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Exercise! Love it or hate it, let's motivate each other to just DO IT!

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Old 12-20-2009, 05:17 AM   #1
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Default From a hammock to a tough trail marathon in 21 months. Possible?

So, I don't do well with weight or pound goals. It feels frustrating and slow and has (obviously) not been a rallying point for me to get behind.

But I think I found something I can rally behind. I want to complete the Equinox marathon in Fairbanks, Alaska in September 2011.

Currently I'm at my heaviest I've been (~270 lbs, 5'10"). I'm not completely out of shape. I managed a cross country ski trip a few days ago and several good tromps through the snow for the past few weeks. I ran cross-country in high school and have begun to get back on the horse, so to speak (picked hiking back up and have done some run/walk - mostly walk on the treadmill).

I've been checked out by my orthopedist about a month ago (i've had several surgeries and a foot that's half metal) and was given the go ahead to train on the condition that I come in regularly for exams and anytime I feel any pain.

The Equinox marathon...man, it's something. It's been rated as one of the tougher marathons (it's no Pike's Peak, but still nothing to sneeze at): it's a trail run with a little under 4000 feet of elevation gain during the run with half that elevation being one straight climb.

Is this a feasible goal? Am I being absurd to think I can go from occasional gym goer to running the Equinox in 21 months? How do I even start to plan and break this down into littler goals?
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Old 12-20-2009, 01:52 PM   #2
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I don't think it's impossible, but it's very ambitious. And it's awesome that you have the courage to make such a huge commitment. If you're not a runner at all right now, I'd recommend starting with the Couch to 5K program (you can find free podcasts on itunes, I think they also have an itinerary on coolrunning.com).

Make sure you pay attention to your body. That last thing you want is an injury setting you back. I don't know how your body handles your weight, but I was not able to run until I got down to 250 lbs (and I'm still easing into it very gently). If you find that you're not up to running yet, then start with speed-walking and cycling. You may want to at some point sign up for a marathon training program. I'm sure you could do it on your own, but it might be nice to have others working their way up with you. My sister did LLS Team in Training for her half-marathon. They require you to raise a fair bit of money (for charity- Leukemia and Lymphoma Society), but my sister and all of her friends were able to do it. And there are certainly other programs that cost less.

Best of luck with your training!
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Last edited by Aclai4067; 12-20-2009 at 01:53 PM.
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Old 12-21-2009, 12:39 PM   #3
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Well, I think you can do it. Setting a non-weight goal for myself was really what made me stick with it this time (but mine was a little less ambitious - running a 5k). However, I also wanted to hike to the top Pike's Peak and I was able to accomplish that about 5 months into my journey.

You can do this. You just have to be dedicated and committed. I am training for my first half and considering a full marathon in the fall, and I've only been running for less than a year at this point (which by the way has totally melted off the pounds!)
GOAL!! 80+ lbs less of me and 13.1 miles later... I'm still running!

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Old 12-21-2009, 01:30 PM   #4
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I think it's a great idea to find a motivator that works for you, if this is it than more power to you (it's would be about 14,000th on my list.

I think it's plenty of time, but I would worry that it's too far out/too big without a LOT of interim significant goals (like running a regular marathon).

I've seen some links on the web about training for a marathon, I'd start there realizing you might have to progress more slowly where you are starting from. Maybe start mixing in some cross country as you prepare for a normal marathon like a year away. Once you can do a regular marathon, the jump won't be as significant to the one you are discussing.

Good luck!
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Old 12-21-2009, 02:00 PM   #5
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i went from the couch to the new orleans marathon in 6 months...you can do it for sure...the scary part to me is that you ran cc in high school...my buddy who ran in college goes out and runs 6 or 7 miles at 230 lbs totally out of shape...you probably have a high pain threshold like he does....just dont try to do too much too soon and injure yourself...there is plenty of time so take it slow....good luck
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Old 12-22-2009, 05:42 AM   #6
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Thanks guys. I appreciate the support. I've mentioned it to some friends and I usually get a blank stare followed by a "you want to do what?!" and "you can't do that!". Although a good bit of those people remember me with a cane for a long time pre-successful reconstruction.

I do have some other race goals set for the future (some 5/10K's in the spring/summer, a potential New Orleans marathon Mardi Gras 2011 is on my list as well as a half marathon or two), but the Equinox is the big Kahuna right there.

I'm also not going to be heart broken if I have to push it back a year or two because I do have the unknown foot factor. One thing I do know, is that recovering from foot surgery is obnoxious and I am not going to ride out any pain on it. I can't stand just lying there propping it up forever ;>

I realize this sounds a little busted-foot centric, but I promise I'm fully cleared by a physical therapist, a head of surgery and a team of doctors.
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