|09-30-2005, 09:45 AM||#1|
Last year, on a whim, I decided to run the Seattle Marathon on November 8th, 3 1/2 weeks before race day (Sunday after Thanksgiving). I had never run a foot race before and felt that I had no interest really. One of my climbing buddies was basically unavailable for climbing that summer because he was always "training for a marathon" and could not run up hills with me with pack on because it messed up his training regime. I decided that he was lame, and that training for a marathon was for sissies and I was going to prove it.
I had been doing Crossfit for all of 3 months and was relatively clueless in terms of how Crossfit worked and what it was all about. That summer I had gone on 3 or 4 grueling trail runs, all over 2.5 hour+ and 3500 ft elevation gain. I was probably running for about an hour once or twice a week, just to keep the legs moving. I did not consider myself a runner but was running just the same. Not so vital stats: 29 years old, 5'10" 180, probably a bit more body fat than today, basically good knees with a few telemark skiing complaints from the right one. The day after signing up for the race, I did a single 20 mile (or so) run, with the idea of checking out the running shoes, and the fuel and water requirements of my body as well as checking the clothing for chafing and to learn how to cope with it. I was a little sore, so I worked out the recovery with Epson Salts bath and ice on the knees. The following week I bought some BodyGlide, some proper running shorts and a new pair of shoes. I then went running for an hour or so just to make sure that the shoes fit and than the body was happy with the plan. Did not run again until 5 days before race day, when I ran for about 45 minutes just for fun. Then ceased all exercise, including Crossfit/WOD and was restless for the 4 days before the race.
Race day arrived, I ate a nice big breakfast, walked down the hill to the starting line about a mile from Mom's house. I started out slow as I was advised by all of my marathoner friends. I hit my stride around mile 7. I passed a couple not-so-athletic highschool friends who had been training for about 9 months around mile 10 feeling strong, I resisted making fun of them for wasting all of their time in training, as I had two months before at a dinner party. Of course I hit the wall around mile 22, as everyone does. Powered through and finished at just under 4 hours (Toot-toot there goes my own horn), my time was about 5 minutes worse than my climbing buddy's best time and he has done 10+ marathons and trains like crazy. My legs were cramped after the race, it took a long time to walk back up the hill to Mom's house for the first of two or three Epson salts baths that day I also iced the knees. I walked funny for the rest of the day. Monday (the following day) I was walking a little bit better and was feeling pretty strong. By Tuesday I was back at Crossfit North, doing the workouts like nothing had happened.
The most remarkable thing about whole experience was that it was fun. I met and talked with some really cool people. The folks on the sidelines were really cool. A dude played drums in the bed of his pickup for our entertainment. Everyone cheered, some folks set up speakers in their yards and played us music, others handed out water, little kids danced, everyone was really positive. I expected to go out to prove that marathoning was stupid and not that hard. What I learned was that it was not that hard (ok, it hurt for the last half hour) and was a heap of fun.
Fast forward 10 months. I have been doing Crossfit for about 13 months now. Workouts like FGB and Chelsea have gone from hell to fun. I hit the wall with my fitness and then discovered that nutrition is a component and have been working on the Zone diet and the tuning of it for about 6 months (with increasing success). I have been running less because, well I have not been too inspired. I still run for about an hour once every three weeks or so. I have gone trail running once this summer, which hurt and I bonked, possibly due to a need for more tuning with the Zone. My main focus has been Crossfit.
Last night I signed up for the Seattle Marathon. With less running under my belt in the last 6 months (although last year I had little) and more Crossfit I am curious as to how I will do. I plan on about the same routine, a big long run in the next couple weeks, and then a few other runs just for fun (never more than about an hour and a half in duration). I figure that this will be a bit of a better test for the Crossfit regime for Marathon running, which is pretty specialized in terms of training vs GPP.
Would anyone like to join me in the stupidity of the Seattle Marathon purely for scientific purposes? Would love to do this with some other Crossfitters either from Seattle or from anywhere else. Would love to compare notes with marathoners in other cities with similar or difference regimes the world over.
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