In the last week of 2010, I took a simple step that hopefully will have long term positive consequences. I registered to run in the 2011 Manitoba Marathon, June 19, 2011. I’ve never run a marathon or even a half-marathon before, although I have twice run a leg of the really. So, why start with a full marathon, rather than a half-marathon?
Three reasons: One, I’ve never dreamed of running a half-marathon. Even in my most couch potatoey days I’ve always felt the allure of running a marathon. Two, to achieve the goal of running the marathon rather than the half-marathon will compel me to fully and properly train for the event. Three, which is in someways more a corollary of number two, is that in putting in this extrra effort I’m hoping to reach a level where I can maintain a commitment to exercise, healthy eating and weight loss that will continue long after the race is over.
For the last 8 years or so I have been attempting to control my weight, by bringing it down to a reasonable level, and maintaining it there. Unfortunately during that time I’ve tended to go up and down between 185 and 215 pounds. The most noticeable result of this is a lack of energy during the times my weight gets higher. This tends to take both a physical and emotional toll. So, I’m hoping this time around to see if I can push beyond the barriers that have held me back in previous attempts.
As the weight loss will come with the continued practice of exercise and healthy eating, (I know this from experience) it is in one sense, the least of my concerns. In addition, I intend to repeat the biggest loser competition that I was in last year, so I will for several weeks in my process be meeting regularly with a supportive group of people as I work towards this goal.
The exercise is the toughest part of the challenge. I do not like gyms and fitness centers at all, so I will be doing my running ourdoors in Winnipeg winter weather. The other training, stretching and resistance, I intend to do in my apartment. The most important part of this will be maintaining my schedule. In preparation for this, I downloaded my first App for my phone. It’s called RunKeeper Pro, and it is being offered free for the month of January (although I was having trouble getting this link to work earlier). This program tracks time, distance and a few other things, and allows you to build an archive of your training times. I will also be creating a schedule of other exercises for myself.
I think that the healthy eating component should be fairly easy to maintain, but after reading this Washington Post article I realize that it’s quite easy to fool myself into thinking that I am doing so, when I’m maybe only half or three-quarters of the way there. This article also serves me as a warning note, as it’s easy to fool myself on the whole question of running a marathon. Can I run this race? At this point I have to say, I don’t know for certain, but I think I have a much better chance of doing so if I’m regularly checking in and being honest with myself about my efforts. I intend to update my progress here from time to time.