Friday, February 16, 2007

Interview with a Marathoner

Giving up my lunch hours for classes this semester has been difficult — I've had to schedule training into spare hours of the day and squeeze what I can into every nook and cranny on Mondays or Wednesdays. So I've grown a little anti-social and self-centered about free lunch hours like Fridays, when I like to make up for the inevitable laziness of the week.

But I had to be a big girl today and go to lunch (I know, woe is me). I went with Elizabeth, who just moved to a new position for which I was on the search committee. What I hadn't known, however, was that she had previously trained for and had run a marathon. We talked about endurance training, especially during work hours, and how important is it (for those of us with waning will power) to have a goal, a target for your training.

What made me more jealous than finding out the Alumni Building has its own shower (how handy would that be for a midday run?) was that Elizabeth became marathon-ready in just a few months. I thought it would take me several years! She said that she had long been a casual runner — 2-3 miles every once in a while was enough — before she pacted with a friend to run a fall marathon a few years ago.

In June of that year she started workouts from a marathon book and followed its instructions through October, when she ran the big 26.2 in Columbus! She stayed committed to her training regiment and ran 5K, 10K, half-marathon races leading up to the big event. Not only did she finish the race comfortably, she did it in good time too.

So, while I didn't get to run a good workout on Friday, at least I talked about one! Developing a support network, I have found, has been just as significant as building my endurance.


Landon said...

I stand by my oft-repeated claim that anyone with a strong will and even mild athleticism can run a marathon with four months training. And that's running a good one, too!

I would go so far as to bet that anyone who can seriously consider running a marathon can run an OK one on only three months training.

I'm glad to hear you're finding real support out there.