Just keep running...just keep running!

Okay, it has been a really long time since I've published a new post, but I figured it's time. My latest hobby is...running! Eleven weeks ago my wife, Kara, and I watched Spirit of the Marathon for an at-home date night--not a particularly romantic choice, but it's what she wanted to watch so I went with it. It follows two elite and three amateur runners training for the Chicago marathon. After the movie, we looked at each other and knew: we wanted to do this and we wanted to do it together. Even after seeing the problems the runners had during training, even with Kara's experience of running four marathons and one half-marathon 12 years ago, we wanted to go for it.

I was reasonably fit, but hadn't run in about 10 years and the longest run I'd ever done was seven miles, and I only got that high once. Kara was also reasonably fit, but she hadn't run long distance since her last marathon in 2005. So the first thing we did was look up a training plan. Kara found Hal Higdon's Novice 1 training plan, which is an 18-week program that starts you out at a 3-mile run and works up to a 20-mile run on week 15. We figured we could reasonably run three miles, if we did it slow enough, so 18 weeks was our minimum threshold. Next, we needed to find a marathon.

Kara (the Queen of Internet research) found www.runningintheusa.com, which told us that there would be a marathon in Nashville (about 3 1/2 hours away) on October 1st, which was right at 18 weeks. The Greenway Marathon seemed perfect! The field from previous years seemed pretty small (fewer than 100 runners), the race fee was small ($40), it was chip-timed, and it wasn't too far away. And most importantly, finishers get a medal.

So we started to run on 5/30/2017, and have been running every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday since, even when we drove to Denver for a family reunion. (Those runs were nice because the humidity was low, but were hard because of the altitude and the hills!) Today, we finished 16 miles in just under 3 hours!

This graph shows our weekly mileage and the average pace for the run:

And this graph shows only the long runs:

I am tired, and I am sore, mostly in my calves and what I've been calling my quads, but it's right down the front of my upper legs. But as is needed with so many things, we're building "line upon line, precept upon precept," and we're doing it together. We haven't even finished our first marathon yet, but we're already talking about training for a Spring marathon.


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