Friday, November 11, 2011

LA Marathon Training Begins

I've been a runner for most of my adult life, competing in races here and there, but mostly the shorter distances. Cross country in high school, 5Ks, 10Ks, and more recently, Half Marathons. But never the runner's ultimate achievement: The Marathon. I know, people run Ultras and stuff, but that's just crazy. Sure, I've done plenty of "cyclist's marathons", but according to my friends who have done both, the marathon is definitely harder. Alison's story is pretty much the same, so awhile back, we decided to run a marathon. Since we live in LA, we decided to run the LA marathon. Natural choice, no? I have a far off hope of qualifying for Boston, but I don't think that's a very realistic goal for my first marathon. That would take a time of 3:10, and I'm going to be more like 3:35. Having recently read Hal Higdon's Marathon, I elected to use his 18 week training program. He offers multiple iterations of his program for different levels of runners. I went with the Novice 2 program. This program suggests that it is for people who may or may not be running their first marathon, but have a history of running and run an average of 20-30 miles per week. Right in my wheelhouse.

I've just come off a mini break of about a week after running the LA Half Marathon on Oct 30th. I PR'ed in that one at 1:44. My goal was sub 1:45, so I'm pretty happy with that. This week marks 18 weeks to go until the LA Marathon, so time to get off my butt and begin training. The program is basically short to mid length runs on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, and the long run on Sunday. Fortunately, I still have Saturday to get out on the bike! Alison is following the same program, so we are working in our runs where we can. For me so far, the only place I can fit in the weekday runs is in the morning before work. Twice this week, that meant getting out the door at 5AM in the 45 degree super dark morning. I snagged the headlight off my bike so I can see where I am going. That's been working pretty well, but I think I'll need to pick up one of those lights that you can wear on your forehead. I also picked up a running beanie when I was out today. I tried one of my normal wool beanies on Tuesday, but by the time I was done, that thing was just gross. Wednesday was better. I didn't have any morning appointments, so I was able to get out for a run with Alison. We put Scotty in the BOB, and set off for a 5 miler. We wisely parked in the Starbucks parking lot so that we would be able to easily talk ourselves into a post-run latte. Thursday was another early morning job, but a bit warmer.
Even though it's been cold and dark, and will continue to be, I must say that I am happy to be training for a race again. I think I run better and follow a plan better when I am doing it for a race. As usual, you can follow my training via the widget on the side of the blog, but I am sure I'll be back here soon to write some more!