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marathon
lower jaw
arm chair
cecelia
amount of time
negotiation
Story Of A Marathon
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I imagine that at some point in our lives, we all wish we could or would run a marathon, but life is busy and often we fail. I have over 20 years experience as a physical therapist and a lifetime experiences as an athlete and avid fitness fan. Below will be a narrative of what it took for me to run a marathon in hopes of inspiring someone else to complete one.

"I think I am going to try running another marathon," I said to my wife, Eydie, as I raised and emptied the last of my adult beverage (Trying to keep the G rating). I was seated in a large arm chair in our living room.

She sort or turned her head to the side and said, "Really? You haven't run in a couple of months though. Do you think you could do it?"

"Not tomorrow, or anything, but I think if I trained I could run the New Orleans one again."

She sort of pushed out her lower jaw and nodded. "When is it?" she asked.

"At the end of October," I said. "It gives me exactly four-and-a-half months to train, which theoretically is the minimum amount of time needed to train."

"Don't think it is going to get you out of helping with the babies," Eydie said sternly.

Cecelia was now six months old and Natalie was three, hardly babies, but I figured my training schedule was going to be dictated rather than developed as a husband and wife team. I kept my gaze fixated on the soles of my shoes.

"You heard me, didn't you?" Eydie repeated.

"Yes," I responded immediately this time. "When do you suppose I could have an hour a day to train?"

"An hour? An hour a day you need to train?" She was a bit exacerbated.

I knew that it might take more time, but I was in the midst of negotiation. "Well, with cooling off and showering and all," I said. I was trying to come up with a way to make an hour not seem like much time.

"Well, the kids are usually asleep by eight, eight-thirty, I guess you could go then," she said.

She said it like she thought it was a good idea. I thought right after work would be good. I just kind of bit my lip and didn't say anything.

"You can forget it if you think you are going to go right after work. At the end of a long day," she said, "I am exhausted. I need a break. You have to get home to help me.

The idea of running at night did not appeal to me. I thought about saying something about how hard my job was, but I knew that it would become a battle of genders that I would not win. Instead I said, "Well, you all are usually still asleep when I go to work, so I figured I could get up a little earlier in the mornings and do it then." "That works for me, as long as you are not too tired at the end of the day to help out," she said. Her voice sounded like my Mother's, but I thought it best if I kept that to myself. At least I had the time of day I was going to run.

After the kids were asleep, I developed a schedule that I thought I could comply with. I would run four days a week, starting with three miles. (I had been a runner, and assumed, walking and running I could make that.) I would add 10% to the first run on the second day, and I would run half of the week's total miles, as a long run, on the weekend.

My wake up call came at 4:30AM the next day. I started the process. The first day, I could barely jog a mile. I pressed on. By the end of the first month, I was able to jog the entire time, though I did allow myself to walk whenever I wanted. My goal was to simply finish. and enjoy it.

At the end of the second month, I had lost a couple of pounds. I had not intended to diet, but by then I was up to 10 miles on my long run and the thought of eating bad foods kept me self-controlled. By the end of the third month, my long run was up to nearly 15 miles. I felt strong about being able to finish. I was never much of a morning exercise person, but necessity made my morning run my favorite exercise class.

Four-and-half months from the time I started my exercise program of running, I finished the New Orleans Marathon for the second time. This time I was not focused on my time as much, though I did finish in under four hours which was good for me. I had other problems during the race, but those are for another story.

The point is, if you want to do something bad enough, like run a marathon you have to make some sacrifices and changes in your behavior. For a marathon, I would allow at least four-and-a-half months preparation. There are a number of programs out there that will work, you just have to be committed and diligent. It will be worth it.

Thanks for reading.


Street Talk

What is your story/strategy for running a marathon?

Reply
  about 6 years ago
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