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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

On the Path to a Marathon

So it was settled. I was going to run in the Houston Marathon on January 15, 2012. I was decided on this on June 1, 2011. So I had plenty of time to get in shape for it. But first, there was one obstacle to overcome prior to setting off down the trail to a 26.2 mile run. That is actually being allowed to run in the Marathon.

The Houston Marathon/Half Marathon instituted a lottery 2 years ago for the race as its popularity grew. The event allows for 24,000 participants. Those are actually broken up into roughly half are participants of the half marathon, and half are for the full. Of those slots about 1000 are held in reserve for those who would be running for a cause.  If you don't make the lottery you can join a charity and help raise money for it, which is always great to see. Some slots are also reserved for those who have participated in over 7 Houston Marathons. They get automatic entry, as do folks who did not make in via the lottery in the both of the last two years. 

So while 24,000 slots seems like a lot, its not the true number and there was some possibility of not being able to run. So I signed up for it and then had to hope I would get selected. Selections wouldn't be made for three weeks.

In the mean time I didn't want to waste a moment in starting to get ready.  

How does one go about going from not running at all to being able to run 26.2 miles in one go? For this I turned to the internet, of course. We discovered a great little program called Couch to 5K, which is supposed to do exactly what it sounds like, get you from a lazy, couch loving lifestyle, to running a 5K. It is a two month schedule to do this. To me this was an important thing. I didn't have two months prior to the start of my official training program but I wanted to take the time I had and start slowly.

Too many times in the past my mindset had been, "It doesn't matter I haven't run in months, let's go run 3 miles". This mindset was always quickly followed up by the "That 3 mile run sucked, I don't want to do that anymore. Back to the couch" mindset. So this time knowing this was going to be a major project and endeavor, I knew I needed to start slow.

I really wish it had actually worked out that way.  

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