Preparing for Battle(field) Marathon

As I compose this, there is (technically) less than 4 days until the 2012 Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon and so this warrants a blog post to try to capture what I have done to prepare for this marathon. I would have liked to post on a more frequently basis, like in the blog-old days.

Marathon Training: The Ups and Downs

Training for this marathon has been the Dickens… it’s been the best of times and the worst of times. As with my Standard Operation Procedure for a Fall Marathon, training officially kicked off on August 1st. However, on July 29th, I pulled my hamstring and that put a damper on getting my training started like I wanted. All was good, it was at the beginning… I could deal. I would train for 12 weeks instead of 14.

For the most part, I followed my training schedule at least until I got an infection in my right leg. That infection, which was pretty annoying, kept me from running for almost 2 weeks!

Something new and different that I have been doing for this marathon season is taking TaeKwonDo classes while I am training. I had waited until after the Knoxville Marathon this past April before I started taking classes again. I was afraid that jumping into TaeKwonDo while running long distance would be too hard on my body. So, I started back with TaeKwonDo after Knoxville, so that my body would be used to the different exercises during the summer and then I would start in the fall with a TaeKwonDo base as I started running the longer distances.

So far, running and TaeKwonDo have complemented each other. TKD has improved my flexibility (GREATLY) and  body coordination (I’m thinking some parkour!) while my running has given me great stamina and recovery when it comes to free sparing in TKD. There’s a high percentages of Black Belts in the adults class, so being able to have the stamina gives me a slight advantage. Of course, I still get schooled each round, but I like learning this way from the senior students.

Marathon Training: By The Numbers

August
Total Miles: 57.12 (Average pace over all runs 8:53)

September
Total Miles: 92.58 (Average pace over all runs 9:05)

October
Total Miles: 68.49 (Average pace over all runs 9:21)

Marathon Training: to the Music

During most of my runs, I usually am listening to something on a portable device.  Now, I do not do this when it comes to sanctioned races though and I don’t seem to have any difficulty switching between the two. This Fall Marathon season, I seemed to have a Tale of Two Genres (yes, another Dickens reference).

At the start of the training, I listened to audiobooks while running: The Mood Cure by Julia Ross and a few others. However, after the infection setback, I switched to music. On the drive to Chickamauga, I’ll listen to the music but will run sans headphones. I’ll just listen to my internal speakers playing music in my head.

History apart from the Civil War Battlefield

The 2012 Chickamauga Marathon is not the first time that I have run this race. Quite the contrary, in fact, exactly 5 years from Saturday, I ran the 2007 Chickamauga Marathon in my personal record time of 4:08:38. It is my intention, even despite the setbacks, to keep the Chickamauga Marathon as holding my PR time, except with a faster time!

In 2005, I also ran at this event, except I signed up for the 10 miler race. However, I arrived late and in a rush, I started with the marathoners… 30 minutes early but I didn’t realize it until sometime later. Then took a wrong turn, was chased by dogs and ended running much more than 10 miles. Hence, ALWAYS know the course and the start time! You might just save your toe nails.

This year, I am excited to be running with Susan Stout, long time running buddy who we finally get to run in the same race!

About planet3rry

I'm a husband, father and runner in the Knoxville area. I love the way that running makes me feel and how it has changed my thinking. I am always looking for the new PR whether in the 5k or the marathon