Challenge me

While the world around me crumbles amidst chaos, I crave the calm of early morning walks and evening runs. My body craves the movement and my mind needs the time to work things out or simply to zone out. My last running adventure took me to the Marine Corps Marathon in October 2019. Muscle memory of nine previous marathons pushed me over the finish line in my slowest time yet. I was untrained and out of shape. I am not recommending running a marathon under either conditions but I committed to it and I knew I could walk the distance if needed.

Shelter in place due to COVID has slowed life down a bit. As my walks gave way to runs and my body began craving better food, my mind began dreaming of marathons. I love training for races, all of it…training plans, process, goals, spreadsheets, daydreams and digging deep to get to the starting line.

I asked my husband where we should go for my next marathon. It has been a while since my family joined me for a race. He said Lake Tahoe. I googled and found the Lake Tahoe Marathon in October. As I browsed the website I encountered the Triple Marathon. Three days, three marathons, two states, circumnavigate all 72 miles of Lake Tahoe plus 6 miles. Why run one marathon when I can run three? Since life is so unpredictable right now and I need adequate time to get fit and train, I have my sights set on running the Tahoe Triple Marathon in 2021.

I have developed a three phase plan. The first phase which runs from now until the end of the year is focused on losing the weight I gained during my year of work turmoil and an unexplained running injury just prior. I am aiming to lose 15 to 35 pounds between now and 12/31/2020. During this time I will continue to walk and run, start incorporating strength training, yoga/stretching, HIIT and food journaling on My Fitness Pal. I am no stranger to this process. I will not incorporate any crazy fad diets or weight loss gimmicks. I will go back to a whole food plant based diet with calories in not exceeded calories burned.

Phase two will begin on 1/1/2021. This phase will focus on speed training. I simply will not have time to train for three marathons if I do not improve my speed. There just is not enough time in the day if I cannot sustain a 10 minute mile. Ideally I will be running much faster than that. Though I will be focusing on shorter distances throughout this phase, I will work up to a half marathon distance.

Phase three, marathon training, will begin on 7/1/2021. At this point I am aim to be starting long runs at the half marathon distance. When I ran my current marathon PR in 2013 I succeeded in exceeding all of my expectations by incorporating speed work, yoga, strength, weekly runs up Skinner Mountain and plyometrics. If it worked once I am hopeful it will work again but there is a lot of time to adjust the plan if needed. There will be back to back long runs and lots of early mornings.

I have already heard from a couple of people in my life that I am crazy and I will likely just blow out my knees. I am aware of how hard running is on the body. I am attune with my body. I know what feels right and what does not. I will know if I should stop, change plans or pull back. Yes this is definitely crazy, lofty, possibly unattainable but…

“You should set goals beyond your reach so you always have something to live for.” – Ted Turner

“You should set goals beyond your reach so you always have something to live for.” – Ted Turner

3 thoughts on “Challenge me

  1. Whoa what a plan! Sounds like the exact opposite of what we are going thru sheltered in place. Can’t wait to follow along as you meet this challenge!

  2. Aimee!!!! So glad to read your thoughts in this space again…missed that. I have NO DOUBT that you will CRUSH this challenge 🙂

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