Saturday, August 14, 2010
Climbing a mountain isn't something everyone can do, or even want to do. I imagine it is difficult, time consuming, dangerous, and takes a huge amount of time preparing for. My nephew has climbed several mountains in the past couple of years and I know he has taken the necessary time preparing.
Marathon running is also something that not everyone can do or has the inclination to partake in. It is something that also is difficult, time consuming, can be dangerous, and takes a huge amount of preparation time. I know this to be a fact as I have run 7 marathons in 4 short years. I am now in the beginning stages of training for my eighth marathon on 21 November, Philadelphia.
I take time in my pre-marathon preparation to make a schedule of training runs on a paper calendar. It allows me to have an over view of the entire training time frame and plan races to test my progress through the weeks. This time the image of mountain climbing and my training crossed into one plan.
Just as a climb up a mountain has stages, my training has stages. There is a base camp in mountain climbing where the climbers aim to reach in the beginning of their ascent. My first four weeks of training are my "Base Camp" stage. It is where I am building my weekly distance from 15 miles up to 32. I have a 10K race to test my progress and acclimate me to the longer runs and 6 days of moderate consistent training.
During the next 5 weeks I move forward towards the secondary camp just as a climber moves higher up the mountain face. The climb gets more difficult, more testing more of a challenge. So has my training, My planned long runs are now double digit and my weekly mile total creeps upward from the 30mpw into the 40s. I test my endurance and stamina and speed by racing another 10K.
In order to reach the summit of the mountain from Secondary Camp, the climber needs to continue to acclimate to the higher altitude and take on additional equipment and their physical abilities and mental toughness is tested further. Thus it is in this4 week stage of my training. My longest of the long runs happen, the mid week marathon paced runs reach their highest, the speed sessions are consistent and the weekly miles crest just over 50. I will challenge myself with a half marathon race. I can see the goal that lies just 3 weeks beyond this point, the 26.2 miles of the marathon.
Unlike the mountain climber who once reaches the summit and the descends, I will gradually decrease my weekly miles but keep my fitness achieved on ascent to the summit by running consistently, running speed sessions and building the marathon paced runs to their highest. I will remain on that mountain top like being on a flat mountain top. I run along the top for a shorter distance, but keep to that level.
These three weeks before the marathon my miles will drop slighty leading up to Philadelphia and the final days are miles to just keep my legs turning over.
Then on 21 November, 2010 I will stand on the start line of my 8th marathon. I will stand at another base camp, I will climb another mountain, this time not over the course of 16 weeks, but I will put to asphalt what I have trained, sweated, ached and persevered to begin AND finish in a single 26.2 miles/42K. I will conquer my mountain, My Philadelphia Marathon.
Saturday, July 31, 2010
To prepare myself for Marathon #8 training, starting 2 August, I took a look back at 2007 and the video I made after running my 3rd Marathon and first London. The pictures of my husband, our good friend, the expo, race morning, the elite runners, the aches, the crowds, the finish line, the elation, the medal, the pride! I remember it all and it brings home to me why I run marathons. I'll keep these images as I train for Philadelphia 2010. Enjoy!
Friday, July 02, 2010
As I turned over the page on my perpetual calendar that sits on my kitchen counter, (I have used the same one for years!!) I had to turn it around to see today's reading. That was a realization that I am standing on the half way point of 2010.
This simple act brought me to take a closer look at the goals I set for this year and where I am in relation to them. Some are physical goals and others are accomplishment goals. Some I have made major progress on (like running marathon 7 and preparing for training for marathon 8) and others are slowly progressing, (seeing my weight finally moving downward again, working on next Health & Safety qualification) and others await my start (counted cross stitch projects).
I remember a saying I learned years ago; Half measures avail us nothing. I think of it often and of the things I have started and then just left; weight goals, projects of various types, well meaning ideas....
Staying at the half way point will not get me to the goal I am wanting. Just as I turned the calander around, so I too turn and move towards the goals I have set for myself to accomplish this year. I take action, not just plan; I cross items off my "to-do" list, not just keep adding to the list. I see progress and not worry about the perfection in it.
Welcome to July, welcome to the half way point that I am using as a way-point in my journey. Just as I use my Garmin when I run to measure my distance and then see where I have been on my journeys, I use today as point of reference to see what I have accomplished and what I lies ahead....and then I take that step into the remainder of my day, my year, my life. Thanks for stepping with me.
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