I Have a Very Good Imagination…Or, In Which I Pretend to Train for a Marathon

So. Apparently all my big talk about “immune to summer” and “bring on more running” and “I don’t even mind the heat anymore thanks to my fancy new haircut” was interpreted by summer as a DIRECT CHALLENGE:

“Oh, what’s that, Megan? You’re handling the heat just fine?”
Why yes, I was just telling the gang (Sidenote: You guys are now “the gang” in my imaginary conversations.) about the amazing difference that a little haircut makes. In fact —  
“Shut up.”
Um, that seems rude. You don’t need to get all testy just because I’m immune to you now.
“Immune, huh?”
Oh, well, I didn’t totally mean that how it sounded. I —
“You think you’re better than me?”
I —
“SHUT UP! If it wasn’t for me you wouldn’t even have been born, Miss July Birthday.”
Well, I’m not sure if that’s totally accurate —
“DON’T INTERRUPT! You think you’re immune? You think you’re better? You think you can handle summer?”
Well, um…yes?
“Handle this!”
Oh dear.

That, at least, is how I’m choosing to interpret this week’s heat wave. Yesterday, there was a high of 93 with a heat index of 98. Today, there’s a high of 97 with a heat index of 104. The projected lows for the rest of the week are at least 70 degrees, with the highs all in the 90s. The humidity will go unremarked upon because I’m not even sure how to describe it anymore. Constant? Oppressive? These words only scratch the surface.

But don’t despair. I’m fairly committed to this “get back in actually good shape” goal and didn’t merely pin my hopes to a haircut. Nono, my hopes of being able run through the summer and beyond rely on the world of make-believe. Oh yeah. This is even better than that time when I almost decided to run a marathon 8 weeks after my first.

What I’m going to do is pretend like I’m training for a marathon. How does that possibly help me, you ask? Well, it goes like this. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not marathon training I have a problem with. Running up to 20 miles isn’t really an issue…it’s the extra 6 combined with the unpredictability of the day itself that I’m not so fond of. So, what I’m going to do is set up a training plan like I’m doing a marathon but not actually run one.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. How can I make myself train for something that doesn’t exist? And why not just set up a training plan for an actual race, maybe a nice half marathon or 10-miler? I don’t have an answer to the second question, but I’m fairly confident that I can delude myself into training for a fictional marathon. I’m not sure that I should be proud of this fact…but I am. I most certainly am. 🙂 As far as I can tell, it’s a win/win. Or maybe a win/win/win/win/win.

I can follow a training plan (win) I enjoy (win) and suits my strengths (win) without stressing out about actually trying to run in an expensive race I paid for and traveled to, putting up with the probably crummy weather I’ve been given (win). As an added bonus, I can jump into a smaller race at nearly any time, knowing that my cardio base will carry me through (win).

How many wins was that? Anyway. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any more exciting, Running Buddy is considering training for an actual marathon in her new town of Seattle. The race is in November, so the training plan I make up for myself for fictional purposes can be recycled by her for the good of a marathon PR. And I can be her virtual training partner. That’s pretty cool, right? Now that we’re on separate coasts, I don’t even get to talk to RB very much, let alone run with her. This will be a small step towards bringing back the good old days. (Sidenote: I sure hope it was OK that I shared this with the Internet. You don’t mind that the gang knows you’re thinking about running another marathon, do you RB?)


So. Now that you’ve been brought up-to-date with my crazy ideas, a few notes about logistics. The official training for the imaginary (for me) race doesn’t start for another month. Being fully committed to my insanity (and also to help RB build up to the marathon after a lengthy break from running), however, I also made a 5-week build-up plan to tide me over until actual training commences. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to update the tiny squares on the past two days of training.


5 responses

  1. What’s funny is that I was actually thinking of marathon training myself last night. As in “I need motivation to get back into running shape. When’s the next marathon…?” And I actually went onto active.com to check some race dates/places out. Then when I walked out the door at 6 a.m. to walk the dog, humidity slapped some sense back into me.

    So glad I’m rubbing off on you! 😀

  2. D – gracias. I seem to have this obsession with “faux” right now. What’s up with that?

    ME – I sent you the training plan. Looks like I’ll be seeing you on Saturdays. Lol!

  3. I’ve already started your Pre-Training plan! Here’s hoping I can stick with it all the way through. I think a marthon in November would be nice and fun (and cold and wet).

  4. Hi, Seattle RB! I’m 4 for 4 on my workouts for the week. I know that’s not too much to be proud of, as it’s the FIRST week of PRE-training, but it’s something. 🙂

    Marathons can be cold? Interesting.

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