My son-in-law Matt is also training for the NYC marathon, but he’s using the Novice 2 training program by Hal Higdon, while I’m using the Novice 1 program. Mostly what that means is he’s running a mile or two longer on long run days, so he did 18 miles two weeks before I did. He told me when he finished he thought, “Yeah, I could do another 8 miles,” (which would bring him to the 26.2 miles of a marathon).
I did 18 miles last Saturday and when I finished I thought, “Yeah, I could throw up now.” Not encouraging. What is encouraging, is that my 5 mile run yesterday felt like nothing, and my 9 mile run today was relatively easy — I even did an extra .4 mile. Nine plus miles easy? This is new for me. The longest I’d ever run prior to this training was the 13.1 miles of the five half-marathons I’ve finished, and my training runs were never longer than 9 miles or so. I didn’t follow any training program. I’d just start adding a mile to my longest run on weekends for a month before the half-marathon, get up to 8 or 9 miles, then go push myself through the 13.1 I needed to run to finish the half.
But, as the orthopedic doctor I saw about my sore knees pointed out when he advised me against doing a marathon, a half-marathon is half of a marathon. Right. Which means it needs serious training. So I’m training and I’m serious about it, which I need to be or I’d stop. It’s really hard.
So why am I doing it? Why did doing the NYC Marathon end up on my bucket list? I’m not sure, I just know myself well enough to know that once I set myself a challenge, I’m going to keep moving towards the finish line unless there’s a serious reason not to. Feeling stiff and depleted and nauseous after my last long run isn’t serious enough to stop. It just makes me more determined than ever.
This weekend will be easy — only 14 miles for my long run, though how that’s going to fit in to observing Yom Kippur on Saturday and then traveling to visit family on Sunday I haven’t quite figured out yet. But I will.
And then the next weekend is the longest run I’ll do — 20 miles. I’m already planning my weekend around it, which is what following a marathon training program takes — lots of planning around the running, rather than fitting running in around the plans. I’m planning to be ready to run (and most likely walk some to, which according to Hal Higdon is perfectly fine) 26.2 miles on November 2.