Marathon Training

As you might have noticed, I’m in the middle (well, more the beginning) of marathon training.

Two years ago, I would have thought this was crazy.  I still kind of think it’s crazy, to be honest, but I hope it’s worth it.

A few people have asked me about my training plan.  I’m doing a bit of a hybrid plan, I suppose.  I am a Galloway convert, meaning that I always do a run/walk (or as Galloway says, run/walk/run) pattern.  I feel so much better after every race.  I vary my intervals (meaning how much I run versus how much I walk), but for the most part, for long runs, I’ve been running 1 minute and walking 1 minute.  For shorter runs, I tend to run 2 minutes and walk 1.  My half marathon PR was done at a run 1:30 and walk 1, so these intervals clearly haven’t hurt my time.

But for the marathon, I’m doing 1:1.

I’m not following Galloway’s training plan, however.  This is twofold.  First off, I’m a slightly more experienced runner and I know my body.  His mid-week runs are done by time.  I’m slow, and I know I need more distance than I will get in his proscribed times.  Besides, I was running more than that before starting official marathon training.  Also, I have no desire to do any longer than a 20 mile training run in the leadup to the marathon.  A lot of people like having the longer distance under their belt.  But for half marathon training, I never do more than 10, so I’m following that rule for the full marathon.

Please note – I’m not saying his plan is bad.  There are a lot of great training plans out there and different plans work for different people.

Instead, I’m following Hal Higdon’s novice 1 training program with a few tweaks.  I had to shift around the weeks due to my personal calendar – already scheduled races and travel, including the Christmas holidays.  I didn’t want to be forced to do my twenty mile run around my hometown if I didn’t have to.  I’m fairly certain I would have to circle the town twice to make that work.  So I wanted to have that under my belt before I left Maryland.  I also shifted the schedule so my weekday runs are Tues/Thurs/Fri and my long run is on Sunday.    Some weeks I may shift the Tuesday run to Wednesday, depending on how late I am at choir practice the Monday before.

Flexibility is the key to any good training schedule.  I’ve padded my schedule so if something happens, like getting sick or not being able to pull out a long run for some reason, I can work around it.  I have room for rescheduled workouts.

It’s scary to look at it all on one page. But I can do this.

runDisney News Release – Carey, Marini, Hoover, Astin, Zohn and Morasca Join Celebrity-Filled 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

Carey, Marini, Hoover, Astin, Zohn and Morasca Join Celebrity-Filled 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

Hollywood personalities are latest celebrities to join star-packed marathon weekend; The Biggest Loser host Alison Sweeney and ESPN radio personality Colin Cowherd already in the field; uniquely-designed commemorative race medal for every finisher

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Aug. 16, 2012) – Several additional celebrities are joining in the fun of the 20th anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna.

Comedian and The Price Is Right host Drew Carey, actor Gilles Marini (Sex in the City: The Movie, Switched at Birth and Dancing with the Stars), Access Hollywood co-host Kit Hoover, reality TV stars Ethan Zohn and Jenna Morasca (Survivor, The Amazing Race and Everyday Health) and actor Sean Astin (The Goonies, The Lord of the Rings and Rudy) are participating in the historic runDisney race weekend, Jan. 10-13.

Zohn , Morasca, Marini and Hoover are running the 13.1-mile half marathon at Disney, while Carey and Astin are taking on the 26.2-mile marathon. They join celebrities Alison Sweeney (The Biggest Loser) and Colin Cowherd (ESPN radio personality) who already signed up for the half marathon.

For many of these celebrities, competing in a runDisney event will be a familiar experience. This will be the second runDisney race for Carey, who ran in the 2011 Disneyland Half Marathon. Likewise, Zohn and Morasca both ran in the Walt Disney World Half Marathon earlier this year and the Princess Half Marathon last year. And Astin ran in the inaugural Tinker Bell Half Marathon at Disneyland Resort earlier this year. This will be the first runDisney event for Hoover, an avid runner, and Cowherd and Marini, who are both first-time half marathon runners.

 

In all, nearly 50,000 runners are expected to compete in various events throughout the weekend with the 26.2-mile marathon field comprised of roughly 55 percent women – the first time ever that women have outnumbered men in the Disney Marathon field.

 

The celebrity participants are just some of the new features of the Disney Marathon. Among the other new features are:

  • A specially-designed 20th anniversary Mickey Mouse commemorative finisher’s medal with two spinning elements and engraved with two famous quotes from Walt Disney himself
  • Enhanced entertainment at Mile 20 to celebrate the 20th anniversary
  • New course routes through the Walt Disney World Speedway and the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
  • A new post-race party at Downtown Disney

The Disney Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna will again feature Kids’ Races throughout the weekend, including the Mickey Mile, as well as a Family Fun Run 5K on Friday, the Half Marathon on Saturday and the Marathon on Sunday.  There is also Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge which involves running the half marathon and the full marathon – a total of 39.3 miles.  The Health and Fitness Expo runs throughout the weekend at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and features the latest in running technology and fashion, as well as renowned running experts such as Jeff Galloway, the official training consultant for runDisney.

Runners can register for the race and get more information at rundisney.com.

 

About runDisney

runDisney is a series of events providing runners unique opportunities to run various distances through Disney theme parks.  Race participants earn Disney-themed medals, experience legendary Disney entertainment and guest service and ultimately celebrate their accomplishments with a Disney vacation.  The original event in the series, the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna, takes place in January followed by the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend in February, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler in September and the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend in November.  Disneyland hosts the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend in January and the Disneyland Half Marathon in September during Labor Day Weekend.  More than 100,000 running enthusiasts participate in runDisney events each year. For more information, visit rundisney.com and follow us on Facebook (runDisney) and Twitter @DisneySports.

You Can Do This!

As I have posted before, I like looking at the search terms people use to find my site.

And it looks like there are a lot of people signed up for upcoming races who are worried about finishing.

“Is there shame in the sag wagon for Tinkerbell”

“What if I don’t finish the race”

Don’t think like that!  YOU WILL FINISH!  You can do this!  Think positive.

First off, if you’re the person running Tinker Bell, that race is in January.  You have plenty of time to train!  Get out there and get running.  It’s a half marathon, so find a half marathon plan that has you run at least one long run of ten miles (or more – but ten is plenty).  Will you do all the training runs?  Probably not.  I don’t know that I know anyone who has set up a training plan and stuck to every single run.  Life happens!  Get in the long runs and believe in yourself and you will be fine.

The key here is to do your best.  Is there shame in ending up on the sag wagon (meaning that you’ve fallen behind pace and been picked up and transported to the finish).  Absolutely not.  It’s sad, and I know I would be bawling if it happened to me.  But it happens.  Even the best laid plans sometimes fall apart.  People get injured during races.  People get sick before the race.  These things happen.  And there is no shame.

Now, I’ve talked about the idea of taking a medal even though you don’t finish the whole race.  To summarize – I don’t like it.  Yes, you trained.  Yes, you paid the money.  But it’s a finisher’s medal.  If it weren’t, the race organizers would hand it out at packet pickup.  But that is your choice.  Personally, I would want something good to come out of my bad experience so if it were a runDisney race, I would take the medal and then sell it on eBay (there are Disney collectors out there who don’t care that it was a race – they want everything Disney) and then I would donate the money to a charity.

But you know what?  You’re not going to have to worry about that.  You’re going to earn that medal.  You’re going to cross the finish line.

The fear of not being able to finish is familiar to a lot of runners.  During my first half marathon, the 2010 Disneyland Half Marathon, I wasn’t convinced that I could do it until I hit mile ten and realized that I had well over an hour to finish within the 3:30 time limit.  At that moment, I teared up.  I knew that I could run 3.1 miles in an hour.  I could walk 3.1 miles in an hour.  I was going to finish.

And that first finish… it’s a beautiful moment.  It’s an amazing sense of accomplishment, and if you’ve never experienced it, I am so excited for you to finally have that feeling.

I admit it.  I am terrified of my first marathon coming up in January.  I’m crazy excited, but I’m scared.  I’ve never run more than 14 miles.  But I have a training plan and I’m going to stick to it as best I can.  I’m scared something will happen and I won’t get the (beautiful) medal.  But I have to stay confident.  Sure, I’ll have moments of doubt.   But I know I will have a moment during the race where I realize I will finish and I know that I will cry when I cross the finish line.  I can’t wait.

You’ve got this and you can do it.  We can do it.

The 2013 Disney Marathon Medal!

I cannot wait to get my hands on this!

 

 

Check out the video for a view of both sides – and the double spinners!

 

And the full press release (thanks, runDisney!)

COMMEMORATIVE 20TH ANNIVERSARY WALT DISNEY WORLD MARATHON MEDAL UNVEILED

            LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Aug.  14, 2012) – Today, runDisney revealed the much anticipated commemorative 20th anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon medal giving runners extra incentive to finish the 26.2 mile course.

The medal’s unique design features a classic circular shape and two spinning elements, including a medallion with classic and modern images of Mickey Mouse, and two inspirational quotes from Walt Disney himself.

“For 20 years runDisney medals have set the standard in the running industry,” said Faron Kelley, Director of Marketing and Communication for Disney Sports.  “This medal builds on that rich tradition and is an extraordinary keepsake that celebrates the 20 years of marathon experiences for people from around the world who have run in this time-honored event.”

The unveiling of the medal culminates a two-week runDisney social media campaign – “The Great Medal Caper’’ – in which fans unlocked clues about the design of the medal.

The Walt Disney World Marathon anchors the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna at Walt Disney World Resort, Jan. 10 – 13, 2013.  In addition to earning the commemorative anniversary marathon medal, runners competing in the 20thanniversary Walt Disney World Marathon will experience several unique features, such as an enhanced course that goes through the Walt Disney World Speedway and the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex’s Champion Stadium; special entertainment at Mile Marker 20 to celebrate the 20th anniversary; and a new post-race party at Downtown Disney.

The marathon weekend, which is expected to draw a sellout field of more than 20,000 for the 26.2-mile marathon, will again feature Kids’ Races throughout the weekend, including the Mickey Mile, a Family Fun Run 5K on Friday, the Half Marathon on Saturday and the Marathon on Sunday.  There is also Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge which involves running the Half Marathon and the full Marathon – 39.3 miles!  The Health and Fitness Expo runs throughout the weekend at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and features the latest in running technology and fashion, as well as renowned running experts such as Jeff Galloway, the official training consultant for runDisney.

For more information and to register for the 20th anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend or other runDisney events, go to www.rundisney.com.

 About runDisney

runDisney is a series of events providing runners unique opportunities to run various distances through Disney theme parks.  Race participants earn Disney-themed medals, experience legendary Disney entertainment and guest service and ultimately celebrate their accomplishments with a Disney vacation.  The original event in the series, the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna, takes place in January followed by the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend in February, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler in September and the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend in November.  Disneyland hosts the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend in January and the Disneyland Half Marathon in September during Labor Day Weekend.  More than 100,000 running enthusiasts participate in runDisney events each year. For more information, visit runDisney.com and follow us on Facebook (runDisney) and Twitter @DisneySports.

The Next Adventure

As if having my first marathon on my schedule wasn’t enough adventure for me, after some long conversations with Kim, I may very well be doing my first triathlon next year.

Yikes.

Some of it depends on schedule.  I have a lot going on next year, including my college reunion (which I still don’t know if I’m attending) and a week-long cruise in the fall, both during prime triathlon times.  So it might not happen.  Who knows.

But what I do know is that aiming for a tri will help me with my cross-training slump.  For the most part, I run and I lift weights.  I clearly need to do more.  Swimming is amazing cross-training.  Tragically, I am not independently wealthy, so I don’t have a lap pool in my backyard.

Side note: I am now trying to imagine my backyard with a lap pool and I’m pretty sure that it would take up the entire yard.  Oh, to live in an area with less expensive housing.

But I digress.  I have found a community pool with a decent membership fee that I’m going to check out this fall once they return to normal lap swimming hours.  Even twenty minutes of swimming twice a week would be a great workout.  I’m wondering if I can manage to fit it in before work.  It might require me shifting my schedule a bit.  But as a friend would put it, that’s a problem for future Megan.

For now, I’m just trying to bike more.  I took my bike out for a ten mile ride today and it’s clear that I need an adjustment.  I’ve scheduled the bike for a fitting next Friday, and it’s way past time.  I  think the handlebars need to come up.  I feel like I’m putting too much pressure in my hands and my shoulders and neck hurt after only a few minutes.  But we’ll see what the experts say.

Embarrassingly, I still don’t have clipless pedals on my bike – I’m still using the cheapo cages that came with the bike.  I still don’t feel steady enough for the “real” pedals.  But I’m thinking it’s about time.  Not sure it’s going to come about while I’m at the bike shop unless I can find some quality shoes there as well.  But I will probably look into it.  I think I’ll probably try to switch out the pedals once outdoor biking season is over for me (I don’t take the road bike out in the ice.  Or the dark.).  That way I can practice clipping in and out.

So that’s where I stand.  Marathon training.  Tri training.  I might be crazy.

Especially since I somehow hurt my lower back today.  Maybe biking, maybe dragging the bike into the house, maybe doing laundry.  Who knows.  I’m hoping tomorrow’s ten mile run and later kayaking adventure helps.  Because if you can’t do something stupid and ill-advised, why do anything at all?