One year ago today I announced I would be running the Wisconsin Marathon and Half Marathon as my second half marathon. Today I’m here to announce I will once again be running the Wisconsin Marathon and Half Marathon, but this time it will be as my first full marathon.
Yes, you read that correctly. Please, take a moment to collect yourself and pick your jaw up off the floor. Grab mine while you’re down there too please.
I know I’ve said it time and time again; I really enjoy the half marathon distance, but I’m just not interested in completing a full. In fact, I’m quite sure the word “never” has left my mouth more than once. I just couldn’t picture myself running for 5 – 6 hours straight. (I still can’t actually.) Then a couple months ago, actually it was the day I received the email announcing registration for the 2012 race was open, I started kicking around the idea of doing a full – particularly the Wisconsin Marathon.
I really loved the WI race last year: the course, the crowd (runners and non-runners), the scenery, the small size, the low cost, the bad ass medal, etc. I couldn’t recommend this race enough to other runners. I felt like the Wisconsin Marathon would be a great race for a first 26.2. Michelle tried to convince me for a bit on Twitter, but I still wasn’t sold.
The Christmas happened. The boy’s cousin Kira is a runner, and we started talking shop. She’d been considering the Wisconsin Marathon, and just like before, I couldn’t say enough good things about it. By the time we started talking about the race it was late and I’d had a long day, but I don’t think we ever actually discussed the idea of running the full together. We talked about me potentially running that half again but not the full. However, I continued thinking about our conversation. The more I thought about it, the more I was seriously considering it. The idea of running 26.2 miles with someone is less intimidating than running it alone. So I hopped on Facebook and asked Kira what her expect pace and finish time were. A few Facebook messages were exchanged, things started falling in place, and the next thing I knew I was dropping my $68 registration fee on Wednesday night.
I am incredibly nervous. Truthfully, I’m not entirely sure my brain has actually accepted the fact that this is happening. I’m still in holy-shit-what-have-I-gotten-myself-into mode. I am also incredibly excited. I have absolutely no expectations for this race. My only goal is to finish without killing myself.
I’m currently working on my training schedule. To steal Kira’s term, I’m “Frankensteining” together a plan using her plan, the Hal Higdon Novice plans, and the plan that the Runner’s World Smart Coach website put together for me. My plan is to run 3 – 4 days a week. Right now I’m thinking I’m going to alternate 3 day weeks with 4 day weeks. If I run more than that I start to get a lot of soreness/ pain in my knee. I also really hope to incorporate some solid cross training and strength training for this since that’s always the weak point in my training plans. My goal is to focus on well-rounded, consistent training without overtraining. Since my goal only goal is to finish without severe injury, I definitely think strength training and cross training become key elements. Kira and I are also planning to meet up for as many long runs as possible which I hope will really help keep me motivated and on track.
I do plan on tracking my training and progress on the little ole blog here, but I haven’t quite decided how. In any case, things are probably going to get pretty running-centric around here for the next 18 weeks.
You have been warned.