Monday, August 1, 2011

Training for the Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas MARATHON!

This time last year, I would've laughed if you told me I'd run a marathon.

Actually, I would've also laughed if you told me I'd run a half-marathon, and I've already done that. In fact, here's a video I made about my Rock 'n' Roll Seattle experience:

My First Half Marathon: Rock 'n' Roll Seattle from Devon Mills on Vimeo.

(Here's a tidbit I forgot to include in the video: Thanks to help of family, friends, co-workers and blog-readers, I raised $2,200 for the American Cancer Society while training for the half-marathon! Woo-hoo!!!)

To be specific, this time last year, I hadn't even run my first 5K — that wasn't until September 26. I was strictly a treadmill runner, going one to three miles per workout with walking breaks. I was terrified for my first race.

After crossing the finish line, I was inspired.

I've crossed 10 finish lines total, and the one I'm working toward now will be the most difficult by far. The Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Marathon on December 4 will be my first trip to Vegas, my longest run ever and an accomplishment I never thought I'd achieve (or even want to achieve) in my life.

Why put myself through hell for 26.2 miles? For a medal? For a bumper sticker on my car?

Nah. I'm going to do it because I once thought I couldn't. Because I think it's pretty badass. And, most of all, because once I conquer the distance, there will be one less thing in this world that I'm afraid of.

But first I have to respect the distance and put in the months of hard work it'll take to run it to the best of my ability. Here's where this plan comes in (click to make it larger):

This is my 19-week marathon training plan. Today marks the beginning of Week 2!

I love having a plan when it comes to tackling big goals, and this is exactly what I need to stay on top of my training. Life will inevitably creep in between the pretty lines of this Excel spreadsheet and interfere with the plan, so I'm going to be flexible and open to switching things around. But at least I can make sure I don't get too off track by checking in with this plan each day. I'm thrilled to have completed Week 1 and look forward to feeling so much stronger and more fit as the weeks pass by.

(My college roommate who remembers watching me lie in bed eating canned frosting while watching Oprah just went, "Huh?")

I based this training plan on Hal Higdon's Novice 1 plan. I switched the weekday runs around so I won't be running three days in a row (my legs can't take it), and I added two days of strength training as well. Since I've focused only on running up to this point, I have strong leg muscles but a weak upper body. I need overall strength to be the best runner I can be, so I'm hitting the free weights at my gym on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

I specified cross-training on Sundays to either be biking or yoga, but I might have to change that to biking or swimming... since I might sign up for a triathlon that's in September!

My excuses for not doing a triathlon so far have been that I don't really know how to swim (the correct techniques and all), and I don't have a road bike. Well...

...I'm quickly running out of excuses! This is my lovely new bike, which I bought this weekend to replace my seriously outgrown pre-teen mountain bike. I'm all grown up now!

Remember: If you don't want to do something, you'll find any excuse not to do it. If you want to do something, you won't let any excuse get in your way.

I'll still need to work on the swimming, though... check out the caption I gave this photo back in March!!

You'll also notice that I'm running another half-marathon on September 5! The race is the Labor Day Half, formerly known as the Super Jock 'n' Jill Half, and it starts and ends at the Redhook Brewery in my hometown, Woodinville. How could I pass up a race on my home turf that could give me the opportunity to run a sub two-hour half?

I'll be busy for the next several months — running, biking, swimming and freaking out about the idea of running 26.2 miles. But if I learned anything from my half-marathon, it's that no matter how nervous I feel in the days leading up to a race (uhhh, did you watch that video?), once I reach the start line, I'll feel happy, excited and incredibly lucky to be able to do what I'm about to do.

I'll look forward to that moment every single day until December 4.

Viva Las Vegas.


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  1. Good luck Devon! I'm running the Vegas Full as my first marathon too and am using the Higdon Novice plan. I can't wait!

  2. Awesome! Thanks, Russell, and good luck to you, too!


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