compete in my first marathon, and Justin does his first half marathon! Before
we committed to do this, I did some research on training for a marathon. I read
that I would need to train for a minimum of 16 weeks, and that I should have
already been running for a few months before that.
enter. I knew that if we paid, and set all of our plans around a particular
race, I would remain focused, and not give up on the training! The only race
that I could find in China, that wasn’t 8 months, or more, later, was the
Xiamen International Marathon. Therefore, despite needing 16 weeks to train for
the event, I entered the marathon that was 12 weeks away. Since then, we have
been training hard to make up for the “missed” time, and it has been very tough at times. There seemed to be more reasons NOT to run, than to run: Bad weather, snow, ice, lack of
motivation, dusty Chinese streets, darkness by 5pm… the list of obstacles goes on!! Justin initially
wanted to enter the 10km race. I really hoped that he would want to enter the
half marathon, but I didn’t want to push him too much. Secretly though, I knew
that he would realize that he could definitely manage a half marathon.
have watched him play soccer and basketball, but he never goes outside simply just to run. Up until 12 weeks ago, he thought that it was boring, and pointless!! He
started running with me to keep me company, and to make sure that I was safe
when it got dark at night. As the weeks have gone by, I have noticed his
running improve steadily. He is quite a fast runner, but he has learnt the hard
way that starting out fast means that you don’t have energy for the whole
problems on these runs. Justin knows to always bring money, in case we need
water, or a cab!! I know which items of clothing to wear, and in what order! We know what causes chaffing, and at which kilometer it will strike (if we haven’t prepared for it). We
have to wear 3-4 layers of clothes to keep the cold out, and we have mastered
this now!! 🙂 I have a dry fit top, a tighter top (for the cold wind), and then
a hoodie, fingerless gloves (so I can still change my music), and then another pair of gloves over that, a scarf, cap,
earmuffs, face mask, two pairs of pants, socks, leg warmers, and a fanny pack!1
I have to put all of that on each time I run. I look forward to summer… Less
layers, and the feeling of the warm sun on my skin!!!
have begun having mixed feelings about the race. I am very excited to run with thousands of other people. I love the adrenaline, and the excitement. I can’t wait to run in a warmer climate. I am eager to push myself through the
race, and cross the finish line! I want to feel the exhilaration, and the sense of accomplishment, that will come with completing a full marathon.
At the same time… I am nervous: What if I run too slowly?? Can I actually run 42km (the longest
I have trained for is 32km)?? Four out of 10 runners “hit the wall” at about 32km… Will I be one of those four?Some run days are amazing, and some are terrible… What will I
feel like on January 7th?? Will I eat enough carbs before race day? Have I trained hard enough?
the first 21km on the same route, but we are not sure if we will be able to run
together. We are supposed to start at the same time, but we are not sure of the
exact details. Having him with me will be amazing, but I am fully prepared for
the chance that I will be running the entire race by myself.
good friend of mine, Michelle. She has run quite a few marathons, and I really
value her advice. I asked her many questions about the “big day”. She
warned me of the worst (to ensure that I was prepared), but then she made me
excited with her words of encouragement. I wish that I could do this first
marathon with her, but perhaps one day we will do another marathon together.
must mentally get through a large barrier. Your body will want to shutdown when
it’s drained of it’s glycogen, the fuel your body feeds on during the run. In
running this will manifest in a numbness in the legs. A person with any common
sense stops at this point, but it rarely stops a marathon runner. If
you’re mentally determined (a marathon prerequisite) and continue long enough
through this barrier, your body will unleash a more powerful deterrent: pain.
It is one thing for your legs to numb and not want to move; it’s quite another
when every step hurts. I’ve read that a marathon is about the triumph of desire
training schedules, however I had to adapt it to 12 weeks, instead of 16,
therefore my weekly mileage went up quite rapidly. For those of you who feel
inspired to do a marathon too (or even a
half marathon), here are Hal Hidgon’s training plans: