Marathon training has begun

A very good friend made the mistake of saying he’d train with me if I wanted to sign up for a marathon. It would be a mis-statement to say I “wanted” to run a marathon (I certainly want to have run one), but I was deep in the throes of an early-winter-lack-of-motivation and was desperate for a reason to keep active. So…I said ok. And ok, yes…I have to admit, for full disclosure, I think it’ll be fun.

We came up with a plan for a Thanksgiving turkey trot 10k of some kind to get us started. If that went ok and my back seemed willing, we’d use that base to roll into a marathon plan.

So far, so good. We’re signed up for the Camp Letts Turkey Chase 10K on Thanksgiving Day.

Basement Training Center

So I’ve only been active in triathlon for a couple years and am not what I would call hard-core, especially in terms of “performance”, but I don’t have a problem running or riding outside in the cold. (Here I’m talking Annapolis, mid-atlantic cold…not Minnesota cold.)

Treadmill and trainer

New basement decorations - Treadmill and trainer

But this winter has been terrible for getting outside to do either. Freakin’ El Niño (which is Spanish for “the niño”) has dumped record snows and the temps have kept those twelve dozen feet of snow on the ground longer than usual. Two weeks after the this last storm and the sidewalks are still covered, travel lanes narrow, and almost every intersection is a blind turn thanks to the piles of dirty white stuff. Translation: train indoors or just plain nap. While I’m an inappropriately huge fan of the practice, no amount of Nap Mastery is going to get me through a half ironman un-embarrassed. With a new house (read: more space and less money) we’ve dropped our various gym memberships and have gone anti-social. A craigslist treadmill and a cheap, sale-priced-plus-membership-club-discounted cycle trainer have become my torture dujour.

Basement view of the South Forty

This indoor stuff is all new to us but I’ve already found the motivation to start work on the “distraction center”. 30 minutes on the treadmill is doable but, even with a nice view of the snowy south forty, 90 minutes on the trainer without more stimulation (read: brain candy) is just cruel and unusual.

I’ve started my Eagleman training

Eagleman is a great 70.3 event put on by the Columbia Triathlon Association in Cambridge, MD every June. I volunteered last year and came away terribly inspired…as I always tend to be any time I’m around these events and the people who populate them. So I signed up. Ha! (I’ve only done two other tris: Lums Pond Sprint two years ago and Columbia Oly last year.)

Ok, technically I “started” training a month ago but it’s been a rocky road. Between illness, record snowfall, and travel my schedule has been a mess.

BUT NOW, I’m totally on track. We have a cheap treadmill, cheaper cycle trainer and core ball in the basement plus I’m doing a great “tri” masters swim course that is really kicking my ass. That all bodes well for not injuring or embarrassing myself in June. I have to face the truth that my ego puts ‘don’t embarrass myself’ a very close third on my list of goals. (‘Finish’ is number one and ‘don’t injure myself’ is number two.)

I’ve known for a while that, for me, ‘fear of embarrassment’ is a stronger motivator than any other. ‘Live a long healthy life’ is way too long-term and abstract to get me out of bed.

Hard to run or ride in this.

Hard to run or ride in this.