I spent this last father’s day alone with the kids, as my wife went to visit her sister (and other folks) for a girl’s weekend away. I’m not sure why someone decided to time this over father’s day, but that’s not the point.
My wife had left me a small assortment of gifts for the day before she left (nice surprise) and one of them was a current issue of Runner’s World magazine. I had started running pretty regularly over the past few years (in a vain attempt to fight off the beer belly that was growing) and would occasionally purchase this magazine from the airport bookstore – probably to keep me in check with working out while traveling.
On that Sunday afternoon, I was able to carve out a bit of time from legos and snap circuits (great toy!) with the kids to read through the magazine. It was about time for a new pair of running shoes and well, …this was the resource for that.
Skipping through the pages, I came to an article in big bold letters “New Marathon Plan – Start training Now!” – and I said to myself, “Ha!, I just finished the Sydney Half Marathon a month ago – and I barely survived (fantastic race though)… No chance that I would ever do one of these… a friggin marathon… get real.” And I went on my merry way looking at reviews of new running shoes.
Later on that night – after the kids had been put to bed – I was in between eating, working and watching TV (yeah, a bit of bachelor slob for the weekend)… and I started thinking about getting older. Our bodies are always aging and there comes a point in time where it becomes a bit more difficult to push ourselves to the next level physically. I only started running after I was well into my 30s… Would I ‘ever’ be able to compete in a marathon? …Would I have to train for 2 years… then do one?
I started to get mad.
I started to stew that I bought golf clubs years ago, yet never found the time to practice or play… I took Chinese and German lessons and practice always interfered with something else… I have not given up on these – but in theory, I have the luxury of time to cover… running a marathon would take some physical beating and I sure as heck wanted to do this while I still had my knees…
Wait – I just said “I sure as heck wanted to do this?”
…to see if I could.
I see all of my friends and family on Facebook doing all sorts of crazy things, …from Marathons, to Triathlons… and other extreme physical challenges…. Could I do this?
Well – to make this long story short, I immediately went and signed up for the 2014 Outer Banks Marathon for this past November…. giving myself ~5 months to get in shape and prepared.
NOTE: For those of you considering trying an event like a marathon, triathlon, etc. and might be a little nervous ‘trying’ it out… Do yourself a favor and just sign up. Once you put that money down (is not cheap – especially regarding triathlons) you get serious real quick.
I used the Brooks-Hanson method (and book) to get in shape quickly and I highly recommend it for folks that are serious about getting into marathon running.
I’ll save the specifics of the race for a review column, but at the end of the day it was an overall awesome experience. To be honest, I was hurting real bad when I finished and remember telling my wife right after the race that “I think I’m done with marathons… I’ve had my fill.”
I did overlook the fact that I was essentially training 6 out of 7 days a week leading up to this race. It had become a part of my lifestyle. Within a few weeks of the race… just looking over which marathon to tackle in the spring… I saw an ad for something called “Ironman” …hmmm I’ve heard of that – tell me more.
Having successfully taken the marathon challenge, I wanted something bigger… something bolder… something that would really push my body to the next level.. and while I still can. Swim, Bike, Run… all good things.
Without ever having competed in a triathlon (yeah, perhaps a foolish move) I signed up for the Raleigh Ironman 70.3. For clarity, it’s not a full Ironman (that would have been suicide without some serious training) but it is 70.3 miles long… a 1.2-mile (1.9 km) swim, a 56-mile (90 km) bike ride, and a 13.1-mile (21.1 km) run… so, yeah, …it’s going to be hard… very hard. And yes, I’m a bit nervous about getting in shape in time.
But if we never set lofty goals, you are never able to see what you can achieve. You have only one life… why not see what you can do with it…
Yeah, …famous last words …May is coming quick.