Marathon Fueled by Books

"Are you ever ever going to run full marathons, instead of just halves?"

"Probably not, I don't have the time to train, 13.1 is long enough" or "Maybe one day" or "How far do you run?" or "Hell fucking no."

And, then as of about 12:30 this afternoon, "Yeah, I think so."

I don't know what really got into me. I've actually been eagerly anticipating my February "retirement" from longer races and haven't been terribly psyched about the Rock and Roll Half in Vegas this Sunday. I've been putting in the miles but not necessarily pushing myself or enjoying it. But, as I watched my students take an essay today I decided, "I'm going to run a full marathon this spring." I have no clue what the correlation was; I've gone through the epiphany many times and have failed
miserably to make the connection. Within seconds of this decision I decided to make it public, posting it on Facebook (nothing in life is real until it's in your status... shit) and texting a few fellow runners. I instantly knew what marathon- the Modesto Marathon, which is hilarious because I've been swearing up and down for the past nine months that I would never run that race again (it was freezing, raining, and windy last year and I felt capable of homicide when I eventually finished). But, it is my hometown and it does have an extremely long limit (7 hours!) so I don't feel any pressure (except the whole finishing 26.2 miles part).

I guess it was inevitable. I'm fairly competitive and I'm constantly looking for ways to push myself. I hate it when people say "just halves," because 13.1 miles is a huge deal, but I have to admit I'd like to be able to say I went for it.

At this point I have about 15 weeks until the Modesto one I'm eying- since I can run 13.1
miles right now I'm basically half way through your typical 15-18 week marathon training program, so it's definitely doable. I am concerned with my "bad" foot (I have an extra bone in one of my ankles that swells up and is extremely painful after 13.1 usually), asthma, and fitting in the time to increase my mileage by anywhere from about 25-70% each week for awhile.

After a lengthy happy hour I hit up the book store to pick up some necessary suppli
es for my new endeavor (see, a book connection). I grabbed Hal Higdon's Marathon- the Ultimate Running Guide so that I'd have an actual hard copy of a running plan for once. I was tempted to pick up something by Jeff Galloway, but his run/walk strategy isn't something I want to use (at least not right now... might as well live in a bubble for awhile). I also noticed Haruki Murakami's What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, a memoir on his training of NYC (which, by the way, is supposed to be the marathon I'm doing; unfortunately it's a fall race and it's lottery only).

If you read about it you can do it... right?

Oh, and if the half on Sunday blows I reserve the right to take this all back.


  1. Do it! I'm running the Austin full in February—it's my first marathon, and I finally decided to just do it already. I signed up thinking I would train "sometime" and then found out about a reasonably priced training group in my area. It has made all the difference in how I feel before, during, and after my runs. I want to read Murakami's "What I talk about ..." but I might save it until closer to when I run the race for motivation.

  2. I agree that "just halves" is way lame of someone to say. Running a half is a big deal! (Even if you have already done it a million times.) Best of luck training for your first full!!*