The Commitment Of Training For A Marathon
^Click Arrow Above To Listen
What’s involved in getting ready to run 26.2 miles?
Well I guess for me, being blind, there were two primary things: commitment and a support team.
Once I decided that I was going to run a full marathon, I had to make an absolutely unwavering commitment that I was going to do what it took to train properly for it. I knew that this meant that from January till July I was going to be running, and running a lot. My daily schedule would revolve around my job and training. Other things would have to fit in or be left out. I had to be confident that I was up for that. No matter what, once I found my training program, I would have to stick with it rain or shine, regardless of whether I was tired or just lethargic and didn’t feel like running. This was a marathon after all, and not for wimps.
I was older and maybe a bit wiser from earlier days, when I just ran, on a whim and completely unprepared, 16 miles one day just to see if I could do it. That was 10 years before, and age had been on my side then. I was in my 40′s now, after all, and not seeing as well either. My eye disease had progressed to the point that I wouldn’t be able to do my longer training runs by myself. The short ones around town would be fine, because I had familiar trails, controlled paths that I didn’t have to worry too much about navigation or traffic. But for anything over 12 miles, I would need to figure out a safe route and probably have to have someone with me.
I made sure this experience would be as well thought out and well executed as possible because I really wanted this to be an enjoyable journey. I understood that the process was just as critical as the final result, especially since I knew going in that this may be the only time I want to or am able to run a marathon. After serious consideration, I decided that I was willing to make the commitment to the intensive running schedule.
But I also had to be committed to the other sacrifices it would involve, beyond just running a lot of miles every week. It meant getting up at the first hint of dawn in the summer to get my runs in before the heat of the day, and it meant crawling out of a soft, warm, cozy bed in the dead of winter to go for a run bundled up in my less fashionable winter gear, and running during transitional seasons when I couldn’t be exactly sure what the weather was going to do, or how to dress for it.
It also meant sacrifice at the table: ordering grilled chicken instead of the Bar-B-Q ribs. Paying closer attention to what might upset my digestive system, as I didn’t want to have to postpone or miss a run cause my stomach was unhappy or I wasn’t feeling well. It was a sacrifice, but it also felt good that I was on a mission, striving towards a goal.
This commitment thing so far involved sacrificing my sleep schedule, my eating routines, my fashion coordination, and…Oh yeah, my social life. Once I really got into some serious miles, I knew it would take time away from my family and friends, and things that they might be doing that I might not get to do because it conflicted with my training schedule.
But that is where a good support team comes into play. As I mentioned previously, one of the reasons I never considered running a marathon before was I did not have a support team. For me, that was truly the most vital and important key to train for and run a marathon. I could run all the miles I wanted to, but I knew without the support of my family, I would not be successful in my attempt to run a full marathon. Fortunately I did have the full support of my partner, family, and friends, so it became a goal that I could focus on achieving without having to contend with doubt as to my ability to attain it. Obviously I had some logistical obstacles to contend with due to my vision issues, but my commitment was strong and my support team was in place. I didn’t know exactly what the journey would entail, but I was ready to get started . . . training for a 26.2 mile marathon run six months down the road….gotta run.
How ‘bout it?
Tags: 26.2 miles, blind, blindness, commitment, eye disease, marathon, marathon training, proper training, run, Running, running schedule, runs, support team, train, training, training program, training runs, Vision, vision issues