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Where I freak out a little bit about an upcoming marathon

by John on April 1st, 2014

If you’re new here, there it probably isn’t too much of a surprise to know that I have a marathon on the horizon — I mean, you come to a place like “Daddy Runs a Lot” you expect posts about a father who runs. A lot. And a marathon is a lot of running.

But, this winter, I haven’t been running all that much. I hate running on the dreadmill, and the near-constant presence of ice on the roads has kept me inside . . . I’m working out, for sure, but I just haven’t been running as much as someone who is training for a marathon should be running. So, yesterday, I decided to test myself.

In 2011, I ran my first marathon — the Harrisburg Marathon. I had trained quite well, including several 22 mile runs — but I didn’t scope the course properly. Everything I read talked about how flat the course was . . . and up to the halfway point, I agreed – the course was quite flat. I was running fast (well, fast for me at the time, and certainly faster than I should have been running), and then I hit the 18 mile mark. The course ran straight through Wildwood Park in Harrisburg, with significant hills. I was going too fast. I was running too confidently. The hills, almost literally, swept my legs out from under me.

I finished the race, but I ended up walking most of the last 10k. I just had nothing left.

So, yesterday, after a brutally cold weekend that included a late March snow/freezing-rain/ice storm, I found perfect Spring-in-Pennsylvania weather. And a few hours to kill. So I ran. And I took myself to that park which was the bane of that first marathon. I ran the hills. And then I looped back and ran them again. And again. And again.

All told, I ended up running 12.5 miles, but I had plenty left “in the tank” at the end of everything . . . I stopped because I had another commitment, so I just didn’t have another half-hour to commit to another loop around the park.

Looking at the elevation profile of the run I’m committed to, there are two significant climbs – the first in the first 10k (which, hopefully, will allow me to prepare my legs), and then one just before the final 5k (seriously, the highpoint is almost exactly at the 23 mile mark, so the last 5k is, literally “all downhill” – hopefully I’ll be running and not rolling).

I keep telling myself that “I’ve got this,” despite not being out on the road as often as I’d like, but yesterday’s run certainly helped me believe what I’ve been saying to myself.

4 Comments
  1. I really want to run a marathon, but I’m so scared that I’ll hurt myself!! When is this marathon going to be??

    • The marathon is this coming Saturday (April 12, 2014) . . . so right around the corner. I imagine training is difficult, as coordinating a “low pain day” with “training day” just doesn’t always work out. With that said, the benefits I get from running, if only in my head, make any run worth it.

      We’ll see if I’m still singing the same song on Sunday, though.

  2. You’ve got this.

    (See. I said it, too.)

    • Thank you.

      And I think you’re right. But the validation is lovely. As are you.

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