Welp, it’s time. I finally am signed up for my first marathon.
Thanks to Jocelyn and Laura, of course! (My running moms who brainwashed me into believing marathons are NBD.) For my birthday they told me they’d register me for a marathon of my choice, and after some thinking, decided September or October would be a prime-time to race. (I’d rather train through the summer than run the marathon on a super hot day!) Soon enough, we found a marathon that fits the bill, and then some: The Wineglass Marathon. Need I say more?
Maybe just a little. The race is in Upstate New York by the Finger Lakes — totally fitting since I LOVE lakes (and fingers?). I actually just love it up north, seeing as I used to vacation there as a kid. And maybe even better: The word “Wine” is in the name! Still haven’t figured out when the free-flowing wine will become evident (mile 20? the finish line? when you drive yourself to a vineyard?) but I don’t really care. “Wineglass” sounds a lot cooler than “Rock n Roll,” in my opinion.
The course is also fast. I mean…look at that elevation. I basically just have to run down one long hill, right?! I’m also super stoked it’s a point-to-point course, not an out and back (oof) or loop. Just one straight shot to the finish!
But…now what? Signing up is, unfortunately, not even half the battle, and I need to figure out my training plans STAT. I’m a little nervous because training for a marathon is like another full-time job, and there’s a way to do it right. And of course I always try to deviate from the way things “should be done,” which may just kick me in the ass. I figured I could go about this race in two ways:
Train hard, run fast. I can take this seriously. I know I have it in me to stick to a training plan, get up at 6am to get in my long runs, run fartleks and hill repeats (but where are the hills in nyc?) and get to the starting line nearly 4-months later ready to run a fast race. This course is fast, and maybe I could even BQ (ehh doubtful). Along the way, I could write about what I expect to be a humbling, hard journey, and know that when it’s over, I did my absolute best.
Go with the flow. I love running, don’t get me wrong, but I also love strength training, yoga, and….taking five days off and giving my legs a break. I’m worried that if I’m running 5-6 days a week, I won’t have the energy (or time!) to also make sure I’m lifting and doing other things, which I’m convinced is what makes me a faster runner anyway. So I can stick (loosely) to a plan, but make sure I’m lifting twice a week and still going to yoga. I already ran 20-miles on a whim, so I know I can probably run a marathon tomorrow. (How long it’d take me is a whole different story.) This may sound ideal, but I may not run the race I want, or get the whole marathon experience, which includes going way out of your comfort zone, sacrificing things, and …working really fucking hard.
Or maybe it doesn’t have to be so black and white….we shall see. Does anyone have an unconventional way to train for a marathon? Is sticking to plan necessary? Will you please run the marathon with me?!