On January 3rd, I began a journey. I committed to run the 2011 Fargo Marathon, and I began my training on that day for the race which was still over 20 weeks away. The plan behind most marathon training programs is to gradually increase the workouts until three weeks before the race; then the runner begins a taper, resulting in a rest/recovery period prior to the marathon. I’ve done speed work, I’ve done strength training, I’ve completed short runs, and I’ve completed long runs in the preparation process, and now I’ve done all the training I can do: I’m as ready as I’m going to get!
I ran my second 20 mile run in as many weeks this morning with Red River Runners Grand Forks (RRRGF) to culminate my 17 week training plan, and I felt great! I warmed up during the first few miles with Mike, the Godfather of RRRGF, who gave me some words of encouragement, before he gave me his blessing and sent me on my way. I felt strong and confident as I progressed on the remainder of the training route by myself, actually completing several of my best miles at the very end. The day’s overall performance was a major confidence booster.
This was a dramatic change from last year’s longest run, which devastated me physically and demoralized me mentally. Today’s run assured me that my body and spirit are ready for the Fargo Marathon in 3 weeks. I’m undoubtedly in the best shape of my life right now at 47 years of age, and I’m hungering for the chance to give this race my best effort and hopefully complete the 26.2 miles in less than 4 hours.
Now, I have to just wait three weeks for the chance to return to Fargo and to show the world what this old Grand Forks man can do. Sometimes the waiting is tougher than the training!