Either I’m Crazy…

Or just really dumb (or probably both!). Because this just happened.

2013 Portland MarathonBut, wait…wasn’t I all: “I’m so excited to not train for a full marathon and only work on speed!” and “Training during the summer sucks!”?

Yes, yes I was. Until I ran my little heart out at the Rock N Roll Half Marathon and started to get the itch. The marathon itch, that is.

I’ve spent the last few weeks debating whether or not I truly I want to do this. In fact, my original plan was to keep training a secret — do the workouts, not tell anyone, and wait as long as possible to register. But I really hate secrets, so a few days into “secret training,” John and I had this conversation in the middle of a steamy moment on the Bachelorette:

“Hey, uh, so I’ve got a secret that I need to tell you.”
John looked at me and in an exasperated tone muttered, “What did you buy?”
“Nothing, but I kinda want (pause) to run (pause) the Portland Marathon.”

I later told Dad and he responded: “After reading your last blog post, I kinda had a feeling you were gonna do this.”

After confessing my deep dark secret, I debated back and forth about whether or not this would be a huge mistake. My heart wanted to run the race, but I was scared of failing and jeopardizing my 2014 Eugene training cycle.

I played around with the idea of running the Bellingham Marathon due to the convenience and cost factor (I could stay with my family and wouldn’t have to pay for a hotel, and it’s a small race). But in the end, there’s only one race appropriate for this bonehead decision: The Portland Marathon.

This will be my third year in a row running the Portland Marathon. My two previous times running it were after some pretty piss-poor training cycles (2011 Portland, 2012 Portland), during which I successfully managed to be in worse shape at the end of the cycle than I was at the beginning. Okay, this may be an exaggeration, but I definitely haven’t toed the start line of Portland in solid, ready-to-set-a-PR marathon shape. Both times, I was happy just to finish and not injure myself.

Portland Marathon 2012. Not a PR, but so happy to have finished!

2012 Portland Marathon. 12 minutes slower than Vancouver, but so happy to have finished!

Third times the charm, right?

I sure as hell hope so. This time I’m armed with sweet sweet knowledge of training mistakes and things I know don’t work for me, and I’m using this knowledge and approaching this training as a bit of an experiment. Here’s the plan:

  • Continue to focus on speed for the next four weeks and keep weekly mileage around 25-30 miles a week. This is pretty much against most training theories that say you should build your endurance first and then add in speed work. Speed is my weakness, so I’m focusing on this before I increase my mileage.
  • Official marathon training will only be eight weeks and will start the week after our wedding. Reasoning behind this: I often get burnt out during marathon training (especially during the summer) and lose motivation two months before the race. I’ll have a good base going into official training, so while I don’t think this amount of time is ideal, it should be adequate. Also, I don’t want to be officially in marathon training in the weeks leading up to our wedding.
  • Run four days a week and take spin class once a week. My legs and joints get really cranky when I run five days a week, which is why I’m keeping it to four. I’m focusing on quality vs. quantity.
  • Do my long runs on the trails as much as possible. Aside from my recent fear of being eaten by a cougar or bear, I love running on the trails and being shaded by the canopy of trees is clutch during the summer.

Dad: Dust off the cowbell because you’re gonna need it on October 6. Sub4 Take 3!


2 thoughts on “Either I’m Crazy…

  1. The human brain is not a bone. Neither is the heart. And the soul? Well, Herman Melville says “You cannot hide the human soul.” He also says, “Oh young ambition, all mortal greatness is but disease.” Yes, your “decision” to run the Portland Marathon may be crazy and stupid–the product of a “dis-eased” mind. And yet … following our heart, chasing the White Whale swimming in our deep seas, running toward a mythological Boston, we experience loomings and glimpses of our own soul, our wildest potentials: What could be more noble than that?

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