"Success is not to be measured by the position someone has reached in life, but the obstacles he has overcome while trying to succeed." - Booker T. Washington
--------------------------------------------------------------------I am now in week 11 of 18 for the training of my second marathon. I am so glad to see that I am past the halfway mark of the 18 marathon schedule I obtained from Running About Website. The excitement of getting to the starting line is starting to develop. However, I was reminded this weekend during my 18 mile run that this is where the real work begins. It was a challenging run because it had been a while since I had run that type of distance. There were times I just wanted to turn back and go home, but I fought through and felt great a couple of hours after my protein and fruit smoothie made in my Vitamix blender.
Following a schedule someone else assigns to you is never easy. It takes discipline to stick with it and to have blind faith that the hard work will pay off at the end. You will question some of the mile choices they set out in the plan, but for the most part it is best if you follow it unless you are ill or hurt. If you ever decide (which I hope you do) to run a 5K, 10K or any type of race, you will be able to find numerous of plans online. However, none of these sources will inform you of the mental games you will deal with. Voices will come up and tell you that you can not do this. Your mind will want to give up before your legs. However, as you keep pushing away the "naysayers" in your head, you will realize that you are strong and you will get over these small humps during those weeks. The result will be that you will become mentally stronger and be ready to conquer the race you signed up for. It will also assist you in other avenues of your life when challenges appear.
If you are not familiar with training for a marathon, the typical plan will be for 16 or 18 weeks. The first few weeks the miles are low, but they slowly increase as time goes on and by the halfway point, the daily and weekly mileage volume begin to add up. This is where you realize if you have what it takes to complete your dream or goals and get to the starting line.
When I went through training the first time around, it was not easy. When it was all over I realized the training was the most challenging part of the entire adventure, the race ended up being the fun part. Training takes a lot of prioritizing and juggling of family schedules to successfully complete each training session each week. Plus with your first marathon or any other race, typically the only goal you have is to finish the race. No goal time or cutoff is in your head, all you want to do is get to the end and wrap the hard earned medal around your neck. The greatest part when you complete your race is that you will feel like you can accomplish anything. Yes, at first you may think "Never Again", but once that goes away, you will be asking "when is the next race?"
This time around I have a goal of getting under 4 hours and I specifically want to be around 3:53. I have no problem posting my goal because if I don't get that time, I haven't failed, I just need to find a better way to get to my next goal. If I finish injury free and healthy I will be satisfied and prepare myself for the next journey and new goal.
If you have never entered any type of race/run, I challenge you to do this in 2013. Every time I have run one of these races, I have been inspired by some of the people who had the courage to sign up and get to the starting line. I have seen people over 300 lbs running/walking to the finish. That never entered my mind, I didn't enter my first 5K until I was around 250 lbs. At my half marathon in November there was a gentleman in his mid 50s who had a physical issue where his left leg was dragging a bit, but yet it took me 10 miles to catch up to him and I was going at a 8:27 pace...that guy was simply amazing. Therefore, if these type of people are brave enough to push their bodies to the next level, what are you waiting for?
By: Fred Lechuga