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Marathon Training

June 2, 2011

This week I began my marathon training. I am a marathon virgin and have not even completed a half yet, but I’ve always been pretty determined, so once I made up my mind to run and competed in my first official race, I knew I was all in. The first few weeks were the toughest, but after I got over the huffing and puffing, the lungs burning, the feet swelling, and the giant blisters forming on the arches of my soles, running quickly became an addiction for me.

I started out slowly with interval work: 1 minute walking at 4 m/h, 1 minute running at 6 m/h, repeat 6 times. Then I replaced walking with light jogging at 5 m/h, and soon enough I could run/jog for 15 minutes straight. The next thing I knew I was chatting with a girl on a treadmill next to mine and turns out she’s recently lost over 80lbs and was training for her first half marathon. We made plans to run outside together the following Sunday. We started out slow and chatted through most of the run, taking long pauses between each word to breathe. The time flew by. Before this I did most of my running/jogging intervals on a treadmill inside my gym, so running outside was a completely new experience for me. Turns out we did 6 miles that day in 1h 15min, and I did not even notice. I became hooked on running outside. I looked up some races in the area, and I signed up for Captain Jack’s 8K Race for April 10, 2011. I made some respectable time at 42:31, 39th female out of 360, and 111 out of 560 overall. Not a bad start; more running please!

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On 5/1/2011 I ran the 5K Race for Grace at Seward Park in Seattle. I know it’s a bit backwards, but I am glad I did the 8K first as it made me faster and I ended up coming in 2nd place among all females at 24:15. I even got a little trophy now proudly displayed on my office desk and a gift card to Canlis that my hubby can benefit from as well since he ran the 5K with me. He was so sweet to agree to run it since before the race the majority of his workouts constituted of walking on a treadmill while watching Prison Break, 24 or some equivalent action packed show with buff dudes fighting the system or saving the world. Running is my thing, not his, but he comes out to the events to support me and take photos as I am racing to the finish line, no matter how early or cold it is outside. How did I get so lucky?!


The longest race I’ve completed to date was an 8 Mile Trail Run at Marymoor Park in Redmond, WA. I came in 5th female at 1:02:20


At that point, I figured I need to take it up a notch and try a half marathon. One of my co-workers completed her first half marathon in the fall, so that helped light my competitive fire, so I registered for “See Jane Run” in July. I felt like that was a perfect race for my debut as a serious runner and with it being in July, I might get lucky and actually wear my new running shorts, which are still lying in the dresser with all the tags attached.

I have not yet fully committed to the full marathon. I found the one – the Portland Marathon, researched the travel arrangements, but I don’t have the guts to complete the registration. I started it 3 times, but then what-ifs start crawling into my head, like what if I get sick or injured right before the race? What if there is a work conference, but those are all lame excuses I am just throwing out there. The real big one is what if I can’t finish it? What if I get too tired, or too sore, or I get a muscle cramp or a bloody blister, what if I don’t have the mental strength to keep going? I keep hearing my mother’s words “Jewish children don’t run marathons, they don’t do sports. They are all brains.” Back when I was 14, those types of comments would make me burst into tears and then fuel my motivation to prove her wrong… I guess they still do. Oh mothers and the unexplainable power they have over their daughters to make us feel 14 all over again.

So even though I have not yet registered, I have put together a running plan based on Hal Higdon’s training guide:

Date Week Mon Tue Wed Thur Fr Sat Sun
Circuit Training + Easy Run Circuit Training + Yoga Long Runs
5/30-6/5 1 rest cross 3M 3M 3M Bikram 12M
6/6-6/12 2 rest cross 3M 3M 3M Bikram 9M RAC to Redhood
6/13-6/19 3 rest cross 3M 4M 3M Bikram 9.3M Fathers day 15K Run Magnuson Park
6/20-6/26 4 rest cross 3M 4M 3M Bikram 10M
6/27-7/3 5 rest cross 3M 5M 3M Bikram 9M
7/4-7/10 6 rest cross 3M 5M 3M Bikram 7M
7/11-7/17 7 rest cross 3M 5M 3M Bikram 13M See Jane Run Gasworks Park
7/18-7/24 8 rest cross 3M 6M 3M Bikram 9M RAC to Redhood
7/25-7/31 9 rest cross 3M 6M 3M Bikram 15M
8/1-8/7 10 rest cross 3M 7M 4M Bikram 16M
8/8-8/14 11 rest cross 3M 7M 4M Bikram 18M
8/15-8/21 12 rest cross 4M 8M 4M Bikram 9M RAC to Redhood
8/22-8/28 13 rest cross 4M 8M 5M Bikram 14M
8/29-9/4 14 rest cross 4M 9M 5M Bikram 16M
9/5-9/11 15 rest cross 5M 9M 5M Bikram 20M
9/12-9/18 16 rest cross 5M 10M 5M Bikram 12M
9/19-9/25 17 rest cross 5M 8M 4M Bikram 8M
9/26-10/2 18 rest cross 4M 6M 3M Bikram 8M
10/3-10/9 19 rest cross 3M 4M Rest 2M easy 26M Portland Marathon

I figure that now that I have a training program, I will have no excuses but to take the plunge and officially sign up for the Portland marathon. This blog is a way to keep me accountable to the program and I ask all of you to help me stay on track, as we all have moments of doubts and weakness and when the willpower leaves us and no carton of ice cream is big enough to satisfy all the emotional baggage we have piled up over the week. (I don’t actually binge on ice cream, my preference is Mini Wheats. I can eat half a box in one sitting until I start to resemble the cartoon mascot on the box, but I figured ice cream is probably more appropriate for my epic ending for this first blog post)

What races do you plan on running this summer? Anyone else hesitant to do a full a marathon like me?

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Rachel permalink
    June 2, 2011 11:24 pm

    This is so great! You’re such an inspiration! I’m nervous about signing up for a 5k (maybe in the fall). You’ll have to post the date/time of your half marathon so we can come cheer you on 🙂

  2. June 3, 2011 12:41 am

    Yay! My first comment! Thank you Rachel for reading my blog 🙂 My half marathon is on July 17th at 8am in Seattle:


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