And so.... Marathon Training Commences

I can't believe it is officially that time again.  I am very excited to start official marathon training once again.  After completing my first marathon back in November, the Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon, I kinda crashed and my mileage went down drastically. I have yet to get back to the to the long runs I was doing before starting marathon training last year.  I mainly blame a lack of a goal for this.

I had already decided some time ago that I would be doing the Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon again this year - I had tentatively decided this when I crossed the 26.2 finish line last year.  I knew the time was getting close that I needed to select and start a training plan for this years marathon, but figured I still had a few weeks.  I started to question my timing when I came across Kym Klass' post yesterday on DailyMile saying that she was starting half marathon training for the Chickamauga.  I started getting worried that I was a little late.  This was confirmed further when I read Drew's post yesterday at Running Recon mentioning that his training for the Chickamauga was starting today.

Needless to say the time had come to get a plan and get going.

Last year I used Hal Higdon's Intermediate II Marathon Training Guide and liked it so I was quite confident in using another one of his plans this year.  I want to take my training and performance to the next level so I decided to take it up a notch and use his Advanced I Marathon Training Guide this year.  Looking at the plan it starts pretty close to where I am currently running except the long run distances and the speed work/hill work frequency.  My long run's have fallen prey to laziness because I have been running my daughter's long runs with them on Sunday mornings, and have not taken the extra initiative to get the extra few miles before or after their long runs.  I have been doing tempo runs, but the hill repeats and intervals have been few and far between and only at the Tuesday Night Fleet Feet Running Group.

This extra weight has got to go!
Another thing that has been looming over my head since the marathon last November has been my additional weight.  Back in July of 2008, just a week after breaking my collarbone I was the lowest I have ever been at 160.  In the months following that when I was not able to run, I crept up to about 180.  I dropped very little through the marathon training and on race day was 177.  Following the marathon I dropped my mileage drastically as mentioned, but didn't stop the marathon training as it pertained to my food intake.  I put on a few pounds in the month following the race (it didn't help that it was the holidays!) and I have yet to take it back off.

I am currently 183lbs, but as this marathon training kicks off, so does my conscious effort to drop 20lbs (there.... I said it!).  This will be difficult, and will require a lot of support from those around me and in my virtual word, just as it did the first time around when I lost 90lbs back in 2007.

To help with the progress and incentive I have posted a current picture taken today right before heading out for my first 3 mile marathon training run.  If you look really close you can see on the shirt what happens to your training shirts when you use a petroleum based product instead of BodyGlide for your long runs in the humidity.  All I can say is.... don't do it!

I have joined a group of mostly women runners over at Mom vs Marathon for a Summer of Weightloss.  I am hoping to keep going at the end of summer and lose these 20+ pounds before 26.2 day in November.

What else am I doing?

In addition to the marathon I have signed up for the 13.1 Marathon Atlanta.  Last year was the first year of this race and it was a lot of fun.  Just like last year it falls perfectly in the marathon training schedule at the beginning of October.  Last year I set a new Half Marathon PR of 1:44:53 and as you can see in the Race Report I absolutely loved it.

I also am going to (re)start to bring in some cross training.  I am not sure yet what I am going to do whether it be at the gym or bringing back the 100 Pushups plan to see if I can actually complete it this time :)  Either way it will not be the only thing I do.  If you have any suggestions or recommendations I would love to have them.

And so....... the time has come.  Wish me luck and hopefully you will stick around to cheer me on and keep me motivated as I start down the path of the 26.2 Quest x2.  If you are starting training, in the middle of training, or about to start training for a marathon, be it your first or 50th let me know as I would love to follow your progress as well.

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