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Perhaps it’s just me and my perpetually stubborn ways, but there seems to often be a major disconnect in my life between “knowledge” and “execution”. I have a vast working knowledge in exercise science and training. I understand the concepts of the principle of progression and recovery, and thoroughly grasp the importance of both. I will be the first to recognize signs of overtraining in a client and encourage them to rest. I will absolutely encourage a client to train for a race, as long as they have the proper amount of time to train for it.
Just as long as that client isn’t me.
I’m a classic case of “do as I say, not as I do” when it comes to fitness. I’m not proud of this. I’m also not quite ashamed. I’m just blatantly unaware.
I’m getting much better at this ineptness, however. Two nights ago I spent the majority of the night staring at my ceiling unable to sleep, then finally woke up with 24 hour DOMS in my upper body and 48 hour killer DOMS in my hamstrings. I recognized the lack of sleep to be a sign of overtraining, as I’ve been putting in consistent two hour training sessions like clock work for the past two weeks. So I reluctantly took the day off from working out.
And in the extra two hours I had to fill before work, I caught up on some emails. And thus, wound up registered for a marathon.
In my mailbox was an invitation from the Fayetteville North Carolina visitors bureau asking if I would be interested in coming to run the All-American Marathon.
HECK YEAH I WOULD.
I had recently declared to the marathon gods (over twitter, of course) that it had been nearly 4 years since my last official full marathon (excluding the Spartan Ultra Beast and the handful of times I decided to run 26+ miles on my own for fun.) I’ve been toying with the idea of getting back into marathon racing, with other ulterior goals of possibly running longer distance events in the next year or so. This invitation, to the Carolinas no less, I took as a sign from those marathon gods (I bet they saw my tweet!) opening the door and welcoming me back in. Yes, yes, yes, I accepted the invitation.
And then realized I only have 9 weeks to train.
See how this post just came full circle?
The good news: I’m certainly not starting from square one. I’ve been running relatively consistently for, well, a long time now. My legs aren’t completely oblivious to what it means to put in long, hard hours. I ended the most recent race season with some doozies of mountain climbs, plus more recently have put in handfuls of double digit runs (and last weekends cardio frenzy). But what I’m most excited for is the fact that I’ve been consistently weight training (albeit lighter weight as of late due to the hernia) for some time now. 4 years ago when I was in my road racing heyday I never made appearances in the gym. EVER. I was one of THOSE people that I’m now shaking my finger at in a mother-hen fashion scolding them for NOT lifting.
While I don’t necessarily expect a PR (currently still a 4:25:58, from the second to last marathon I ran 4 years ago) I’m confident that my current fitness levels plus 9 weeks of training (really, 8 and some tapering) will produce a solid finish. Plus I won’t lie, the time I crushed my half PR by over 11 minutes by cross training harder and running less is lingering in the back of my mind. Granted, a half and a full are two different beasts. Specificity of training cannot be ignored. But…
I’ve written out what I feel like is a solid training plan based on my current fitness level, and not a panicked “I ONLY HAVE 9 WEEKS” last resort type of plan. Terrifyingly enough, I’ll be putting in a good bit of my training at the gym, due to work schedules and mother natures insistence upon negative temperatures. It’ll be cool though, I’ll load up my hydration pack, rock some compression socks and confuse all of my fellow gym members.
The key of course, will be listening to my body, and providing it with as much respect as one can while marathon training.
When I decided to turn this blog into more than just a place where I can ramble, I did so with the intentions that it would help me to spread my knowledge and hopefully motivate others to seek a healthier lifestyle, as well as experience the same amazing life changes I have felt by becoming active. A little on the selfish side, I also hoped that by putting myself out there I would be able to fuel and possibly fund my racing and adventures. Needless to say, I’m absolutely thrilled for this opportunity!
The All American Marathon, Mike-to-Mike Half Marathon, and All American 5K will travel through Fayetteville, NC ending on Fort Bragg home of the US Army Airborne, on March 22 2015. For more information, visit their website www.fortbraggmwr.com/allamericanmarathon/
Side note: I’m absolutely failing at this “50 States/50 Marathons” thing, as this will be official marathon #7…and #3 in North Carolina.
Will I be seeing any of you in Fayetteville? What is the shortest amount of time you’ve trained for a full?