Well, I’ve decided to run a half marathon…

I started running about three-and-a-half years ago because I was tired of getting high cholesterol reports from my doctor. Given the option–at the age of 45–to go on cholesterol medicine or change my diet and start exercising, opting for the latter seemed a no brainer.

Running is not particularly enjoyable for me, though I have a number of 5K races now under my belt (22:10ish is my PR). Lately I’ve been running exactly 1 mile as fast as I can in our hilly subdivision. This is a pre-work workout three days a week, followed by a longer run on Saturday mornings. My PR for the mile is 5:55 in a flat school parking lot near our home.

Over the last year or so three of my ministry friends have either run half marathons (Brett Allen and Phil Wages) or a marathon (the out-of-his-mind Jay Sanders, who wrote about it here). If they had not blazed the way I doubt what follows would have happened.

Today I registered for the Secret City Half Marathon to be held in November in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. It is six weeks from this weekend, so I think there is enough time. Three, four and five miles the last three weeks seems a good trend. My goal is to run 1:50 or under.


Marty Duren

Just a guy writing some things.

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  • First, have fun. Having a time for a goal is an excellent motivator in training but don’t let it get you down if you come in over that time on race day. Make it your main goal to finish while having as much fun as possible.

    Eat a lot of carbs.

    During the race, when you come up on a table where people are giving out drinks and fruits, take them. I hate bananas but I bet I ate nine of them during my race. This will help you a lot!

    If I had it to do over again, I would switch up my training a little. I think I was too concerned with just getting my miles in during the week but I wish I would have taken a day or two during each week to do non-running exercises that strengthened my core. Bear crawls, pull ups and box jumps are good examples. Towards the end of the race I was really wishing that my legs were stronger and I think these exercises would have helped. I’ve started doing them since my race and I’ve noticed a big difference in my time and overall endurance.

    Get some good music for your iPod.

    And whatever you do, stay away from the man in the skirt!

    Have a great race!

    • Marty Duren

      Thx, Jay. Very helpful.

      I have already been doing sit-ups, curls and leg exercises while watching TV. Like you I noticed my times were faster without really trying to be faster. Your explanation makes sense.

      I’ll keep an eye out for the drink stand, but I’d rather have somebody in an ice cream truck following us around.

  • I agree with Jay about the core and strength exercises for your legs. Not only will it make you faster, but it will help your legs endure running for almost 2 hours.

    One thing I do is use a water belt and carry calories with me. Some of the stuff that is handed out may upset your stomach. I always try stuff before going into a race to make sure how it feels on my stomach. Also, consider what you eat prior to the race. I generally eat oatmeal about 2 hours before the race and a banana about 30 prior to the start. I’ve read that during the you should take in about 1/2 of then calories that you are burning.

    I’m running a race in 2 weeks and my goal is also 1:50. If I get it, that will be about 8:30 faster than my previous PR.

    Good luck!

    • Marty Duren

      Thx, Jeremy. Make sure you post your time somewhere after the race.

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