Dim Red Glow

A blog about data mining, games, stocks and adventures.

Training for a marathon (part 1)

I enjoy running. Well, most of the time. I've run in some form regularly for most of my life. I started in in track field in jr high and then did it again in high school. I ran for fun and to stay in shape periodically in my 20s and much more so in my 30s. In my mid 30s I decided it was time to try a marathon, partly because I wanted to see what it was like, partly cause it was an 'Everest' sort of thing.

I ended up running 3 marathons in about 2 years.  I did the rock and roll marathon in St. Louis 2 years in a row and the Beat the Blerch one in Seattle the first year they had it. The st. Louis rock and roll marathon stopped having full marathons last year (I guess turn out was too low), so that wasn't an option last year. The Beat the Blerch one, while fun, was never meant to be a reoccurring thing for me. I just wanted to travel and try it.

So, I didn't run a marathon at all last year. I guess I could have found one but I was 'meh' in terms of motivation. Also I have had chronic plantar fasciitis. I think I've finally beaten that thanks to a number of things: stretching, lots of time off, changing my running shoes to newtons (which emphasize toe sticking not heal striking) and changing my walking around shoes to a minimalist cross trainer (over a running shoe). I've always had mild problems with foot pain because I tend to be a heal toe walker/runner. I think however what caused this chronic condition was something else. I trained for a 5k (I was running for time) and at the same time I was training for the 2 marathons i did. When one marathon was done and the 5k was run I was already suffering pretty constant pain, and I didn't give my self any real time off to heal since I had 1 more 2 months later. That I think sealed the condition.

Skipping ahead around a year and half. I'm 40 now and it seems like as good a time as any to try again. I didn't ever really think marathons would be my thing and they probably won't be long term, but I did have a few goals that I haven't accomplished in the 3 i ran. I wanted an under 4 hours time (4:25 was my best) and I actually even wanted to do a 3:30 time once I did the 4. Some day I thought it might be fun to do a biatholon or triathalon as well but I want to make those goals first.

I've spent the last 3 or 4 weeks running periodically and mildly dieting, trying to get my body back in to some sort of shape. I can do my "stay in shape" now with out much though. I did it today here are the stats

distance: 4.02 miles

time: 37:46.6

pace: 9:23 /mile

weight: 197.6

The watch I have that tracks this stuff has heart rate and gps in it too, though i'm not sure if it keeps it all. At some point I'll have to hook it up to my computer and download the data and see what is what. my current weight is a heavy 197.6 (heavy for me anyways). A few things I'd like to point out, in a perfect world I'd weigh about 20 pounds less (i'm 5'10-5'9"). This is especially true when i'm about to run the marathon (lighter means less weight to carry). I've never quite reached it when training previously and always end up around 180-185. So that's a goal of sorts to go along with the 4 hour run. 1 really feeds the other. If you put in the miles the weight goes away and it helps you run faster. I'm not what you call hardcore about this though which is why previous attempts have met with limited success.

The mileage I want to be putting in eventually will be around 40 a week probably 4-5 days a week for 8-10 miles each with maybe a big run every other week of like 15-20. Right now i'm probably doing about 8 (two 4 mile runs), though the weather is changing and i'll be putting in a lot more soon. This weekend I'll probably put in 10 more and I'll probably put in 4 more tomorrow. I wont go too nuts till I pick a marathon and get a timeline. training for a marathon eats up a lot of time.

Diet is something I need to think about too.  I've actually been losing weight, sort of... I started a low carb diet but i havent been running enough or been strict enough to really shed the weight. I was actually around 201 when is started about a month ago.. lost 5 pounds real quick and have floated there for the last month probably taking in around 60 or so grams on average a day. That's going to stop now though. I want the energy to train with and not eating the starches puts undue strain on me. yes you will lose weight faster but this isn't about losing weight over night.

It's worth mentioning having a regular exercise routine is important to a long life, looking and feeling healthy, and once the marathon are over i plan on continue running regularly. I will try and give updates on the days I run so anyone interested can follow along.