Monday, July 11, 2011

A Lifetime Goal and Marathon Thoughts

After I ran my first half marathon at the age of 21, I set a goal for myself.  It was simple, yet achievable.  I gave myself plenty of time to achieve it and knew that I could, in time.  I'm not really sure how I came up with this goal.  I guess it was a combination of wanting more out of running, wanting to become a better runner, and wanting to push myself. 

The goal I set for myself was to run 10 half marathons and 1 full marathon by the time I turn 30. 

This is something that has stuck in my mind ever since I wanted to achieve it.  Every time I sign up for a half marathon, I think.."okay, this will be #8.  Only 2 more to go before I reach my goal."  Every race is special for its own reasons - a PR, who I signed up or ran with, where it was, who went with me, just to name a few.  But for each of the 8 halves I have run, the training has been about the same.  I've trained on the treadmill, PR'd in all but 2, and cut my time by over 37 minutes.  However, now I feel like I'm playing a different game. 
There are currently less than 90 days until the 2011 Chicago Marathon.  It seems like it is so far in the distance, yet so close at the same time.  Marathon training is time consuming.  I know part of this is because I put a lot of pressure on myself to run well.  I absolutely will not stay out late the night before a training run because I need a lot of sleep in order to run well.  I try to eat tons of fruits and vegetables and a lot less cookies, although, sometimes they are necessary (see my last post). 

I am not sure how people that have families manage to train for marathons.  I can only imagine how hard it must be to balance running and family and not go insane.  I might do more than the average marathon because I do a fair amount of cross-training as well...I'm not sure.  Right now I feel like marathon training in and of itself is a full-time job.  Is that normal? 

Running a marathon is something I've wanted to do for the last 5 years, but more specifically the last 2.  I've thought about and often wondered what it would be like and how I would do.  I've already learned a lot about myself as a runner from 6 weeks of marathon training.  I can only imagine what I will learn during the next 12. 
Did you ever set a goal for yourself where you gave yourself many years to achieve it?

1 comment:

  1. Endurance training with a family is exponentially more difficult. But perhaps it's even more satisfying when you hit your goal, because it requires so much dedication to get there.
    I'm pretty impatient when it comes to big goals (not a good thing), so I don't usually give myself a long time.