Monday, January 12, 2009

Goofy again: don't follow my example

As posted previously, I finished the half marathon in 3 hours, and the full marathon in five hours and 53 minutes. This is a disappointing and embarrassing 36 percentile for my age/sex division in both races (I was surprised it was the same percentile in both races!) but I still declare myself satisfied. Not only because I finished it, relative position be damned, but also because I did not train for this run. I have a bad history of laziness in this regard. I’ve used this space previously to chronicle my first half-marathon and first marathon, both run without training. Last year at this time, I tried my first Goofy Challenge, and also didn’t train. Well, that year I got through the half but didn’t finish the full marathon. I felt tingling in my fingertips at Mile 13 and took myself out of the race, since tempting fate isn’t the best thing to do when you don’t train for an endurance event. I chalked that one up as a failure, and resolved to learn from it rather than be beaten by it. That story is also on my personal blog:

This year there was no repeat of the tingling or any such physical hiccup. I’d dieted away 15 pounds over the past year (biking to work also helped), and I ran almost daily in Spring 2008 until I over-trained and injured myself, but I had done essentially no running from May-December. I did finally step on the treadmill the week of the race and ran one mile on Wednesday and two miles on Thursday, but that was it.

Please do not follow my poor example. The entire point of a marathon is not to run the thing, it’s to train for the thing, so I was clearly going about this all wrong. Not to mention the fact that this was dangerous. People can and do collapse at every marathon, so you simply must know your limits. It astounds me even now that I went from no training to 39 miles, but I recognize that this was a stupid thing to do.