Tuesday, June 15, 2010

In Which I Begin Training

So after the big reveal last month that I was going to undertake a half-marathon in December, I immediately started training.And how does a Nerdy Scientist start training? Why, with research, of course! There's only one thing a Nerdy Scientist likes more than research, and that's the actual experiment. We shall see if that holds true for marathoning, the actual experiment in this case.

First I looked up training schedules. I found several online, but all begin the training 17 weeks before the event. Heck, I need more time than that! I'm not completely out of shape, but I am not marathon ready. Then I tried to find walkers' blogs that detail their marathon experience. A few hits, but not as many as I'd expected. C'mon, bloggers, a half-maratoin is a worthy achievement to document! I want to read your experiences. Thirdly, I looked up the specific marathon, thinking surely there is blogging marathoner here in the Metropolis. Apparently not. Unless they are trying to be incognito, like me, or are shy, or embarrassed by their time. They've been holding this marathon for 30 years, but it's a big cyber secret as far as I can tell.

I started training early for several reasons. I am ashamed to admit that my performance in the timed 10K last month wasn't as good as I'd thought it would be. I mean, I know I did it cold and all, but still, we started first and ended near the back of the pack. Ouch. I finally found my competitive streak. I don't have it re: my career at all, but it reared its ugly head when faced with the dismal time printed out in black and white. So I determined that my December time would be improved, and I've set out deliberately to try and improve my time. 30 seconds would be great, but may be unrealistic. I can easily walk the half marathon in 4 hours right now, but I want to be as close to 3.5 hours as I can be. Anything better is cake!

I jumped more fully back into my exercise routine: cardio (weight-lifting) on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays (several different routines out of magazines so I don't get bored, increasing the number of reps every week or so, or jumping rope), and then extra walking on Tuesdays and Thursdays. One day I go for speed (I started interval training about 3 weeks into this) and another day I go for distance. Since Mr. Big is recovering so well from his gimpy leg and I am so worried it'll be reinjured, I only started taking them to the dog park a month ago, and only one day a weekend. That gives me one weekend morning for 5km around the golf course (so I can time the distance and track my progress). That interval training is going to work, I know it will, but I hate running, even the short distance between two light poles.

Lady Scientist J and I went to the Canyon on Sunday for our first conditioning walk. Four miles, at a reasonable pace, because the first 2 miles were uphill. At the 2 mile marker, I checked my pedometer (still working despite being dropped several times--yea!) and we turned around and did the second half all downhill (except for that last climb out of the canyon, which is just a small hill, but my knee twinged on  it--dang middle age). Our time was 1 hour 9 minutes for the whole 4 miles, and our speed was 3.77 mph. Not bad for our first conditioning walk!  That means I could do the half today (if I could keep this speed up the whole way) in my 3.5 hour goal. With 5.5 months to train and a course that's all downhill for the half marathoners, it's going to be do-able. Do-able without incapacitation.

That was a big sigh of relief you just heard.

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