Running a Marathon: Advice Wanted

Just finished watching Nova: Marathon Challenge on PBS, and I’ve decided to do something stupid exciting. Well maybe two stupid exciting things.

  1. I’m going to run a marathon before I’m 40
  2. I’m going to announce that intention publicly on this blog – mostly as motivation to help me stick with it. I’m not sure which of those two is more stupid exciting.

The official date of the AT&T 2009 Marathon in Austin hasn’t been decided yet, but this year’s was in February, so that might be a good one to aim for. The 12 previously unprepared and frankly unfit runners in the NOVA program trained for 9 months, and 11 out of 12 started the race – with each of those 11 finishing. So that would potentially give me enough time to train – more than they had anyway.

And February sounds better than any other time in Texas to run a Marathon, so that’s a plus as well. Next fall might be cool enough but would be too early. And summer 2009 I hit 40.  So next February is perfect.

Perhaps I’ll do monthly progress updates as well. No wait. This is a way to challenge myself into actually doing this. I will give monthly updates on the blog.

As far as advice – anyone out there gone from “not 100% fit” (as I like to think of myself; trust me there are less flattering ways of describing it) to running a marathon in about the same time frame? Any advice from any runners out there?

I’ll probably Google a bit more about it tonight… and then tomorrow I’ll do what any self respecting sedentary person would do in my situation…

I’ll hit the bookstore. This is Austin. There’s got to be a ton of books for me to read on “How To Train For A Marathon”.  I wonder if there’s a Clydesdale edition.

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Comments (9) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Kevin OKeefe - April 16, 2008 7:35 AM

Congrats Jamie. Good goal. I did the same thing almost 30 years ago. Became addicted to the damn things running a number of them each year until I got addicted to the net in '99.

Perhaps I should be doing the same thing now.

Jamie - April 16, 2008 8:15 AM

Wow, Kevin. You too ran your first marathon shortly before your 40th?

I've met you in person, and I would never have guessed you were almost 70.

(You look great by the way.)

Hunter - April 16, 2008 9:38 AM

Good luck.. My wife just finished her first marathon 2 weeks ago. It is a huge time commitment in training.

I personally cant watch a movie that lasts more than 2.5 hours, so I cant imagine being able to run for 26.2 times without being bored out of my mind...

Hunter

Sarah - April 16, 2008 1:07 PM

Check out Jeff Galloway's run/walk program. It's perfect for beginer marathoners and you'll actually go faster than if you ran the entire thing. Good luck! It is addictive, I said I just wanted to do one marathon and this week I'll be completing my 14th in 7 years!

Hunter - June 4, 2008 3:25 PM

I have yet to see any updates...

I'm heading to a 5K this Saturday. I'm not ready to say I can run a marathon, but I'm considering the possibility.. or maybe a half.

Jamie - June 4, 2008 3:31 PM

Crap. I didn't know anyone was keeping track of this. Remind me not to post after enjoying tasty beverages.

More seriously, and at least some good news, I guess I can update with this: I have severely curtailed the smoking, and am headed to 0.

That will eventually help me with the running, eh?

Thanks for dropping by, Hunter.

Hunter - June 4, 2008 7:42 PM

Maybe MADD's next slogan.. "Don't Drink & Blog"

Jamie - June 4, 2008 8:50 PM

Well, the worst of it is that I know I hadn't been drinking.

David Newdorf - August 12, 2008 9:04 PM

Good luck. I ran my first marathon at age 45 and just finished my third marathon. I wrote about it at http://www.newdorf.com/lawyers-and-law/marathon-lessons-for-litigators

Each time I trained with a group. Twice with the AIDS Marathon training program. Group traning helps with the discipline. I couldn't do it on my own.

Have fun.

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