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-   -   First half marathon at 55 - am I nuts? (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2946895)

HootDad 06-22-2012 06:27 PM

First half marathon at 55 - am I nuts?
 
Hi all,

I am a longtime DIS member though I have not been posting much lately. I was listening to one of the Disneyland podcasts where Tony talked about doing the Tinkerbell half marathon. He said something that you hear a lot from folks who succeed at a challenge like that - "If I can do it anyone can!" Well, that got me thinking and I turned it around a bit to "If anyone can do it then I can!" Then on a later podcast I heard this forum mentioned and I figured I'd post my intentions and get feedback if you will indulge me.

Anyway, I am challenging myself to run the 2013 WDW half marathon. I am 54 years old now and will be 55 by the time of the marathon. And I have never run a marathon before - nor any distance close to that. I am in generally good health and work out regularly. The thing is, in addition to my age, I was involved in a project late last year (I directed a production of the musical HAIRSPRAY) that took all my focus an energy so I got out of what had been a regular exercise routine for about ten years. This resulted in my gaining about 15 pounds on top of the 15 or so I already needed to lose.

So, in a nutshell, I'm 54, need to lose about 30 pounds and I have never run any real distances. To tell you where I am now, I get up every morning and work out for about 75 minutes including a walk/jog of about 2 miles. I have started trying to push myself on weekends - last weekend I jogged 2 miles both days (although calling what I do "jogging" is a stretch of the term) and walked another mile and this weekend I intend to stretch that out to 2 1/2, maybe 3 mile jog with a mile walk.

So... am I nuts to think I might be able to do this? I will need to push myself obviously but I don't want to injure myself. I'm being real careful - stretching and all that - but have I given myself to high a goal?

Thanks!

FireDancer 06-22-2012 08:31 PM

I think you set a hard but obtainable goal. When I decided to do my first 5k I had to really push myself to finish a mile on a treadmill. I've since done God only knows how many short races, 21 halves, and will be doing my 3rd full this fall if all goes well.

I don't think your age will keep you from doing the race. You may have to train a little differently than someone younger but it seems like you live an active life and do exercise even if it hasn't been running. You are starting in a much better position than many of the sedentary people who do programs such as the couch to 5k and then progress to a half marathon so I think as long as you listen to your body, challenge it without pushing too far too fast, and keep your eye on your goal you will succeed.

Good luck.

John VN 06-22-2012 10:16 PM

I never went to a fitness center, gym or even did any type of "work out". All my exercise came from bicycle riding. Upon leaving FW after our January stays, DW and I would see the thousands of people participating in the Marathon. In 2010 I said I wanted to do that and knowing I could not run I decided I would walk it. One year later I walked the Marathon on Sunday, the Half Marathon on Saturday and the 5K on Friday, a Dopey.

It is true that you have less time to train than I did but my guess is that if you train wisely and faithfully you will accomplish that goal and anyother one you set for yourself.

BTW, my 62nd BD is in a couple of weeks so GO FOR IT YOUNGSTER! :thumbsup2

HootDad 06-23-2012 04:08 PM

Very helpful advice - thank you very much. I actually decided I'm going to track my progress here - more for me than anyone else ;-)

Rose&Mike 06-24-2012 10:12 AM

I think it's doable.:goodvibes Read all you can. Ask a lot of questions. There are lots of books/websites, etc for first time long distance runners.

The WISH threads have tons of over 40 runners (myself included). And I think a lot of people would agree, you just really have to listen you your body. Ice is your friend.:goodvibes Cycling, strength training and yoga are great methods of cross training that you might want to look into as well.

Look at it this way, let's say you start July at 3 miles. That gives you July-December to train. Adding only two miles a month to your long runs will put you at an ~15 mile training run before the race in January.:goodvibes

Good luck!

johde 06-24-2012 11:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rose&Mike (Post 45274132)
I think it's doable.:goodvibes Read all you can. Ask a lot of questions. There are lots of books/websites, etc for first time long distance runners.

Good luck!

I was thinking the same thing about reading. As a first timer, I liked Marathoning for Mortals. especially the chapter on goal setting. Not goal setting in terms of time, but goal setting in term of half marathon or full marathon, running or walking or some combination and the like. I ended up using their training plans for my first 2 half marathons before switching over to Jeff Galloway.

I would recommend continuing to work over the summer on slowing increasing the distance on the weekends, as well as a little bit during the week. Then come early September you can start looking for a plan to take you the rest of the way.

HootDad 06-24-2012 02:31 PM

Again, very helpful advice indeed. I definitely want to read up on it - the last thing I want to do is injure myself. I have a history of issues with my Achilles tendon, but a PT gave me some stretching exercises to do that have been immensely helpful. So far, so good. I did 3 miles yesterday (Saturday) - 2 1/2 jogging, and 3 1/2 today (Sunday) - 3 jogging. I was definitely pushing myself. I'm not really going for time obviously but I'd like to maintain at least a 4 MPH pace (I know, not a very challenging pace) - I did the 3 miles today in 50 minutes so it actually was not as bad as I was anticipating. I'll continue jogging in my neighborhood this week which I think is helpful because there are hills, etc. Next week I'll take off at least a bit - we're leaving Friday night for 10 days in Europe! Woohoo! And we're staying most of the time on the Greek island of Santorini that is not real conducive to jogging. (shameless plug - there will be pics on my blog after we get back). OK, no more babbling - like I said this is more for me than anyone else ;-)

ZellyB 06-24-2012 04:14 PM

I'm crazy right along with you. I'll turn 48 in a few weeks and I've never been any kind of a serious long distance runner before. I decided to use the Galloway method to train for a local half-marathon in November and very recently decided to boost my training so I can run that half and then the full at WDW in January. I honestly never would have thought I'd consider a half-marathon much less a full even a few months ago, but after starting training in April, it feels very attainable.

HootDad 06-24-2012 04:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ZellyB (Post 45276921)
I'm crazy right along with you. I'll turn 48 in a few weeks and I've never been any kind of a serious long distance runner before. I decided to use the Galloway method to train for a local half-marathon in November and very recently decided to boost my training so I can run that half and then the full at WDW in January. I honestly never would have thought I'd consider a half-marathon much less a full even a few months ago, but after starting training in April, it feels very attainable.

Cool, maybe I'll see you there! Good luck to us both!

:thumbsup2

runmommyrun 06-24-2012 10:20 PM

You can do it! If you are running/walking 3 miles now, the half is 6 months away. It is amazing how your body can adapt in that timeframe. But take it slow and only add on mileage in small increments. My biggest mistake has been trying to take on too much, too quickly. And it is absolutely fine if you end up with a run/walk for the half. In fact, some more frequent marathon runners I know have consistently bettered their times with a run/walk combination. Marathon weekend is a blast, so if you have an interest, you should certainly try to do it. Have fun and good luck! It is amazing how people will cheer you on and get you to the finish line!

princessCKL 06-29-2012 06:02 AM

You can do it! I started running last June for the first time in my life. I was 53 when I started. I followed the Galloway training plan that you can get for free from the Rundisney website - Religously. I was nervous about not keeping pace so I did the San Antonio Rock and Roll Half for a "dress rehearsal" in October and I finished it in 3hours 15 minutes. In Feb. I finished the Princess Half at WDW in 3 hours and 17 minutes and I stopped for pictures 3 times so really more like 3 hours of running. I highly recommend Galloway and the run/walk/run method. I am signed up for the Tower of Terror 10k in Sept and will register for this years Princess as soon as registration opens up. I'll be 54 when I run those races.

bwolfe 06-29-2012 07:01 AM

Never too old! My dad is 63 and is running the Peachtree next week. It's a 10K. With a good training program you can do it! We love the Jeff Galloway programs.

HootDad 07-11-2012 08:35 PM

Just back from our 10 day trip to Europe. What an amazing trip! One day visits to 3 cities (London, Athens and Madrid - well OK only an afternoon in Madrid) and a week in Santorini. I plan to post to my blog with details, thoughts and lots of pictures (hopefully) this weekend. (link below) Anyway - no running at all the whole time but if you've been to Santorini you know that I did a heck of a lot of stairs! Starting back p with my training tomorrow...

Quote:

Originally Posted by HootDad (Post 45276108)
Again, very helpful advice indeed. I definitely want to read up on it - the last thing I want to do is injure myself. I have a history of issues with my Achilles tendon, but a PT gave me some stretching exercises to do that have been immensely helpful. So far, so good. I did 3 miles yesterday (Saturday) - 2 1/2 jogging, and 3 1/2 today (Sunday) - 3 jogging. I was definitely pushing myself. I'm not really going for time obviously but I'd like to maintain at least a 4 MPH pace (I know, not a very challenging pace) - I did the 3 miles today in 50 minutes so it actually was not as bad as I was anticipating. I'll continue jogging in my neighborhood this week which I think is helpful because there are hills, etc. Next week I'll take off at least a bit - we're leaving Friday night for 10 days in Europe! Woohoo! And we're staying most of the time on the Greek island of Santorini that is not real conducive to jogging. (shameless plug - there will be pics on my blog after we get back). OK, no more babbling - like I said this is more for me than anyone else ;-)


Qltrgrl2 07-11-2012 08:47 PM

I ran my first half marathon (Princess) in 2011 at the ripe old age of 57. I am now addicted to the Disney races like many here on the WISH board. Be sure to increase your mileage slowly and ask lots of questions here. The runners on Disboards are very helpful.
Good Luck and happy training

henrylarry6 07-12-2012 08:51 AM

Though itís hard but if you set your target and decide to achieve it then no one can stop you. And your age will also not be a obstacle in your way. Wish you a good luck!


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