Today concluded week one of training for the 2018 Chicago Marathon. Since I’ve been a negligent updater, let me catch you up.
I completed the Chicago Marathon in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. Late in training for 2015, I developed plantar fasciitis. I had registered, but I was unable to run. I did accompany my daughter Clayre to Chicago, and I cheered her on as she ran a beautiful race. I dealt with the plantar fasciitis for about a year, getting discouraged, and continuing to gain weight.
That year, 2016, was a pretty bad year for our family. We dealt with job loss, a down year for my business, and the worst day to date of our lives when we lost our precious four-year-old friend Caiden in a tragic drowning accident.
None of those things are excuses, but that didn’t stop me from slipping into old habits of overeating and becoming more and more sedentary. Soon, the thought of exercising and running seemed too daunting. One thing led to another, and I found myself very discouraged and sad toward the end of 2017.
When I would see people out running, a part of my heart would hurt as I recalled the feelings of freedom and accomplishment that running has afforded me in the past. Sometime in December 2017, I made up my mind that I was going to get back out there again, and that I was going to do it slowly and carefully. In discussing this with my daughter Clarye, she reminded me of the Galloway method of marathon training. She had experimented with it, and she encouraged me to check it out.
She let me borrow her Galloway book, and as I was reading it for the first time, I was encouraged that I could train that way more effectively. I talked it over with some other runners, knowing that some “serious” runners don’t endorse it (what’s new?), but I determined to give it a try.
I’ve already completed 11 marathons, and for this 12th, I didn’t see any reason not to shake things up a bit, push past my objections, and try to train in a way that will allow me to enjoy not only the process but the race itself.
I also joined up with a new running buddy, Steve, a fellow band parent, who happens to be the dad of my stepdaughter’s boyfriend. We knew each other casually, and when he saw that I was running, he asked me about it. He decided to start training with me, and he determined to run his first marathon this year as well.
So, on January 8th, we started base training in order to be ready to begin training this past week. We started slowly and carefully. We’ve both got a substantial amount of weight to lose (I’ll speak to this later), and we wanted to be very careful about avoiding injury. Along the way, I began sharing with Steve everything I had learned about running a marathon.
By the time the first weekend of April arrived, we had extended our long weekend run to 9 miles. We built this up slowly over three months. We’ve consistently run 4 times per week, doing some walking on off days.
I feel that this has been a huge success so far this year. I’m still battling the mental game of running more slowly than I have in the past. But I’m leaving that up to smart training and continued weight loss. I don’t really have a time goal for Chicago. I mean, I do, but I don’t. My goal is to finish well and enjoy the process.
For the four or five of you who read this…I’ll write more about the struggles. I’m sitting here today, though, feeling like I’m on the right track for the first time in two or three years. I can only thank God and my support system, specifically, Marla, Clayre, and Steve.
Recap of this week:
Monday 47 minutes
Tuesday 24 minutes
Friday 45 minutes
Saturday 6.1 miles with 5 hill repeats
Steve and I are both feeling good about this first week. 25 weeks to go!