Wednesday, July 27, 2011

"I AM a Marathoner." Week 1 of 16

These are four words my training program says I should be telling everyone, even if I haven't even run one yet. 

I struggle with this and haven't been following the rules so I decided I am going to journal the next sixteen weeks until November 13, 2011 when I COMPLETE my first marathon.

Am I CRAZY? I started telling very close family and friends about a month ago and I have only had one person respond with, "Are you crazy?!" This isn't just some last minute fluke decision, yet one that has been on my mind for over ten years. I remember thinking about it during college.

This journey started back in early May when two other couple friends had showed interest when I mentioned the idea.  The six of us were off and going (not really running yet) until we realized the "marathon" in Philly we signed up for was really only a "half." I decided that if I was going to fly somewhere far away, then it wasn't going to be for a half! After researching and talking to several people for the following couple of weeks, we discovered that the best first marathon based on the time frame we were thinking was in our very own back yard... The San Antonio Rock and Roll.

I started training then. See, I had been running four miles or so 2X a week for the last year, after finding my club's TREKING class but it was 100% on an indoor treadmill with fancy little fans blowing in my face less than ten inches away. I have never really been a runner and definitely not an outdoor runner. I had run ten or twelve miles once when I was nineteen and that year I was regularly running four to six miles a day... but that one year, thirteen years ago, in combination with the last year, is the full extent of my "running career."

I found a running plan and a partner, although she lives in Austin now.

My first major feat was to transition from indoor to outdoor running and I knew this would be a major task for me. Probably more mental than anything.

I journaled after my very first runs outdoors: (Week of May 16, 2011)
  • There are a ton of dead animals on the street. Gorgeous red and blue birds mysteriously dead?!
  • There is trash EVERYWHERE... it's crazy!
  • I stared asking myself questions during my first four mile run.
    • Do real runners run on the sidewalk or ONLY on the street. Especially if the "bike lane" is only 10 inches across like on Huebner.
  • How can a street I have driven two thousand times in six years develop hills overnight?
I also journaled the week of June 13, 2011. (The week I officially signed up for the marathon.)
  • When anxiety about running a 26.2 mile marathon hit me less than twelve hours after fully committing, I just reminded myself that for me, it is all about COMPLETION and checking it off the bucket list. (And a little 26.2 mile sticker would be an added bonus!)
People have asked me WHY do I want to do this? It is a good question. (1) I know that this is the single biggest physically AND mentally challenging activity (beating childbirth since I got an epideral before I ever even felt a contraction with BOTH my children) I have ever experienced. (2) Since this thought has been on my mind for ten plus years, I fully realize that the sooner I accomplish this major feat, the easier it will be, based on my age and health. I don't ever want to look back and say, "I wish I had....." (3) I like to accomplish goals and this is the biggest one I have ever set. I want to know if I can do it. (I'm scared even typing those previous words.)

My biggest fear this week is getting injured and it keeping me from completing this achievement that I want so badly.

So come with me for the ride and please share any tips you have. For my first week of my official 16 weeks of training, I got to train in Breckenridge Colorado at 9603 feet. (This is compared to San Antonio's <800 feet.) Blake and I ran along the Blue River and did a run almost 7 miles on Tuesday. I love when he and I can run together and find him so motivating. He is supporting me 100% and is even running the half, although he is talking of running the whole, a little more these days.


Brooke said...

You won't imagine the sense of accomplishment you'll feel after you cross that finish line in November! San Antonio was my first full in 2008 and they do an outstanding job. The heat through the summer will be your biggest challenge but when it starts cooling off for your long runs in September and October, you'll be set! Check out for local running routes - especially when you're traveling. Also, embrace the Gu! Running in this heat, you'll need to restore your electrolites and this stuff is a life savor! I have alot to say on running so let me know if you want to hear :)

The Perkins Family said...

you ARE a marathoner!! Love proud of you!

Robert, Terri, John Dennis and Anna Pease said...

You can do it, Megan! I ran the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington DC in 2003 and it was truly one of the greatest accomplishments in my life. I am definitely NOT a runner and I learned that running is 75% mental and 25% physical (some weeks running less mileage than the week before was harder because of my mindset). Remember that no matter what your completion time is or how much you have to walk during it...once you cross that finish line..YOU ARE A MARATHONER FOR LIFE! If you never run one more step again, you will still always be a marathoner! Oh, and Aquaphor will be your best friend.

The Nash Family said...

I still think u r crazy, but thats just bc running to me is torture since college volleyball days!!
We all KNOW u can do it an d never look back again. U r a go getter w everything so a 26.2 mile run will be nothing!!! We r routing for u the entire way.
I bet Blake runs it with you :). Lol!
When is it so we can try and be there :)

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