from mile to marathon

The journey of a thousand leagues begins from beneath your feet.
Lao-Tzu

Thursday, August 16, 2007

too much or too little?

Since I could not get either the knee or the incline of the marathon course out of my mind, I ended up calling one of the organizers at www.newmexicomarathon.org and asking if he would talk to me about it. I only saw him two or three times before, while signing up for a race or at the award ceremony of another. He is of course experienced as a runner, and luckily did not mind meeting me.

He said I worry too much about the knee, it's nothing. He said I worry too much about the incline, it's not that steep. But throughout the conversation he continued to shake his head in disbelief about my training. My weekly mileage (20-25 miles) he considered dismal - how do I plan to run a marathon in three weeks with such an output? On the other hand my big runs (19 miles every other week at least) were too frequent and too long. Who trained me, anyhow?

Eeerh... nobody. So, I asked, was I doing too little or too much?

He offered to run those first uphill miles of the marathon course with me.

He was right, it's not that steep. Once we were done, it was a pretty good experience. I refrained from commenting I had no idea how I would add another 18 miles on top of those first eight.

It's the first time I ever ran with someone. Time passed with easiness, but he was much too fast for me. I had to fight to keep up with him. Then, when it was over, he claimed he had adjusted his pace to mine, and I had dictated the rhythm all along.

13 Comments:

At 8:42 AM, Blogger Backofpack said...

It is so nice that he offered to meet up with you and talk, then run with you. From my experience, faster runners always think they slow down to run with me, and they do, but they don't realize their slow pace is my fastest. It's likely that's what happened with you. Plus if you were talking, and you're not used to it, it makes it much harder.

Look at marathontraining.com - that's a pretty standard training plan. There's always some variations, but they all seem pretty close.

As for drive-in restaurants, I can think of two that are still in operation around here - one in a near by town, one in my hometown. Only thing is, they have these little menus with phones on them that hang down and you just reach out your window and call in your order. Then the carhop brings it out when it's ready. Hi-tech advances!

 
At 12:42 PM, Blogger Deene said...

that was very sweet of him to run with you. you'll be able to do it!

 
At 3:55 PM, Blogger JustRun said...

Wow, well first that is quite the race director that will meet you, try to assess your fears and then run with you. I've got to say, I'm impressed. What's more, you went to him to do it, that's great!

I think you can do it. Pretty much everyone I know trains differently, you can too.

 
At 12:00 AM, Blogger Darrell said...

that's is impressive that the race director met and ran with you. You've help me decide what marathon to run in New Mexico.

I think you can do it. The battle is as much mental as it is physical.

 
At 12:07 PM, Blogger Annette said...

That was great of the director to meet/run with you! Too bad he made you worry about your training, though. :( Just keep training. Show him you can do it!

 
At 6:55 PM, Blogger Ryan said...

Great run, running with others is a fresh and fun change sometimes and it also allows you to push a bit further or faster than usual. If your training schedule works then stick with it otherwise you can try to work his advice around your schedule...

Good luck...

 
At 7:29 PM, Anonymous Tom said...

If you're consistently running that many 19s, even with your lower mileage, you should be just fine.

You had a great opportunity to run with him.

Will be following your progress to an awesome marathon finish!

 
At 1:48 AM, Blogger RunBubbaRun said...

They say in IronMan training, the long workouts and being consistent is the key, the rest is just gravy.

If you have been putting in some long runs in, you should be fine. You will do great and surprise yourself. I know it.

 
At 1:04 PM, Blogger Lisa - Slow & Steady said...

It's nice that he ran with you. Running with others can be nice if you find someone that runs your pace.

I once ran with some fast folks who also claimed to be running 'my pace' but it was still too fast for me!!

 
At 1:59 PM, Blogger robtherunner said...

I agree with Tom about the length of your long runs being the most important factor. Stay positive!

 
At 9:20 AM, Blogger A Life Uncommon said...

Wow...that is awesome that he met up and ran with you. Your knee still worries me... hope it's doing okay.

 
At 12:49 PM, Blogger traveler022 said...

Marathon #2! Woo hoo! That's cool, you got to run with the race director and kept up with him for such a long distance. I would have died at 1/2 mile:). It is mostly mental. You'll do great on Sept 2!

 
At 7:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved reading your thoughts throughout the race they made me tear up. I am not sure if was because I understand the struggles of running log distance or that i have not had the courage to run a marthon myself. I am think you did a great job!! Jennifer

 

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