I’m pretty passionate about the things I do. I don’t like to start something and not finish it. Or, more precisely, I don’t like to tell others about something I am doing and then not finish it. I’ve probably discussed a few of those here such as my quest to build a new door tag decoder. I promise I will get back to that as I still see a need for one.
Anyway, I have taken on a new “hobby” and that would be running. The goal I have in mind is to run and complete my first marathon this fall. I am now a little more than midway through an 18 week training program and still going strong.
I’ve always been interested in staying in shape. I was seriously into mountain biking up until the time we had our son. Having children changes everything. For several years after he was born, I was lucky to get my bike out twice a season. I started to run on a casual basis to keep in shape. It took less time and equipment than biking. Shorts, a t-shirt and some sneakers and I was out the door and around the neighborhood for a half hour or so. I tried to go once a week giving it up when it got really hot and really cold. A couple of years ago I had some heel pain that slowed me down and made me have concerns about keeping it up as a regular thing.
Or, so I thought. Sometime last fall I decided to start planning to take on the challenge of completing a marathon in 2008. I kicked off the plan the first week of April 2008. The basis for my training has been the 18 week novice program outlined by Hal Higdon in his book Marathon: the Ultimate Training Guide. There are many books and plans to get you there. This one looked good to me so I went with it.
Prior to starting the 18 week plan, I spent about 10 weeks building my “base” level of fitness. My goal for those 10 weeks was to be conditioned enough so that week 1 of the program would not lead to my downfall. Like all weeks of the program, week 1 involved running 4 days (Tue, Wed, Thur and Sat); more often than I had ever previously run in a single week.
I started with one 3 mile run in that first week and slowly added more days through the “base” training period. At first I was always resting with an off day in between runs but slowly added running back to back days. I also gradually increased my mileage buy only once did more than 6 miles in a single run.
And, here I am today in weekÂ 12 of the 18 week program. I am still enjoying it very much and look forward to my long runs on Saturdays. Last Saturday I ran 16 miles.
Overall, it has turned out to be a large time commitment that I could have easily predicted but failed to. I am now running over 4 hours per week. Obviously, that puts a dent in the time I have to do other things like write blog entries and respond to email. My wife seems to be understanding this new obsession of mine and has not had any problems picking up the slack around the house. I can’t express how much I appreciate that.
So now the cat is out of the bag and you know what else I’ve been up to. If things keep going well I hope to post more about this endeavor as I go along.