Ask E. Jean - Tormented? Driven Witless? Whipsawed by confusion?

Advice Vixens

My friend just told me she can't run a half marathon she signed up for this weekend, and would I like her race number?

I would have signed up for this race if it weren't so durned expensive in the first place, but I didn't, therefore I didn't train, and now I suddenly have a chance to run in it without the financial drain. A large group of friends and family is also running, and partying after.

My health's great, but I'm untrained. While I have a physically demanding job and I've done a couple full marathons in my time, my last actual run was last year's half marathon. Which I did (fine) after just one 6-mile run a week before.

If I choose to run, I certainly will not push myself especially hard. But jeez, it's less than a week away! Any fitness experts out there? Do you think I can do 13 miles "off the shelf?"

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    I typically wouldn't recommend going a year "off the shelf" for any distance over a 5k or maybe a 10k. Being that you have trained and ran longer distances before and are active for work you might have a little leeway. You can traverse 13 miles, but go at an extremely forgiving pace and walk or verrrry lightly jog for a quarter of a mile or so every other mile or every mile. If you are not injury prone and can pick up and log long slow miles without joint pain, shinsplints or tender muscles then proceed with caution and listen to your body. If you are someone who gets caught up in the take off at a race and is extremely competitive or injury prone then I wouldn't recommend entering this race. Basically, you know your body and if you are going to be able to take it easy and just enjoy the experience. Don't go into the race with any expectation other than to check out the scenery, get some exercise, and hang out with your friends afterward.

    reply to Kay
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    Queenie, I know nothing about running a marathon, I know Kay and Maggie run and I'm sure their advice is priceless.
    I just wanted to say that even though you wanted to run in this one and the opportunity is too good to pass up, please be careful of your body, injuries suck and you need your body for work more than running.
    So Kay's advice is really good: see this as an opportunity to do a group activity with your family and friends and have fun. Good luck!

    reply to Gerbera
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    I do NOT recommend it. I did it once ... and I was already "up" to 10 miles in my training. I have never experienced so much stiffness (during a race). I will never NOT train again.

    reply to Maggie
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    Please post what you decided to do! Are you allowed to walk during these things? I hope you participated and had fun!

    reply to Miss Beth
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    Thank you so much for your help! Very nice to hear from other runners as well, and I took most of Kay's advice and felt most of the consequences reported by Maggie. Everyone's view I appreciate very much.

    I decided not to do it, but then did it anyway. I decided treat it like a "let's see how far I can go!" adventure, in which I could stop and become a spectator any time I wished. I went at a leisurely pace. Most of the race, I felt ok. At miles 6 and 11 and 12, I walked until I didn't feel lightheaded anymore. I paid close attention for pains and aches that would mean bad news, but all the pain was the harmless, expected kind.

    I finished! In 2:25, got my medal and bananas and oranges :)

    The next 3 days, I could not walk down any stairs! I was a howling ball of agony!

    But no actual damage beyond that. In fact, now I feel better than before the race. This is my chance to get back "on" the shelf! If that makes sense? I guess what I mean is running feels awesome now, like my body is eager for any chance to run, where before, I just didn't want to do it anymore. So, I probably wouldn't do it again, but i'm glad I did it this time. Thanks again!

    reply to Queenie
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