Marathon Training Begins Mañana!

Tomorrow morning I'm going to be getting up bright and early to begin my first official day training for the 2009 Los Angeles Marathon! I've been running pretty consistently all summer and so I'm excited to be officially getting started on this super huge big goal of running a marathon. Yee-haw!

In case you don't know how far a marathon is, it's 26.2 miles. Right now, I clearly can't run that sort of distance. Well, I suppose if you light a fire under me or beat me with a stick, I'd have no choice, but you know what I mean.

Sans fire or stick, the most I've ever run in my life is almost six miles and that was a couple of weeks ago. The thing is, if you'd asked me in April after I hurt my knee if I'd be running even six miles, I would've said no way. But here I am with two or three miles having become an easy jog when it was once a huge challenge.

So why the marathon? Well, I've wanted to run one for maybe ten years, and actually tried to start training for the LA Marathon back when my now seven year-old was just a few months old. Unfortunately back then, I could not figure out how to balance being a new mom, working 60-80 hours a week, and running consistently enough to be prepared for the race. I was totally exhausted, stressed out and always scrambling to find time to get my runs in during the week. So, after a month and a half, I stopped training, but the desire to complete a marathon never quite went away.

This year, I decided to give the marathon training another go because I've been thinking about things I want. I want to know that I've accomplished something physically amazing besides giving birth to my two sons. I want to see what I can get my body to do if I really train it and focus on it. I also want a pair of strong runners legs, I want to meet some new people and I want to wear the medal you get once you cross the finish line!

I'm going to be doing the Los Angeles Leggers training program which is really nice because they have one of the best marathon completion rates of any training group around town. The marathon isn't till March 1st so that leaves plenty of time for the training mileage to build up really gradually. I'm all for a gradual build-up because the last thing I need are shin splints or other injuries.

I'll be heading out to Santa Monica every Saturday morning for a long run. I think tomorrow's long run starts at two miles so that's not so bad. I'm not sure what pace group I'm going to try to be in, but I think I may opt for the 12 minute mile group. Keeping a faster pace over 26.2 miles might prove to be a little challenging for me since I'm a pretty slow runner as it is right now. I'm steady and consistent, but I'm a little slow.

It's not too late for you to sign up to do the Leggers program as well if you think you might also be interested. You can either register on-line or you can just show up and register on-site. Just think, if Scientolobot Katie Holmes could run a marathon, so can you! If Oprah could do it, so can you! Heck, if Diddy could do it, so can you!

If I can do it, so can you!


Jameil said…
I'm okay on doing a marathon. I'll be proud of the 5k when I conquer that. Half marathon maybe. That sounds crazy to me though!! Let me just get a 5k under my belt first. I'm not at all a runner and never have been. Still working on not feeling dead after 3.2 miles. BUT really proud that I wasn't physically dead the day after completing 3.2 on the elliptical! i think of you and 1969 while i train!
Anonymous said…
That's fantastic - very impressive. But I'm here to tell you that I could NOT run a marahon. Because I hate running. I could walk one...
Anonymous said…
Good for you! How exciting and what a great marathon to run. My little sister and father ran it the first year. Forever ago... :)

Go Liz Go!
Awesome! Just doing it is what counts, not how fast you run.

Katie Holmes runs marathons? Maybe she's just trying to get away from... that guy.
Anonymous said…
I admire your determination, Liz! Best of luck with the training. It can't be that difficult once you get in the swing of it. I've never seriously thought of marathons myself, I prefer hill-walking! Are you going to do it for charity or just your own satisfaction?
Liz Dwyer said…
Yes, it does sound a little crazy, doesn't it? I'm usually such a loner when it comes to exercise, but this is one thing I know I can't do on my own. I'm going to need other folks to help me train and help me get through it.

I remember when I hated running too. For me, it was always because I was trying to do too much too fast. Never a good thing, so I'd hate it. Actually, the Leggers program has a marathon walking component as well, which I think is pretty cool. It shows it's not about speed as much as completing something so challenging.

I'm fired up and ready to go! (hah-hah, I couldn't resist.) Wow, that is very cool that your dad and sis ran it in year one! I think it'll be really fun to run it, even if just to see all the cool neighborhoods in LA from that perspective.

I think just for my own satisfaction. I've thought about doing it for charity because heaven knows I know plenty of people with various cancers and other diseases, but I think I'm running it just for myself this year. I like hill walking, too. Do you go out in the countryside to do it or is it a city thing for you? Here it's a city thing for me.
Lola Gets said…
Congrats on taking up a new challenge!

I once trained for a marathon myself (walking not running), so I know what goes into it. I once made it up to 13 miles, but I had to quit because my pain level went up way too high, and I'm allergic to most modern painkillers.

Good luck to you!
Liz Dwyer said…
Oops! I somehow didn't see your comment last night! I really have to remember it's not speed as much as finishing that's important. The 12 group actually runs 11 minute miles but takes a 1 minute walk break every six minutes so it was a little faster than I'm used to, but my ego seems to want to keep me from dropping down to the 13! I need to get over it.

13 miles is quite an accomplishment! It was really cool seeing some of the walkers this morning. We forget that the marathon actually equals the distance, not the speed with which you cover it.
jillybean said…
I wish you the best. I don't run, but I am a serious walker. I signed up to walk a half marathon in October and I'm participating in the Human Race at the end of the month. WORK IT! Listen to your body and enjoy the solidtude and peace of "me time."
Anonymous said…
Liz, not much scope for hill-walking in the city. There's Cave Hill but it's not very high, only takes about 45 minutes to get to the top. I go down to the Mourne Mountains, about an hour's drive south. The highest is Slieve (Mount) Donard which is 2000+ feet. It's good exercise, quite steep and rocky. And fantastic views from the top.
Ian Lidster said…
I think I'll follow your attainments in this regard instead, Liz. Good for you. Like Citizen I could walk a marathon, but not run one. Just don't overextend yourself, you have people here who love you and would be concerned about your wellbeing.
So, I think if you do this, you should sign up for the Hawaiian Triathlon. That would be cool. Actually, it would be hot, but you get my drift.
the joy said…
Make sure to eat plenty of bananas to keep your legs strong! See if they'll throw one in your chai at SB (we're supposedly promoting wellness, lol). Good luck and have fun! I wouldn't dream of running a marathon. I'm short distance.
Brianna said…
Wow...kudos to you! The one thing I can safely say I'll NEVER do is run a is no coincidence that I picked the shortest race there is to compete in.
Liz Dwyer said…
Very cool that you have two races coming up! I thought about signing up for the Human Race here in LA, but the thought of running outdoors in the August heat has me a little scared. Not sure if I want to go there because I hate running in hot weather.

Oh, those are some good-sized hills then. Mount Lee, where the Hollywood Sign is, is only around 1600 feet. I love hiking up there though. Gorgeous views as well... if it's not too smoggy!

Hawaii, yes, triathalon, no! Besides, I don't know how to swim. I am thinking about dropping down to a slower pace group because the 12 minute group actually runs an 11 minute mile. I can do it, but it's faster than I normally run and I'm not sure if I could do the whole distance at that pace. I feel a little wimpy dropping to a slower pace though.

The Joy,
Those new drinks sound so gross to me, especially the banana chocolate one. I don't know why the corporate MBA owners don't get that adding new drinks may not be the way to go, whereas lowering the prices on the drinks already in existence would be a winning recipe.

LOL! I'll bet you could do it and dust half the field. It's weird but I hate sprinting short distances but have no problem running long ones. I have no idea why that is.
1969 said…
As much I worked just to run my little 5k...I don't havethe desire to run a complete marathon. However, I support you wholeheartedly on your effort.

TEAM LIZ!!!! I am proud of you already.
Dena said…
go you!
congrats on setting a goal and keeping that goal in mind. me, on the other hand, running....ha! not so much. if you had asked me to dance the LA marathon, well, now we're talkin' (remember the bud billiken parades?).
i'll be running with you in spirit!

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