Against the advice of most every marathon training article I've read, and defying the general influence of common sense, I decided to take a shot at running a marathon this past Saturday. It was not a sanctioned event, not an "official" marathon, just 26.2 miles around my neighborhood (it's a big neighborhood). And let me tell you, that last 6.2 is a monster. I thought my Garmin running watch was out of whack. Not to mention my hamstrings.
|Karnazes at the South Pole...|
|...and in 120-degree Death Valley.|
Let me back up real quick and tell you what inspired me to go the distance in the midst of my training program. I just finished reading a book entitled Ultramarathon Man by Dean Karnazes, a guy who is a running freak by anyone's definition. Karnazes has made a name for himself by running insane distances under even more insane conditions. For example, he ran a marathon at the South Pole. Who was passing out water (ice?) at the aid stations, penguins? He's also run the Badwater Ultramarathon, a 135-mile ultramarathon in Death Valley (temperatures around 120F), several times.. This guy even participated in a 199-mile relay where every team consisted of twelve members who took turns running six-mile shifts. Well, not every team. Team Dean only had one member. That would be Dean.
So after reading his book, I found myself thinking, "Only a 26.2 mile marathon? Suddenly that doesn't seem like such a big deal."
The good news is that I made it through in one piece, even beating the goal of five hours I've set for myself in the Orange County Marathon coming up in May. Saturday's time was 4:59:19.
So even though I now know I can do it, I'm not going that distance again until it's official. Despite the Karnazes-inspired "go for it" moment, it really is pretty strenuous, especially the last stretch. No need to overdo it at this point.
Another highlight of the week was setting a new personal record (PR) in the 5K, 27 minutes, 58 seconds.
As my scheduled events approach, I've already started looking at others in the future. The Disneyland Half Marathon in September sounds fun, and if I run the Beach Cities Series (Orange County Marathon, Long Beach Marathon, and Surf City Marathon) I'd get a really cool bonus medal so I'm thinking about going for that.
But not the South Pole. I'm crazy, but I'm not Karnazes-crazy.
1/1/13: 10 miles, 1:47:57
1/3/13: 3.1 miles (5K), 27:58 PR
1/5/13: 26.2 miles (Marathon), 4:59:19
1/8/13: 5.02 miles, 49:21
Ontario Mills 10K
Hosted by the Christian Okoye Foundation
January 19, 2013