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Lindsey Kuper

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Monumental Half Marathon 2010 [Nov. 7th, 2010|04:03 pm]
Lindsey Kuper
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Alex oniugnip and I ran the Monumental Half Marathon yesterday. It was pretty great! Alex kicked ass and finished 28th of 252 runners in his division, with a time of 1:33:56, taking several minutes off his previous half-marathon PR. It was my first half marathon, so I vacuously had a PR, too: I finished with a time of 2:06:31, which turned out to be 186th place of 441 runners in my division.1 Not bad, considering that the temperature hovered below freezing for most of the race and that I had only decided to do it at all about three weeks ago.

I hadn't really known what sort of time I should shoot for; my best marathon time is about 4:40, so I figured that a reasonable half marathon time would be ten minutes less than half of that. I therefore came in under my rather arbitrarily chosen goal time. Hooray! Furthermore, I didn't feel wrecked at the end (when the only long road races you've ever been in are marathons, the end of a half marathon sort of sneaks up on you; it's strange), so next time, I think I'll shoot for coming in under 2 hours.

A half marathon, it turns out, is an extraordinarily pleasant experience. You get all of the fun of a marathon -- a giant crowd of people just as insane as you; cheering spectators;2 a medal around your neck at the end -- without completely destroying your body! I was actually able to walk, rather than hobble, back to our hotel after the race. We decided to make a weekend of it in Indianapolis (you know, the "big" "city"!); we did a lot of walking and eating and a little shopping, and I took Alex to see a play, the stage adaptation of Holes. At first I thought it would be geared toward a grade-school audience, but like the novel, it turned out to be surprisingly dark and heavy, and we both liked it a lot.

Next up: Marató de Barcelona in March. Am I badass enough to stay in race shape through the winter and then go run a marathon in Barcelona? Mind you, I've never even been to Europe, let alone attempted to run a marathon there. It probably wouldn't even occur to me to try things like this if it weren't for Alex's constant support and encouragement.

  1. I'm used to marathons where there are more male than female runners, but it was interesting to see that there were a lot more female than male runners in the half marathon. (There were 1797 self-reported male half-marathon registrants and 2349 self-reported female half-marathon registrants. By contrast, the marathon had 1565 male registrants and 899 female registrants.) I wonder if this has something to do with the fact that marathon training requires long uninterrupted blocks of time, which I conjecture women tend to have fewer of. (And if you're a slower runner, as women tend to be, you need those uninterrupted blocks of time to be particularly long.) Half-marathon training, on the other hand, can be managed if you can steal an hour here and an hour there. If you can go on a six-mile run a few times a week, you can probably run a half-marathon. Of course, it probably doesn't hurt if you can go on some longer runs, too.
  2. Best, and most inscrutable, sign seen during the race: RUN LIKE A KEYNESIAN. (..."in the long run, we're all dead"?) I also appreciated RUN FASTER, RACHEL, I'M COLD, as well as the two people with signs near the end that simply said FRIED CHICKEN and LINDOR TRUFFLES. I love marathon spectators.

[User Picture]From: tiggerbone
2010-11-07 09:48 pm (UTC)
Woo hoo! Go, you! :)

I began training a bit over a month ago. I want to be able to run the Chicago Marathon next year. We shall see if I can do it.
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2010-11-07 10:02 pm (UTC)
If you're already training now, Chicago next fall should be well within your reach. Good luck! I've never done a fall marathon -- somehow, training in the winter is easier for me than training in the summer -- but if I did, Chicago would be a likely candidate.
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[User Picture]From: tiggerbone
2010-11-07 10:06 pm (UTC)
I hope so. I have never been a long distance runner. Up until recently, all I did was sprint. Now, I can run about a half an hour to forty-five minutes pretty well. It's at a slow pace, but I am trying to go easy on myself. Lots of stretching. Lots of water. Just learning to enjoy the run and experiencing the world as I go through it.

Any advice?
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2010-11-07 10:22 pm (UTC)
Well, I can tell you what worked for me. When I trained for my first marathon, I used this schedule, and I didn't worry about pace at all, just about covering the required distance. (Gmaps Pedometer is useful for planning routes.) It worked well enough that I used the same training schedule for my second and third marathons, too. Another thing I did was take a three-minute walking break every three miles, whether I felt like I needed one or not. (Three minutes every three miles seemed to work for me. Some prefer breaks of a different frequency or duration.) Just as people say you're supposed to drink water before you start to feel thirsty, I recommend the "take breaks before you feel like you need a break" tactic. Having said that, in the past few years I've basically stopped feeling the need to take breaks, and the only time I walk during a race now is if I'm afraid I'm going to spill the drink someone has just handed me.

I've never been any kind of a sprinter, so I don't have any advice handy on how to transition from that to being a distance runner (although Alex might!), but it sounds as if so far you're going about things in a reasonable way.
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[User Picture]From: oniugnip
2010-11-07 10:43 pm (UTC)
I really like runs where I have a destination in mind -- I remember the particular day when I discovered that I could go from my apartment to The Mall, which seemed like it was a long way away. (this was Atlanta, early summer 2005, on a rainy day)

So maybe: pick a destination and try running to it?
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[User Picture]From: tiggerbone
2010-11-07 11:38 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'll give that a try. :)
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From: gorthx
2010-11-08 02:40 am (UTC)
Congrats! Another one under your belt. :)
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2010-11-08 05:15 am (UTC)
Thank you!
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[User Picture]From: linettasky
2010-11-08 03:24 pm (UTC)
Woo! Congratulations!

The Barcelona marathon sounds *really* exciting.
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2010-11-08 07:51 pm (UTC)
Thanks! And it's exciting and nerve-wracking, now that I look at the registration form and see that the options given for "expected time" are under 3 hours, between 3 hours and 3:30, between 3:30 and 4, and over 4 hours. I've never even come close to finishing in 4 hours. Are they going to kick me off the course for running 4:40?
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