OK I am officially in training mode for the Cleveland Marathon. I have my plan and I'm off and running. I have to admit I am probably in the worst shape I have been in to start a training program since I began running. I pretty much shut down for three months at the end of 2011 to try to recharge the desire to run and rehab some injuries. Let's face it as much I like to run having two boys involved in sports and a quasi-demanding job makes it tough to get miles in. I think it is important to let your body relax once in a while. Maybe I took the relaxing to an extreme but I def needed it.
So here I am doing two and three mile runs to get back into shape. This has been tough for me. I am used to running five miles for my short runs and being able to roll out of bed and do double digit runs with no problem. Not this year. The other day I was having a conversation on twitter about running with my friends Gina Paris, Carrie Wilkerson and Paul Evans. Paul is planning to run his first marathon this year and Gina and Carrie are planning on running some 5K's this year. Gina and Carrie both talked about how they needed to start slow and build up.
Eureka moment...They are right.
It's not about the ten previous marathons I have run it's about the next marathon. As I think back when I first started running on January 3, 2005 (yes that is the exact date) I weighed 235 pounds and had to run (11:30 pace) / walk (much slower) my first three mile training run. Later that year I was crossing the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge starting the New York City Marathon. In 2008 I was coming off of an injury filled year and really had to take my training slow and I was still able to set my marathon PR at the Cleveland Marathon.
That's the best part of running. Anyone can run. Anyone can run a marathon. Sure you have to commit and put in a lot of miles but you can do it. All you really need is to take that next step forward.
Now that I think about it doing that 2 miles yesterday was pretty cool.
I suppose the answer to this post title is yes but let me tell you re-starting is much harder than starting. I just finished my first run of 2012. It was only three miles which was plenty. I took it easy and probably could have gone farther but not much farther. Luckily I have until May to add some miles. Of course I expected to have to start from scratch this year. I haven't actually done any "training" since August and the month of December was totally a wash given the whopping 18 miles I ran the entire month (that total makes me laugh). Having said all of that this may actually be a good thing. When I shut down the training after the Emerald City Half I was totally burned out. As hard as I was training I kept slowing down, my knee was hurting, I was going crazy at work and chasing the kids from activity to activity and I wasn't sleeping. None of those things are real conducive to high level athletic performance. I do feel recharged. I have missed running. I have missed my running friends. I have missed the neighborhoods and the streets that I have become used to running. I also think that for me I needed to let my body relax. Maybe I went a little overboard on the relaxing and eating but I needed it. I know some of my best performances have come in spring races after a rest in December (marathon PR in the Cleveland Marathon in 2008).
It's time to think about 2012 racing! I've spent the past 12 months away from the challenge of 26.2. Sure I've done 5Ks, 10Ks and half marathons but I guess after 10 marathons there was something about 26.2 that I pulled me back in. It's a love/hate relationship but I have really missed the marathon. Here are a few things that I have missed:
During training being able to say "I did 17 this morning".
Doing my favorite 25 mile training route from the Columbus Running Company store in Dublin, Ohio to The Ohio State University and back.
Starting a long run in the rain, transitioning to a beautiful sunny morning and finishing in the snow.
And my favorite...Getting up at 4:45 am so I can get 10 in before work.
OK so I am back. After taking it easy the past few months I'm rested and re-energized. My first task was to pick a race. What marathon should I run? Easy choice...the Cleveland Marathon. I've run the half marathon once and the full marathon twice and Cleveland is where I set my marathon PR of 4:09:21 so of course this is where I picked.
After I decided to go north to the shore of Lake Erie for my next 26.2 mile adventure I was discussing my decision on Twitter with Anne, a fellow marathoner who is also planning to run Cleveland. I guess the good folks at the Cleveland Marathon were eavesdropping and asked both Anne and I to be "Official 2012 Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon Bloggers" ~ Nice! There are some pretty cool bloggers writing for the marathon so I am honored to be included with them. This should be a fun experience.
I'll be working on my training plan over the next couple of weeks and building some base fitness (because right now I have none). Most importantly I'll be getting back into that good running groove.
It's New Years day 2012...and there was much rejoicing. I don't know what it is about the first day of the new calender year that always motivates me to get going. I don't make resolutions but I don't really have to. My race schedule and training, typically starting in January, takes care of the resolution thing as it relates to fitness. Working toward a spring race improves my aerobic fitness and I automatically eat better. So I've got that going for me.
Having said all of that I do have a few goals I hope to attain.
Running ~ As to my running...I am a mid-pack marathoner. I started seriously running in 2005 training for the Cap City Half Marathon. After I finished I was hooked and and decided that I wanted to be a marathoner. Since then I have been a marathoner 10 times. I decided to take 2011 off from running 26.2 miles. I felt that I had gotten into a slow pace rut. I spent this past year focused on half marathons. More speed work less long runs. It did help but I ended up hurting my knee and over-training. By September I was totally burned out. Since then I have taken it easy and now I am ready to take 2012 by storm. I am committed to running the Cleveland Marathon on May 20. This will make my third Cleveland Marathon. My marathon PR was at the 2008 Cleveland Marathon in 4:09:21. I really like the course. It's pretty flat (perfect for me) and has good fan support.
MichaelBowers26two blogging ~ I have two blogs, this one and Ideas To Deals. Ideas To Deals is my first and primary blog. I have been writing business post there since 2005. This blog is more difficult for me. I guess this is where I get a little more personal and share more about me. I am committed to write and vlog here in 2012.
Ideas To Deals ~ 2012 will be the year when I take Ideas To Deals beyond the blog. I think there are a number of ways that I can help more entrepreneurs, small business owners and economic development entities be more successful. I plan to showcase more successful business owners and experts from around the country. Stay tuned because it is going to be fun.