Tuesday, May 22, 2012

1st Marathon, am I crazy to do this?

I think I'm crazy. This Sunday, May 27, 2012, I will be running in the 24th Key Bank Vermont City Marathon. Many runners would ordinarily look forward to such a race. To be honest I have mixed feelings. While I'm excited to run as its a passion of mine, I can't help but cringe because I didn't stick to my training regimen. This past year I began the first year in residence of my MA program at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. I really assumed that I would be able to balance school and training etc., but it turns out that was just a poor expectation. Between all the heavy readings, papers, group work, etc., I managed to get in a few runs a week at the very best. In fact the longest run I completed was a 15 flat miler in Burlington, VT during mid-March break. 

So now I sit, with less than a week to go cringing when I think of this race. I shared my concerns with a colleague who ran the London Marathon with very minimal training, in fact less than me. He also shared that this marathon in particular attracts a crowd of people who haven't done proper training. So this not only makes me feel better about my circumstances, but also makes not want to drop out. Given recent news of a 30 year old woman who died and her absolute lack of training, I wonder how I will respond on the course. There are a few things going for me. I'm somewhat in shape but last year would've been the year for me to run the full thing (instead I did a relay leg). I felt like the hulk last year I was so strong.

Thanks to this colleague I could resist googling "how to finish a marathon with modest training." This is the advise I found. This video is a clip from Sean Ogle, a 2011 runner and survivor of the Eugene Marathon, with little training. 
Mr. Ogle finished with an official time of 5:29.05,  with only an 8 mile run "the longest of my life," before quitting his training. He also credited his ego for getting him to the finish line. The other advice I found was: "Running a Marathon with Minimal Training" by Matt Moody, Ph.D. It gives 3 simply stated points:
  1. Energy Sources: Keeping Fuel in tank
  2. Hydration
  3. Pacing     
This race is 26.2 mile or 42k and is on behalf of The Global Medical Relief Fund (GMRF). http://www.gmrfchildren.org/ . GMRF is a small US based NGO that aids children who are missing or have lost the use of limbs or eyes, or have been severely burned, or have been injured due to war, natural disaster or illness. These children are not able to receive the medical care needed and GMRF assists them in this.  I initially donated funds after seeing the segment on 60 minutes. I was inspired after seeing the story of a you boy from Iraq injured from a roadside bomb. Operations change the lives of these children. My initial donation was modest and I wanted to do more so I wrote a letter to GMRF. They suggested I fundraise on their behalf. Some may be wondering what a Race to Raise fundraiser is or why I would torture myself to do it.  A Race to Raise is an event where a runner(s) run on behalf of a designated charity. Runners raise money by requesting funds from the public. At no cost to GMRF, I will be running in the VCM. I am attempting to raise at least $5,000 for GMRF by asking for donations. To learn more about GMRF please see the link:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=XDHMZkQMVvE 

Please consider helping by:
  1. Donating: https://npo1.networkforgood.org/Donate/Donate.aspx?npoSubscriptionId=1004824 Under 'Dedication' enter: Ariel's Raise to Raise Fundraiser (this is very important as it tracks the funds) 
  2. Hanging some flyers up (see flyer) 
  3. Liking the Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ArielsRaceToRaiseFundraiser 
  4. Spreading the word Encouraging me!  (I appreciate it!)

While I'm excited to find advice, I'm hoping it helps. I have joined a pacing team and I'm carb loading and drinking water/fluids like a fish but this ego thing is stumping me. I've already said to myself if my knee is killing I will walk. Or that I will do a half run/jog. Sad part about all this is that I'm thinking that I won't reach my goal of a time range between 4:00-4:30. I/we won't know how this will go until race day. All can do until then is minimal light walks and relaxation. Worrying will make me feel worse. The last thing to say is that I have will power and the thousands of supporters that come out will help me. I will do my very best to finish this race for the charity I'm running on behalf of and for myself (bucket list) no matter what. 

Looking forward to your comments

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