I’ve been thinking about running the marathon again, but I’ve been half in and half out because I want to make sure the other facets of my life are running as smoothly as possible before I commit to another time goal. However, after working on the other areas of my life, I remembered what I always remember around now: having the time goal actually helps me with the other stuff, not the other way around. Of course, there’s no magic bullet. And whether you train or not, life will still have its ups and downs. Knowing that, might as well equip yourself for the downs and get in tip-top shape and stop eating candy and drinking bourborn because if the inevitable pain and suffering is coming—better to be physically well prepared.
Today I took the first step on a new program, which was prepared for me by Michelle Clarke, who recently won the Canadian masters world record and is a nutso runner. I’m trying to break three hours at the Toronto Marathon on May 1 and to prepare, I’ll run the Chilly Half on March 1 and Around the Bay on April 3. Today I ran 15K and did seven repeats for two minutes at something like 3:55. The two-minute bursts are fun and a little bit easy. I can run fast for a short period of time pretty well, even though by the seventh set I had to work. It did require a lot of clock watching at first. But gradually I settled into my pace and used road markers to break up the time and laid off my watch.
As far as gear goes, I’m not monogamous. I wore Mizuno shoes and Adidas pants, Nike socks and a Brooks coat over an Adidas long-sleeved shirt over an STWM race shirt. I have Asics gloves and a MEC hat. Most runners probably dress like that—a mishmash of whatever we have. All of the gear I’ve come across has done me well and I don’t really recommend one brand over the other. I have a good winter Nike coat and ran most of my marathons in Saucony and haven’t had any problems. My problems come around 29K, especially if I go out to fast and don’t properly train.
I’m going again for the three hour marathon, even though my last marathon left me feeling like every muscle in my body was slowly being drained of blood. I felt achy even in my fingers and my arms felt impossible to life. I remember crying out for my wife and muttering something like: “It’s too much.” I was hobbling east on Queen Street saying such odd stuff out loud. Tomorrow the workout is 12K and Thursday I’ll do 13K with five hills at the effort level of a 5K race. I have a long way to go to get to my target. I need a 1:26 half marathon in a month and to stop eating a large popcorn at Star Wars by myself. But it’s good to focus on something and try hard and break everything down and rebuild it again and it’s good to have a plan for three months. I tried the other way. Frankly, I felt a bit lost.