When I turned 40, I decided that I was going to be a runner. It feels funny to even say that because there aren’t many sports that you can just wake up and make yourself do, but you absolutely CAN with running. It took a few smaller races and half marathons to work my way up to 26.2, but in 2012, my brother, sister and I crossed the finish line together in what will go down as one of my life’s proudest moments. We are proof that you can go from the couch to running a marathon in just a few months.
This October, I will run my ninth marathon and I feel like I’m starting all over again. I took last year off because I was too busy crying about my daughter leaving for college to train. (I’m so not kidding!) But my uncle who might be running his last marathon this fall, his 30th overall, pulled me out of retirement so I could join him in this race.
Just as I did seven years ago when I trained for my first marathon, I’m following Hal Higdon’s Novice Program for newbies. Even though this will be my ninth race, my only goal is to finish with a smile and before the sweeper truck insists on giving me a ride home.
With the plan I’m following, I run four times a week (with cross training on two alternate days and rest on the one remaining). This week, Week 5, I’ve run two 3-milers, one 5-miler, and I’m just about to go and run my longest for the week, 10 miles. Over the next couple of months, the mileage will increase until I reach a 20-mile weekend run. That’s as far as I will go before the marathon on Sunday, October 13. This plan is so easy (even though the running isn’t for me!)…I just keep track of it in my planner.
This year I’ll be running to raise money for GLASA, the Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association based here in Lake Forest. This incredible organization makes sports possible for anyone who wants to compete. My cousin’s 11-year-old daughter was born with spina bifida and her personal hero is a young paralympian named Tatiana McFadden who has won nearly all of the marathon majors in the wheelchair division. GLASA makes such feats possible. I will be writing more about GLASA in the coming weeks.
So if you’ve ever thought about giving marathon training a try, I am proof that it can be done!