Tuesday, May 21, 2013

What's the Minimum Miles Per Week You Can Run and Still Finish A Marathon?

(You may have to kill a few Kraken to find out)

As I prepare for Saturday's Bayshore Marathon, I've looked back on my last 16 weeks of training and did some math. I'm averaging a whopping 24 miles per week.  This does not include my three week taper where I ran only half of that.  I plan just one 4 miler this week plus Saturday's Bayshore Marathon. There's been no real cross training other than an occasional light bike ride.

How the hell am I going to finish this thing? Did my mouth write a check my ass can’t cash?  Did my legs bite off more than they can chew?

This voice of doubt needs to get out of my head. I think I will be fine, mostly because of my long runs. In this same period, I ran three 20 milers, an 18, 17, 16, 15, and 14 miler. Plus I've been there before.

As long as I pace myself, start slow, and don’t expect to run much faster on marathon day than my long runs I'll see the finish line. I may need to Galloway method the Mo’Fo a bit. The weather on Saturday looks to be near perfect for a lovely run up and down the shores of Lake Michigan.

And this is my secret weapon. Lake Michigan.   
The Bayshore Marathon Course Runs Up and Down this Penisula
I have never told anybody about this until now, but years ago, I made a deal with a mythical creature who lives in Lake Michigan. Here’s the story of what happened:

I was 10 years old on a family trip to Lake Michigan and I was skipping stones across the tiny waves that lapped onto the beach.  I searched for the flattest stones I could find and then zipped them side arm and watched them bounce; one, two, three… skip skip skip.  After hours of this, I grew tired and had one last stone ready to skip but then something in the distance made me stop.

What was that?

It was then that I saw it. A mermaid with a blue, scaly tail and golden hair was floating in the water. My breath left me, my heart stopped, and I knew I was witnessing magic. The water glistened in the sun like little diamonds waiting to be gathered. Music played to the beat of my brain waves from somewhere in the distance as if angels were strumming their harps.


But then the diamonds vanished and the music stopped.  Bile rose in my throat, and a dark cloud started to bubble from the depths of the water. Long tentacles reached out of the lake, 8 of them, with huge suction cups ready to pounce. The Lake Michigan Kraken was attacking the mermaid.

I had to act. I gathered pebbles, a hundred or so in my hand, and threw them at the Kraken with all of my 10 year old might, hoping they would hit their target like machine gun splatter.

I am no David, and did not slay the Goliath sea beast with a stone that day, (who would believe that?)  but I did waken the mermaid, who dashed beneath the water in a flash and flipped herself to safety. The Kraken’s flailing tentacles came up empty, and it disappeared into the depths.

The Lake Michigan Mermaid came to shore and thanked me, but I've promised to keep this conversation secret in order to preserve the secret kingdom of the great lake sea creatures. I can tell you that she granted me one wish. All I have to do is sprinkle some Lake Michigan water over my head if I’m in trouble, and I can have any aid my heart desires. No cramps, no painful tendon aches or ITB flares can match mermaid magic.

So, I got that going for me. Which is nice.
Aid Station to Your Right
If you look close, you can see the mermaid



Bari said...

Can I get a little of that magic lake water for the half? I'll make sure to keep an eye out for your mermaid. Good luck on Saturday - maybe I'll see you somewhere on the course!

Anita said...

You got this in the bag! You had 3 20 miler runs. AND a 18 miler. Piece of cake! I was hoping I was going to read you had a secret I could steal for a marathon that I am doing the beginning of June and I haven't ran a longer run than my 16 miler last week since April 15th.
But as I look at your training I see you are going to be great. Galloway has a lot of success. I Know I will be using him too!

Good Job, You are going to do great! And remember above all...HAVE FUN!


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