Progress Update and Marathon Dreams / Why

It's been about a month since my last post, and today is a rest day for me, but i got a lot of support on this site and I felt like doing a progress update. i started half marathon training this week, with plans to run a half in october. on sunday i ran for about 53 minutes and covered a little over 4 miles, my longest and furthest run ever, at least until sunday when hopefully a 5 mile run will break that record. if i finish this week as planned, having done 3 miles each tuesday, thursday, and saturday, and 5 on sunday, it'll be a new high for me on several levels. i've been running about 7- 7.5 miles a week this last month. 26.2 is the drumbeat in my head. it's why i get up and run in the morning and every step in that vague and distant and shining direction is something i thrill over. i'm going to try for a marathon next summer, and i'm optimistic that by then it'll be possible.

I was talking with my mom about why i want the marathon so badly. "i just want to do something that's hard and takes time and feels impossible, like the peace corps but ...not" i said to her, and she replies "you went to college, you're in grad school". and those things are hard, and they take sustained effort, and they hurt sometimes and make you feel like you've got it together at others, but they have never, ever, really felt impossible or avoidable in any real sense. when 3 miles feels hard and i rush the first half and feel like i'm dying near the end, 26.2 really feels impossible, and avoidable, and insane, and the crazy of it is a lot of what i need right now, so of course i'm signing up for a half marathon in october and thinking of 13.1 miles as a mile marker and not the finish line. of course my training plan has me running 5 miles the morning of my comprehensive exams in july and 10 the next day, and of course the sheer madness of that makes my heart jump in that funny way that might be joy or fear.

Part of being a runner must be acknowledging that sanity dropped off and walked home in shame behind you somewhere.

I've been hanging out on runner' and devouring running documentaries every couple of weeks, and loving the craziness of distance runners in general. I'm gonna read some posts after i end this one. any documentaries/ websites/ youtube channels on running to recommend?

Thanks again, and keep pushing, and happy running,


3 Replies

  • My goodness, you have moved on! Good luck to you in your aim of a marathon next year - I wouldn't be at all surprised if you do it, and do it well too.

    Have you read Born to Run by Christopher McDougall? That definitely has a lot about the craziness of distance runners! It's pretty inspiring though, even to ordinary mortals like me, who are not remotely likely to go long distances (mind you, four months ago I wouldn't have thought I'd run 10k!)

    Take care, and enjoy your challenges. :)

  • i've heard about born to run but i haven't read it. i'll have to check it out.

  • I can so identify with a lot of what you write about, both the joy and the fear. So I wish you all the best with your dreams and your achievements because I believe we need to test our mettle from time to time.

    Good luck with the training and the exams and also when training and exams collide :)

    I am reading a lot about nutrition etc on a site, if you want to search for nomeathlete - I am interested in nutrition for long distance runners, particularl non meat eaters. This athlete is an ultra runner, i.e. 100 mile races and I reckon he has something worthwhile to say and to listen to because he is testing his body to the limit

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