Sunday, February 28, 2010

So I suppose I'm considering a marathon?

Marathon: "Any long and arduous undertaking" (Princeton university)

In my mind, we all complete marathons in our lives. From the time we're born to the time we die, we spend 16+ years completing our education, 18+ years raising children, and countless years building careers. We are an endurance species by nature. So why does running 26.2 miles (which is only about 5-6 hours of your life) seem like such an impossible feat? Could it be the 4-12 months of rigorous training, including hundreds of miles, hills, inclement weather, bodily discomfort and time commitment?

As of the year 2000, 1% of the United States population had a doctorate degree. 1% have also completed a marathon. They're both equally as special and yet somehow a doctorate degree seems easier. Why is this? I think I'll learn the answer to this question (or at least gain some insight) over the next 8 months because I, Lauren, am thinking about running a marathon.

Whoah, whoah whoah. Back it up. I guess I should start a little sooner than that. I started running on and off a couple years ago, pushed myself way too hard and ended up getting pretty horrible shin splints. My "month off" turned into a 9 month hiatus from running. 3 months ago (this past December) I began again, this time with the goal of not injuring myself. As I read in a quote from Runner's World recently; "Running should be a lifelong activity. Approach it patiently and intelligently, and it will reward you for a long, long time." - Michael Sargent

So here I am about 3 months into my new running program. I just recently upped my 3 miles runs (3x/week) to 4 miles each, while at the same time attempting to add a fourth day per week to my running schedule. This is probably why I'm sitting on my couch with a bag of ice on my ankle blogging instead of running today. I'll try not to let this unintentional rest day bruise my ego (my ankle feels bruised enough thank you).

Running this time around has been amazing. I love the fact that I have suckered friends of mine who would have never run on their own into joining me at 6am in 42*F weather to go torture ourselves on the road, and the fact that I have actually MET friends who are runners themselves! I never knew there was an entire community of people out there all dedicated to sore muscles, burning lungs, and of course that wonderful sense of achievement you get when you finally end your run. Don't get me wrong, I love to run, but I love the feeling after I'm done even more :D.

This leads me to the title of this blog. Originally I had planned on running a half marathon this fall and a real marathon next year. I kind of put the "real" marathon next year because I figured it was so far away if I didn't end up doing it nobody would remember that I meant to anyway. 13.1 miles seemed quite insane enough. Then the other night I was having dinner with one of those friends who is actually a runner and she mentioned to me that the training schedule for the half marathon and full marathon are actually quite similar and that if I really wanted to I had enough time to train for a real marathon.

At first I laughed, and then I started thinking, which is a dangerous thing for me to do. Because once I start thinking, I start planning. Once I plan, I do it. Well, that night I went home and thought, planned, and got excited. I knew my mom and step-dad were already planning on completing the Chicago marathon (as well as my runner friend), so worst case scenario there would be somebody to identify the body on the side of the road should I fail at mile 18.... sounds logical right?

So... I'll end this blog post with this: I think I want to a run the Chicago Marathon. I've set the date for making my decision on March 7th (the same day I'll be attempting to walk/run a half marathon - I figure if anything is going to change my mind it'll be that).


  1. "I never knew there was an entire community of people out there all dedicated to sore muscles, burning lungs, and of course that wonderful sense of achievement you get when you finally end your run." I love that comment.