On November 19, 2017, I ran and finished my second full marathon. I finished with a time around 4 hours 15 minutes.
I began distance running when I was 16 years old with my old buddy Mike Habak. We would get up early every other day over the summer and go run up at Blacklick Metro Park in Reynoldsburg, Ohio. The dirt path trail up at the park was four miles long. We began just running the trail once but over time we slowly increased the distance until we were doing two laps, or eight miles, every other day. Our runs were peculiar though in that they went the same way every time. We’d run a mile in together and then we’d turn it into a race. Almost every time it was me who would take off running faster at this point and he would play catch-up. This dynamic was almost every run we ran together but it worked at making us stronger runners. The competition made me stronger to stay in front while the competition made him stronger in trying to catch up.
After graduating high school, we went our separate ways and I was left running on my own. That next summer I increased my every other day distance to twelve miles. I would run on and off again for the next couple of years, taking time off for school.
This was generally the distance I would run until three year ago I decided to run the Columbus Marathon. The training for this kind of run is much more intense than what I was normally doing. Below was my schedule I followed.
(Image of running schedule to be added later)
I wasn’t able to follow this strictly but it was a solid framework to base my schedule around. I would run 6 days a week with one rest day. Five of those six days are shorter runs and one of those six days was a longer run. The schedule slowly increases in intensity and distance until a couple of weeks before the marathon where I would then taper out to avoid exhaustion and injury before the race. I also tried to include at least two strength days, usually on Mondays and Thursdays, as well.
For me, running has many benefits besides staying in shape. I believe in the connection and balance of mind, body, and soul so if I let my body go then I too bring down my mind and soul. The repetition of running allows me to sometimes enter into a meditative state of mind where I can focus and approach issues that I am dealing with more clearity than when I don’t run.
The discipline to force myself to get up every morning and run also benefits my studio practice. I definitely don’t feel like running everyday and every run isn’t great but I can only get better at running if I run every day. The same can be said about making art in the studio. That level of mental toughness can be hard to maintain all the time and running helps me keep that muscle in shape.