I “won the lottery” to run in the Boston Marathon this year. I have very mixed feelings about this, as I have really grown to dislike running over the last 10 to 20 years. I had always been an athlete who was made to run as a punishment or to train for a season, but never to run as the actual sport. After multiple sports in both high school and college, I quickly abandoned running once other exercise modes were introduced to the market. First I found the Stairmaster, then the as-seen-on-TV walker, next was the elliptical and my latest love has been for wii active. I can honestly say that I have not actually gone running for any real distance for more than 10 years. Though I do exercise vigorously on a regular basis, I have been avoiding running as it reminds me too much of prior years of grueling double sessions in the unrelenting harsh sun.
Why then do you ask did I put my name in the hat for the Boston Marathon seat? Excellent question, one that I am still asking myself as I write this. Though I have always hated to run, I have also always secretly wished that I loved to run. I want to take back my ill feelings toward running and rediscover them, maybe even feel that runner’s high that everyone talks about. Running a marathon ONCE is also on my bucket list of things to do before I die, like jumping out of an airplane, skiing the Alps or going to Costa Rica to see the baby turtles trek across the beach. Why my bucket list was never updated once I discovered that I actually really hate and dread running, I’ll never know. But here I am considering running a marathon in 14 weeks. I quickly called my lifetime friend who has run the Boston Marathon to get her input. She thinks it is amazing that I would get a chance to run in the Boston Marathon as a first timer. What a great honor this opportunity is for sure, but am I up to it? I then did some Web research to see if it is even possible for a non-runner athlete to train for a marathon in 14 weeks. After much research, I have concluded that it is possible if my goal is not for a particular run time, but rather a goal of finishing the marathon. So I sat down with my husband to outline a plan for the next 14 weeks. Thankfully my husband has agreed to watch our 15 month old on the one day a week that I do my long runs. I am also borrowing a jogging stroller from my sister as I am sure I will need to do the shorter runs with my little boy in tow.
The long runs start out at six mile runs but will go up to 18-mile runs over the course of the next 14 weeks. Since I am not very fast, the long runs will take many hours. I then ended the day with my first training session – a three-mile run. I chose to run on the treadmill to start to learn about pacing myself. I set the treadmill on a very minimal incline and a speed of a 12-minute mile and started the run. I was thankfully able to finish without difficulty, but am very anxious about the first six-mile run.