We signed up for this bad boy in December 2013 – a full year before the actual race.
But somehow we’ve gone from “Oh, we’ll just get through our first marathon anyway we can….even if that means we have to crawl past the finish line!” to “Let’s train hardcore so we can run the whole thing!”
Um, what? Did I miss something?
Apparently, I am a glutton for punishment. And the Facebook posts from the Honolulu Marathon’s organizers recently reminded us that we had 20 weeks to go until our December 14th deadline. And that’s apparently a good time to start training? Yep. Apparently. So we started talking about it.
Obviously, there are like nine million training plans available on the internet, and that’s super overwhelming for me. So I asked J to find one. I mean, he’s half of this running duo (and he’s much more knowledgeable on the subject than me) so it makes sense that he could find the perfect one. And I think he kind of did thanks to about.com!
We’re just finishing up week one, so I can’t say yet if this is going to work, but it looks good!
The prerequisites for this “advanced beginner” plan are that you’ve already completed a half marathon (check!), you can comfortably run 4 miles (eh..we’re getting there), and you are able to run 4-5 days per week (we hope!).
We obviously can switch the days around if necessary, but we should mostly be okay to follow this schedule. For reference, the abbreviations are easily explained:
CT = cross training (do some activity other than running)
EZ = easy, comfortable pace
RP = race pace, which the article says would be about 30-45 seconds slower per mile than your half marathon pace
So our half marathon pace was about 12:50/mile. We finished the race in 2:48, which I realize seems super slow to many of you, but I was thrilled with that time. I’m not a fast runner, and I never intend to be. The goal for me is to just keep running.
Even if it’s slow as hell.
Because I figured we’d end up walking half or most of the marathon, I’ve been thinking it’d take us roughly 8 hours to complete. This is a good first marathon because there is no time limit. Walkers are absolutely welcomed.
But now that’s all changed, and I have no idea how long it will take. If we were able to keep the half marathon pace, we’d be looking at around 5:36. And that would be fantastic. But I don’t want to sell myself short just yet. Our first week of training runs tells me that I have more speed in me than I previously realized.
On Tuesday, we ran 3 miles at an overall pace of 11:34/mile. Then Thursday, we did 1:1 run/walk intervals for 3 miles netting an overall pace of 12:36/mile. And then yesterday, we ran 4 miles at an average pace of 12:07/mile. Today’s run will be much slower.
We’re still a long way from 26.2. Obviously.
But at this point, the mere idea that we’re going to train to RUN the Honolulu Marathon is kind of incredible to me. I’m proud of us for this, no matter what happens with it. Truthfully, I would feel absolutely grateful if we were able to knock it out in less than 6 hours. Even that seemed farfetched just a few weeks ago.
But after getting in just a few runs, I’m remembering that I don’t hate it as much as I always think I do. I just hate feeling out of shape. But my body kicks back into gear fairly quickly, and then the running process makes me feel like a badass.
No matter what I do, I’ve already set this standard for myself. I’ve gone past the point where walking the whole thing is okay. I truly believe that if we dedicate ourselves to the training schedule, we can run the whole thing. We did it for the half marathon, and by the time the race came around, that felt fairly easy. And it should be noted that we didn’t have an actual training plan for the half; we just increased by a mile each week until we were good to go.
Of course this is twice that distance. But we have the power to do anything.
We just have to remember to take care of our bodies so we don’t get hurt.
Aside from this training schedule, we want to make sure we’re paying attention to our other muscles. We have a dumbbell set at home, so J found this full body workout plan that we are going to start using. We have been struggling with consistency in weight lifting, but it’s a necessity.
I guess at this point, I might suspend my gym membership. I loooove the group classes, but I really want to give this training schedule my full effort. And looking at the weekly plans, I have no time to do any other crazy cardio. (I guess I could still go for yoga?) Our cross training days will likely be spent hiking or snorkeling or biking. We’ll see.
I wanted to put this plan out there, but we’re humans and there’s always the possibility that things could change. Please send good training vibes our way! My biggest fear is that we’ll overtrain and hurt ourselves. Barring that, I know we can do this if we want to. The question is: Are we sure we really want to?
I’ll be sure to keep you all updated!