Today marks what was supposed to be the beginning of my Walt Disney World Marathon training plan. The problem is that in my infinite wisdom, I decided to register for three half marathons in the fall, and therefore my training regiment got ramped up a couple of months early. What I am doing is training for the Tupelo 14.2 as I normally would, and then pick up my finalized marathon plan from there, incorporating the 4 Bridges Half Marathon and St. Jude Half Marathon into the training. It may be a somewhat ambitious plan, but I am confident that I can do it.
I was talking to a friend that has ran two marathons as well as multiple half marathons. And honestly, our talk spooked me for a moment. He was talking about the horrors of his last marathon, and I was thinking “what have I gotten myself into?” But then, I took a deep breathe and realized that is an obtainable goal and one of my friend’s biggest issues with his marathon was the boredom over the last half. This boredom is something that I was anticipating and one of the reasons why I am running at Disney. My friend agreed that the distractions during the second half should be beneficial to me. I know that running a marathon is not an easy task and will require effort and dedication. I know that there will be pain. I know that I will be questioning my sanity while I am out there. I know that I will be wishing for death at some points. I know that I will feel invincible at some points. I know that I can achieve this goal. I know that I will be able to call myself a marathon finisher.
I’m a bit of a nerd and I like to mess with numbers, so I’m going to look at the US population that has ran a marathon. I remember reading somewhere before, probably Runners World, that only .5% of the US population has ran a marathon. And I would assume that this number means the runner actually completed the marathon. I know for me, it doesn’t count unless you can complete the task. And to put this number into perspective, the US population in 2012 was 313.9 million people, so .5% of this is 1,569,500 people. That number on its own seems large, but is roughly the size of the Milwaukee metro area, which is the thirty-ninth largest metropolitan area in the US. So the city of Milwaukee ran a marathon last year!
I purchased a shirt from Today’s Miles last week to have another form of motivation for my runs. The idea behind the shirts is the shirt you run in displays the mileage that you are running that day. Their site has a plethora of distances to achieve this, but I went a different direction with it. I chose a shirt that displays 26.2 because that is the mileage I am working towards. That way, each time I wear it, I have the subtle reminder of my goal. I might buy a couple more for this reason.