Marathon Challenge

9 Feb

I watched a great documentary last night produced by PBS and NOVA called “Marathon Challenge.” It took 12 people of all ages, weights and backgrounds who led a sedentary lifestyle and trained them for 9 months to become marathon runners. It was one of the most inspiring shows I’ve seen.

Two of the participants were former athletes, but none were current athletes or even worked out. One participant was even 75 lbs overweight and nearly unable to participate she was in such poor health. Yet, all of them except for one who suffered constant stress fractures, completed the Boston Marathon.

The question was posed at the beginning of the show: can anyone run a marathon or do you have to have a special body type? The answer was anyone can run a marathon if they train properly. Each participant had a story—one man had lived with HIV for 13 years, another had had a heart attack, a young woman’s mother was killed in a hit and run. They were all running for a reason, to overcome something or to prove something to themselves.

Watching them train was amazing. You saw constant improvement throughout the show and doctors were running tests throughout to show the great strides they were making. The woman who was 75 lbs overweight had lost 45 lbs and became the fastest female in the group.

It didn’t matter how long each person took, when they showed them crossing the finish line in Boston, I cried right along with them. It was amazing. And it gave me hope that maybe I can do this too.

I’m scared to death about the marathon. My training has been inconsistent lately with going out of town so much. I knew that it was going to be like this, which is why I gave myself 10 months to train instead of the normal 6 so I could make up for lost time. Nevertheless, it’s a bit overwhelming. Yet, when I watched that show and saw people who hadn’t done anything athletic ever managed to finish Boston, I had a renewed sense of hope.

If they can do it, so can I. And so can you!

6 Responses to “Marathon Challenge”

  1. ElenaSC February 9, 2011 at 9:01 AM #

    Hi there! I just had The weirdest running experience ever ( and I hope somebody can give me some advice since I just started running and everything is new for me!
    Thank you so much!

  2. Noel D. February 9, 2011 at 5:12 PM #

    Sounds like a runner’s high to me. I’ve had those moments before. They last maybe 10 minutes, but it’s the best feeling in the world. I had a super intense one a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve been chasing the feeling ever since! I’m a new runner too, but I’d say unless you start to feel dizzy or something like that, it’s a great feeling and nothing to worry about!

  3. laurapayette February 11, 2011 at 7:55 PM #

    Have you ever watched “Spirit of the Marathon”? It’s another good inspirational running movie. ( I’ve been seriously lacking in my motivation lately and need to kick it into gear. Here’s hoping nice weekend weather helps!

  4. Noel D. February 12, 2011 at 7:25 AM #

    Yes! I LOVE Spirit of the Marathon. It’s fantastic. Also “Run for Life” about Fred Lebow who founded the NYC Marathon is great too. I’ve had trouble with my motivation and time lately too. I think I have Seasonal Affective Disorder so winter is really hard for me. Plus I’ve been traveling a lot and had a crazy work schedule. This is why I’ve given myself 10 months instead of 6 to train cuz I knew stuff would come up, but it still worries me!

  5. thegeeman February 13, 2011 at 8:07 AM #

    trainig is the key. Rig sets in at or about 20-21 miles. Your mind says to the body move. You body doesn’t. Training is the LSD-Long slow distance. Build into it. at the end you should be running at least two 20 milers a week. You can do it.

  6. Noel D. February 14, 2011 at 4:53 PM #

    Towards the end, my schedule has a 20 miler, 23 miler, and 29 miler. I’m doing the Galloway method of running 4 minutes, walking 1 minute to cut down on chance of injury. Plus it makes it easier to add miles. I just have to be able to maintain a pace of around 13 minutes to finish on time.

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