Health & Fitness.

Training for the unknown

One of the many steps I’m taking to become the woman I want to be, is to exercise more. It probably falls below “Write more letters” but above “Shower Daily.” This endeavor started out as dates with the treadmill at the Y. Half-a-mile here, a mile there. As my endurance improved, I sucked it up and registered for a 5K race. That race went so well (read: I finished without walking or dying) that I decided to look into other races. As of right now, we have a 5K we’re running this week and next week.

I know! We’re crazy! Crazy Awesome 5k Runners!

Somewhere along the way, I thought I’d brave longer distances. Since we’ll be in Slidell, LA for Thanksgiving this year, we looked into the Turkey Day Race in New Orleans which is 5 miles. 5 miles is longer than a 5K (I’m smart) – but not too much longer that it could be unattainable. So, as of right now, that is the only solid goal in my running future: A 5 mile race in late November.

That said – I’ve just completed my first week in Hal Higdon’s Marathon training program.

Holy Shit. I just said “marathon.”

It’s an 18 week program and there is really no specific marathon I’m training for. I’m not confident I’ll make it past four weeks in the program, so actually finding a marathon to run seems too far off my radar to consider. This training takes a lot of time, and if you haven’t noticed, I don’t have a lot of that to spare. It’s hard for me to solidly commit to something that could take 10 hours out of my already cramped week. There is a lot of TV to watch.

However, I wanted to start somewhere, and I figured that if I can’t complete the whole marathon program, I might at least be able to run a half-marathon along the way. Isn’t there a saying that says “It’s better to try and fail than never try at all”? That’s kinda my mentality. Or maybe it’s, “Where the hell is my cake?”

There are a few long-distance races coming up that I’m considering running, but I’m scared to commit to anything longer than a 10K until I get closer to those distances in my program. There’s a half-marathon in Tucson that my brother said he’d run with me, and there’s a full marathon in Nashville in April that seems like it would be fun, but I really don’t have any concrete plans yet. I’ll just keep those dates in my head as I work through the program.

If I can’t finish the program, I’m still wanting to make running a part of my lifestyle. Why can’t I be a runner? Just because I’ve sat on my ass for the first 30 years of my life doesn’t mean I can’t become active for the next 30 years, right? Even if I can’t run a marathon, the periodic 5K (or 10K) will still set a great example for my kids and keep me healthy so I can live to nag them well into adulthood.

And really – what better motivation is there for a healthy lifestyle than prolonged torture of your loved ones?

19 thoughts on “Training for the unknown”

  1. You.

    (YAFA. Probably should get that on a shirt or hat or coffee mug or something)

    Go, Zoot!

  2. Can I just echo Ben there, with the YAFA!

    Wow, it is amazing that you are going out and doing this.

    I only wish I had kids I could use as motivation, running to nag longer, that is great! πŸ™‚

    You rock!

  3. I’ve done that Turkey Day Race in New Orleans several times! I was racewalking instead of running (go ahead and make fun of me, I’m used to it!), but it’s a fun race. There’s a big party feel to it, since everyone plans to go home and stuff themselves with even more wild abandon once they’re done. πŸ™‚ I haven’t done a race since I had the first of my two kids, now 10 1/2 years ago. You’re making me want to get off my ass and do something.

  4. The marathon is a life-changing accomplishment, and I strongly encourage you to keep at it. The incredible pride when you finish, the bragging rights of saying “I did a 22 miler this weekend” at work on Monday, the comraderie of all the runners and the tradition of the carbo-load the night before, I could go on and on. It’s such an amazing and positive goal.

    I did Hal Higdon’s beginner for Chicago and the intermediate for Madison and they were fantastic. Very do-able and very gradual. The half is a great distance, too, and a great accomplishment in itself.

    I’m so thrilled you’re doing so well with this, and I hope you’re enjoying it.

  5. I have some friends who have done the Nashville marathon and said it was a great marathon, if you’re the sort of person who thinks that running 26 miles can be great.

    But I’m deeply admiring your training.

  6. Hey there – de-lurking (sort of) to say that I know you can do a half marathon… I just did one Labor Day weekend – I went from stage 0 fitness wise to being able to complete a half marathon in 4 months. The training program is key. Trust me, before I started this I was all “walking – feh”. Now I walk 3-4 miles 4 days a week and will up that in a few months when I start training for another half in March. I wish you luck! You can do it Zoot!

  7. You’re coming to my town! I’ll have to come out and cheer you along in the Turkey Day Race. Ooh, a sign! I can make a Go Zoot! sign and surprise the shit out of you as you’re running / jogging / walking by!

  8. What a fab accomplishement – even more than doing the first 5k, is that you are managing to stick with it and push yourself even though I am sure you have less time than I do – and my recent foray into exercise has been stepping “up” onto the scale and getting “down” about the number that continues to “creep” up! GOOD LUCK!

  9. I think that is so amazing! You Rock! I have often thought about running something, just for the motivation and goal of it. I have tried running some on my own, but I just can’t seem to stick with it. Did you join a group? Being accountable probably helps. I am sure you can do it! And I hear that there are money rewards for winning a marathan–that could be nice. Good Luck! You will totally do it.

  10. You can totally be a runner! To celebrate turning 30, my 4 friends and I decided we would run a marathon. I went from total couch potato to training. I used Hal’s guide too!

    Moral of the story? My friends did great and finished. I crapped out on my training and only made it halfway of the marathon. BUT it was still an incredible accomplishment that I’m proud of. YOU CAN SO DO IT!

  11. don’t make me come down there and kick your ass all over with my 11 minute miles….. Does this Nashville marathon have a half?

  12. I just have to ask, do you actually enjoy running? I just find it so boring that I lose all motivation. Even when it isn’t that physically difficult, I can’t do it mentally. How did you get to the point that you liked it?

  13. I’ve been meaning to comment lately to tell you how awesome you are. You’re kinda hard on yourself, but I know you can do it. Go Zoot!

  14. More exercise sounds great. I’ve been working out between 3-7 times a week for the past 20 years and I can’t tell you great that feels. I will admit that i many times want to sit on the couch and have a bottle of wine instead but it feels really good after a hard workout. Plus your sex life gets much better:-)))


  15. You inspired me and gave me the kick in the ass I needed. I’m working out more, and feel stronger. More like the woman I want to be too.

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