So my sisters Saison and Salomé decided to run the half marathon in Vancouver on May 6. They invited me to come along and run with them, but I couldn't stomach training for and then running the half marathon on not being able to cross this off my life goals list:
21. Run a marathonSo, I signed up for the full 42 km Vancouver Marathon. I even bought my plane ticket to seal the deal. Salomé, a trained fitness trainer, designed a training regime for me. It involves a lot of, wait for it, wait for it.... running. I'm not thrilled about the five 20+ km runs and the 32 km run 3 weeks before the marathon that are in the schedule, but hey, she's the pro.
The picture above shows the view that I'll have for the hours I'll spend on the treadmill over the 17 weeks I have to train. I've been diligent in my near daily runs (a little less on the cross training day as I just do some strength exercises at home - push-ups, quad-burners, ab-scorchers, tricep-scalders...). I will have run 721 km in preparation (that's over 17 marathons, broken up over 81 runs).
The first two runs were tough. I was coming off a sedentary Christmas vacation. Since that time, the 4-5 km runs have been a real breeze. I listen to theological podcasts and do math in my head (related to the distance and time, converting from miles to kilometres). I have checked my pulse a few times - the first run peaked at 178 beats/minute, but now it has stabilized to about 160 beats/minute.
Finding time is the real challenge. Those 721 km will take around 72 hours. I have a feeling I'll be driving back to the gym (at my school) in the evenings to get my runs in. So far, I've been able to fit them in during my work day.
The marathon route is quite exciting. I will run west from from Queen Elizabeth Park on 49th Ave through Pacific Spirit Park, the UBC campus, Spanish Banks, Jericho and Kitsilano Beaches, along English Bay, around Stanley Park to the finish line in downtown Vancouver. The sea level elevation is going to be a great advantage as I'm training at over 1000 m above sea level; oxygen shouldn't be a problem.