My friend Mortie has a running situation. I’m gonna give you her background, let you know my two cents (which I’ve already told her in person), and then I’d like to see your 25 cents in the comments. Mortie reads this blog and I’ve told her to comment too should she feel the need for a rebuttal. Okay, here goes...
Mortie wants to run the Neolithic marathon on May 2nd. Here is her running background:
- Except for a brief three month stint of running in 1990 when she was in the Navy, Mortie took up running when I coerced her into joining me for the Race for Life 5K in June 2008. No training really, she just showed up and ran on the day. She came in only a couple of minutes after me too.
- Running was spotty at best for her for the next year. Then she joined me for the Blenheim 7K in May 2009. Her training consisted of only a handful of runs before race day.
- After Blenheim, Mortie was running about twice a week for the next three months or so. This was when she ran her longest distance ever of 8K. Then things tapered off.
- After suffering a whopper of a flu, she joined me in the Santa Run in December, again with no preparation. We ran together the whole two miles, but after we crossed the finish she felt a bit ill (residual effects of the flu) but she was fine after a few minutes and some water.
- Since then, Mortie hasn’t run at all. Though she may have run this morning, but I’m posting this before I see her today, so I don’t know for sure. [UPDATE: She didn't run this morning. Neither did I for that matter. Stupid snow...]
My two cents? I’ve told Mortie flat out that I don’t think she should do it. I think she’s going to get hurt and cause herself more mental anguish than is necessary in a marathon. On top of the minimal running prep time, Mortie has her real life to deal with. She is married, the mother of four children, the head of multiple projects, and working on her PhD dissertation. How she has time to deal with just her family life and her dissertation is beyond me, let alone everything else.
I’ve asked her if she’d be willing to be part of a relay team or to drop down to the half and she has declined both. She said she told various people last year that she would be running this race and she wants to keep to her word. I think these people would understand if she didn’t run it. But I can understand Mortie’s insistence. I am one of the most prideful individuals on this island and that’s saying something considering this is Britain. However, even with my pride-tinted glasses, I can still see how illogical this situation is.
The marathon has a six-hour time limit and Mortie is confident that she can complete it in that time, even if she has to walk most of it. It should be noted that most of the Neolithic marathon is on trails which have a good chance of being pretty muddy on race day. As for the limited training time, again she’s not bothered. She pointed out to me that Eddie Izzard started his marathon running extravaganza with only five weeks of training. I retaliated by saying he’s an idiot celebrity with the money to call in a team of physicians and the like to fix things when they go tits up. He also took about 10 hours to complete the first of his marathons. But still Mortie insists. You gotta admire her chutzpah.
So, now it’s your turn. You all have years of running experience. Tell my friend your thoughts and, if you think it’s possible, direct her to a running plan she can follow to get her through this in one piece. If you find your comments becoming rather lengthy, feel free to email them to me and I will forward them on to her.
Mortie is all ears, folks, so advise away.