Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Powerful Words...and Marathon Plans

This summer I read a fairly popular book that I truly didn't think I get a whole lot out of: The Five Love Languages. However, this book has taught me more about myself, others, and how I relate to others and they to me. According to the book, there are five "languages": words of affirmation, quality time, gift, touch, and acts of service. I am, by far and away, words of affirmation.

"Actions don't always speak louder than words. If this is your language, than compliments mean the world to you. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten."

I love it when people give me compliments on anything because it makes me feel good. However, just like mentioned above, if you say something negative to me or insult me, I'll most like remember it forever. I've got a decent memory, especially when it comes to remembering comments.

Today I stopped by a local running store to inquire about a Nike training plan for the Chicago Marathon they had posted on their website. I spoke to an incredibly nice woman who was asking me about my recent times (1:40) and other races I plan on doing in the upcoming months (Ragnar, another half, a 4-mile race or two...). She was explaining how the training went...two runs a week - Saturday and Thursday night, with various pacers ranging from a 3:20 finish time to a 5:00 finish time. She said, based on my time, she thought I should go into the 3:30 group or 3:20 group. This is a big compliment!

 However, I know that I have never run a marathon before and that many times the first one is the hardest just because my body won't be used to the quantity of miles I'll be running. My original goal time was to run 3:59:59....basically, break 4 hours. Running a 3:30 is far different - a breakdown of 8:00 miles, while 3:45 quite possibly is attainable. The running group doesn't start until early June, so I've got some time to think about which group I want to train with beforehand. Any suggestions? I am looking forward to training with a group of runners who are near my pace and fitness level. I want to run with people, but it is really hard to find people who are interested, want to log roughly the same mileage as me, and here is the big key: can keep my pace.

Do you find it hard to find training partners? Or, is running solo your style? I've only recently started to run with others, and realize it is a far different experience than running by myself. I like it...most of the time.


  1. Think about how hard you trained to reach your 1:40 PR. Are you going to work a lot harder for this marathon? Do you expect to be in much better shape?
    I make a distinction between getting into marathon shape and getting into better shape. Getting your endurance up there doesn't necessarily mean also improving your speed.
    Unless you expect to work much harder and improve speed as well as endurance, I don't think you should shoot for 3:20.
    My advice is to start out with the 3:30 group. If at any point you feel like it's too much or not enough, there's no reason you can't switch to another plan.
    It's easier to fall back to a slower pace than to speed up once you've started your training though.
    Good luck!