincoln.

Completely inappropriate post towards the end. I'm offended.

Glad to have you back. :)

MCM Mama said...

Love your mom! Maybe I can take her advice LOL.

Good luck figuring out a training plan. I can't run more than 4 times a week without burning myself out...

Carolina John said...

Good luck on a training plan. i'm not looking forward to finding my next one, but I loved the FIRST plan I did last time.

Morgan said...

Your mom sounds fab!

Good luck with the training, whatever you decide... either way I can't wait to read that recap! Rome!!!!

LMAO off at the FML post... I love that site!

Viper said...

The weekend of Higdon's Intermediate 2 helped me a lot. Just tailor the rest to your needs. You're experienced enough now to build your own schedule. Cheers!

Jess said...

Very smart advice from Mom! Plus, running the marathon might actually help you with the dissertation since exercise increases blood circulation, which in turn makes your brain smarter via the extra oxygen. In short, it's science.

Heather said...

Your mom knows her stuff! Good luck with the training.

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

I explained I was afraid that I would obsess about marathon training which would in turn distract me from finishing my dissertation. This is a valid concern as this is exactly what is happening with a friend of mine. Either that or it’s his mid-life crisis. Hard to tell sometimes.

My mother’s response to this? “Then don’t obsess about it.”

ZOMG, X Teh War. Princess! Pwned by yer very own Ma!

Why didn't YOU think of that solution... which, really, seems kinda obvious.

You may have arty-farty, academic book smarts, but it'll be a while before you have the kinda smarts Mom has.

And promise me that, when you do write yer diss., you won't use "this happened to a friend of mine" as evidence that what you are trying to prove is "valid".

Unless your dissertation sponsors all work for Faux News. For them? That would be an acceptable proof.

Melanie said...

This is exciting news!

Can I totally recommend the FIRST plan? (It comes from the book Run Less, Run Faster, but I think you can find details of the plan online.) It involves running 3 days a week and cross training 2 days a week.

I LOVE it. I never get burned out and I get time to do other activities AND I still have free time for work and life and stuff.

I shaved 26 minutes off my marathon PR the first time I used it, and then another 20 the second time.

Jamie said...

you do have one smart momma! good luck with the training and I'm looking forward to reading all about it.

Fat[free]Me said...

LOL at the last bit and I am looking forward to reading about your training. Not that I will do a marathon. Ever. Noooooo.

Ms. V. said...

text from last night. so so true.

Anonymous said...

YAY!!! And I agree with the previous commenter - the FIRST plan is awesome in that it's just three days of actual running, with some cross training on the off days. I shaved gobs of time off when I switched to FIRST after using Hal Higdon for my first few marathons.
4:50 sounds reasonable and attainable.
I wish I was there to yell "Prego!" as you ran by!

carpeviam said...

I relate to the "not gonna go it/now I'm gonna do it" remarks. Training for the marathon may actually help with stress relief when working on the dissertation. I mean, let's hope, right? I like Hal Higdon's programs. Have used a few of them for different distances.

Good luck!

X-Country2 said...

I'll probably never run a marathon in Europe, so you have to do it for all the sad, sheltered Nebraska folk in the world. :o)

Robert said...

Glad to hear that you're running Rome. Everyone should be training for at least one maraton, in my opinion. They're just too good to pass up. And, as for the goal, I say 4:30. Nobody ever said "Go little or go home." And, yeah, it might take work but you can do it.