Week 19, Day 1: Change Of Plans

With two weeks left before the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Marathon & 1/2 Marathon, the training is finally starting to wind down. Throughout the course of these 20 weeks of training, I knew Christine and I would be tested physically and mentally far beyond anything we could expect, seeing as how we’re trying to do something that we’ve never done before. At the start of this journey, our goal was to build up the endurance while losing enough weight to run the full marathon. However, our bodies had different plans for us, and during our last long run of 14 miles we ran dead smack into the “wall.” It was time to be honest about the situation; 20 weeks just isn’t enough for us to get ready for a full marathon. As a result, we collectively made the decision to switch to the 1/2 marathon.

Up until week 11, Christine and I trained regularly based on the training plan that was mapped out before we started in May. It was hard at times, but each week we felt more accomplished. Week 11, day 5 was the day everything changed. We were scheduled for a 14 mile run, and we started the run and paced ourselves to get ready for the whole 14. Right around mile 11, we ran abruptly into “the wall” that all runners eventually get to. For those unfamiliar, “The wall” is the point where your body physically can’t exert the motion and energy to keep up with the commands your brain is sending to it. In short, our minds wanted to keep running, but our legs couldn’t do much more than walk. So we walked the last 3 miles, and when we got back to the car we questioned if we could make it through a whole 26.2 mile race.

Our last long run, that time gotta get better

It’s easy to feel defeated in a situation like this. Setting a goal and not reaching that goal would seem like a failure to some or most. However, we had to keep in mind that before we ever started training we would often struggle with shorter distance runs. Neither of us had ever completed a 13.1 mile race, and our fear was going for a 26.2 mile race and not completing it, no matter how much we wanted to in our mind. Switching to the half marathon was a tough decision, but we had to be realistic about the situation. That switch was made around labor day, and since then we’ve been training to do the best we can on this 13.1 mile race. The plan is to complete the 13.1 miles in under 3 hours, and train for the next 12 months for the full marathon in the fall of 2017.

The lesson to be learned here is having realistic goals. It’s easy to set the bar low just to get over it. It’s also just as foolish to aim high and miss the mark completely. Completing a 13.1 mile race is still something we can hang our hats on, since it will be a first for the both of us. It also gives us something to look forward to in the future, knowing just how much effort and discipline a 26.2 mile race demands. If you’re struggling with a goal, it’s time to look at yourself and be honest. Ask yourself if you’re giving it all you got. If the answer is yes, then you shouldn’t feel ashamed if you don’t reach the goal!

Race day is two weeks away. Stay tuned….

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