You won’t find this training program in any marathon guides. In fact, I don’t recommend it. But for the second year in a row I am destined to follow it as I prepare for Grandma’s Marathon.
It goes something like this:
Finish skiing the Birkie at the end of February, and trade cross-country skis for running shoes. Brave the remainder of winter in Duluth, training hard and working in several 20-milers. Feel good about increasing my pace and gaining distance endurance.
Halt! Stop running for an entire month. Pack up the bikes and fly over to Scotland with my husband, Rich, and cycle around the countryside for three weeks. Plenty of hill work as we pedal through the Highlands. Loads of endurance training as well chalk up several 50 mile days in a row. Endless carbo loading as we endeavor to replace calories burned. But not a single mile on my feet.
Re-enter the Northland with exactly 2 weeks to go until race day. Order new running shoes and cram in the miles. Start with 8, work up to 13 and then 18 in just over a week. Ignore the burning thighs. With 5 days left before the marathon, begin the taper. Whew, almost there!
It’s not like I didn’t plan for this race. My son, Erik, and I hit the Grandma’s Marathon site the day registration opened and signed up. We proudly wear our 40th Anniversary marathon jackets. I was sure I could train for a good race this year.
Enter my creative husband, who dreams up cycling tours. Marathons notwithstanding. Who was I to turn down cycling through the Scottish countryside? Life is full of interruptions. This one was entirely worth it. I’m back on the program now. Bring on the marathon!