Tuesday, March 24, 2009

For Your Viewing Pleasure

This is a trailer for a documentary that follows a few different marathoners in one marathon. Even though it is a preview for a movie, it's worth watching just to get a feeling for what people experience from this challenge. Each runner is different, and doing it for different reasons. It really seems to capture a lot of emotion.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Official first day of training!

Hello all, Alicia here.  I started my very first day of training today with an easy 30 minute run.  It was a beautiful spring day with blue skies, the smell of fresh cut grass and the sounds of birds singing; a great day to start something new.   I took my two dogs with me, a black lab named Royal Flush and a miniature dachshund named Shiner.  They both did great and had a fun time although I don't think I'll be taking my dachshund once the runs get longer.  Royal on the other hand could probably run the marathon today and still be up for a game of fetch at the end.  

As a non runner (6 miles is the most I've ever run at one time) I am apprehensive at the thought of 26, count em, 26! miles but am trying to stay positive and take things one day at a time.  I'll try to post here as much as possible but when school starts up again (I'm currently on spring break) it will probably be hit or miss.  First "long" run (0.5 miles) tomorrow :)

Trivia about Marathons

Everyone keeps asking me, "How long is a marathon, anyway?" along with many other questions.

  • A marathon is 26.2 miles.

  • The marathon commemorates the 25 mile run of Phidippides (a professional long-distance runner whose job was to communicate messages over long distances faster than a horse) to Athens, to announce the victory of the Greeks over the Persians in a historic battle.

  • Marathon running, as a competition, was introduced in the first modern Olympic games in Athens in 1896, still measuring at 25 miles.

  • In the London Olympics of 1908, the course was still 25 miles. Queen Alexandra requested that the course be changed so that she could watch the start from Buckingham Palace, thus extending the distance an extra 1.2 miles, to accomodate the queen. That distance has stuck and marathons are still run at 26.2 miles.

  • It's a tradition of marathoners to say, "God save the queen" at the 25 mile mark.

  • Only 1/10th of 1% of the population has ever completed a marathon, even with the popularity of marathon running growing by the thousands.

So We're Running a Marathon

One day, a few weeks ago, I decided to run a marathon this year.

My dad, a veteran marathon runner, was one of my first calls. He made sure that I knew what I was committing to...that it would be HARD, mostly.

Isaac's sister, Madeline, has been taking a running class at her college (Oberlin Conservatory). I asked her if she'd be willing to run it with me. Her first reaction was, " Well, I ran four miles today, and it was really boring." But she was in. After all, it's a challenge that only 1/10th of 1% (yes, that's a real statistic!) of the population ever takes on and completes!

A few days later, while talking with Madeline, I asked her if she thought Alicia (Isaac and Madeline's other sister) would be willing to take the challenge on with us.

So I texted Alicia, and she called me back within seconds! Turns out, it's something that she has always wanted to accomplish.

I officially registered for the marathon today!

I am officially committed to training for and completing what may be the biggest challenge in my life so far.

I've given Madeline and Alicia access to update this blog at their leisure. Bear in mind, they're pret-ty busy. Madeline is studying opera at the most prestigious conservatory in the country, and that means putting in a lot of work, practice, and studying. Alicia, last I checked, was the manager for her mother's medical practice, taking care of her horse Vinnie, spending time with her husband and beautiful dogs, AND in school full time.

So, while I hope they'll be sharing their joys, trials, and tribulations of marathon training, I think we'll all understand if they don't frequently get around to it.

We will all be using the same training program, and will be staying on track together. There's just one catch: Alicia is in Oregon, Madeline is in Ohio, and I'm in Arizona.