I have paid for the trip to New York and entrance and accommodation for the New York marathon. I am committed! Some say I should be committed!
My biggest concern is getting an injury or illness. I need to do everything I can to avoid both. One of the biggest mistakes to be made is overtraining. As Leanor, a veteran marathon runner (not to mention the odd iron man event) and member of the Wednesday Wests running group I have joined advised, ‘I am a great believer of getting to the start line Jennie – it is better to undertrain than overtrain’. Leanor has done 41 marathon’s including most of the world majors – I have every reason to respect her opinion.
Apparently, 60% of long distance runners will experience ‘overtraining syndrome’ at some point in their life where they experience a decline in performance. Other symptoms include poor appetite, insomnia, irritability, weight loss, a feeling of exhaustion and even depression. This is something I really want and need to avoid.
Early signs of overtraining include elevated resting heart rate, muscle soreness, increased injuries, headaches and unquenchable thirst. It is good to be aware of these and I do check my resting pulse rate first thing before getting out of bed each morning – it varies from 48-54 bpm and I have already noticed that if I creep up to 56-60 I am generally not feeling as good as usual and my running seems more effort.
My plan so far? It isn’t definite but this is what I am considering.
I don’t intend to run more than a half marathon distance in the first half of this year. I will do one on 19 March (Weston Creek) and then one on 9 April as part of the ‘Canberra Running Festival’. John and I are travelling to South Africa from 20 June returning 10 July. This will be a good mid year break unless of course I manage to get a place in the ‘Big 5 Half Marathon’ 24 June. At this point all positions are full but I am on the waiting list.
In late July I hope to run the Gunghalin Gallop which is part of a winter series run by Sri Chinmoy. This is a 30km trail event and will be a good prep I think for increasing my distance in the months leading to 5 November the day of the NY marathon. Leanor suggests no more than three 30km runs well spread out in preparation for my first marathon.