Marathon training with a teen--Part 1

For years my kiddo has been wanting to get out in front of his skis so-to-speak in terms of athletic ambition. Granted we are an active family and when he was 9 we spent a week hiking through Spain. But at age 12 I was not going to let him run a marathon. I told him that he would have to wait until he was 13 to run his first half-marathon with me. We ended up waiting until he was 14 for logistical reasons and ran the Shamrock Run half-marathon. You can see he is still smiling even though it was cold and rainy :)

Kiddo first half!

We have since run 2 more half-marathons and he has been begging to run a road marathon. I wanted to wait until he was not only physically prepared for the challenge of a 26.2, but also mentally ready to train and manage setbacks. Since he has been running a few years with me and spent last summer with a host family in Ecuador, I figured he was ready to train for the 26.2.... I also wanted to do this before he leaves for college.


Even though I have run several trail ultramarathons I have yet to conquer a road marathon. And I usually train alone, but if I was going to have a training partner for this, I figure there is no better person to train with than him. Since he is the teenager, I let him give me some criteria for our marathon journey. His only real criteria was an awesome finishers medal, which I thought was a reasonable ask.


After searching for a few weeks we decided on the Newport Oregon marathon. Gorgeous glass finishers medals, fresh oysters on the fairly flat course, and a June date made for the perfect choice for us.


Our training has not officially started yet, but we did celebrate signing up for the race with a pasta dinner. I do have a fairly formal training plan lined up, but realistically with busy schedules we will do what we can. Admittedly, we will end up with a lot of cross training. I bike commute and he enjoys yoga. He actually gets to take yoga in school. [side bar: yes, at his PUBLIC high school he is taking yoga as a PE credit, and has gotten ridiculously fit from it.]


Hiking through Spain, age 9

I also intend on making training as fun as possible. Living in Portland has a lot of perks including a wide array of amazing food perfect for post runs... donuts, burritos, pasta, you name it we can find a way to run there and can either run home or take the bus depending on how many miles we plan on running.


Last Saturday, I was pondering where we should run to eat donuts on Sunday morning when the kiddo asked if I would take him to watch a soccer game at 6:00 AM [side bar 2: he is insanely passionate about soccer, including English Premier League, and watches all the games he can, so it was not an unusual request.] Of course, I agreed to take him, IF WE RAN THERE, a journey of 5-6 miles, I estimated. He quickly agreed and we started preparations for a pre-dawn dark run. His first run in the dark, so I was excited to have the opportunity to run with him for an early morning, but I am pretty sure all our prep took longer than the actual run between making snacks (roasted potatoes) and charging all the lights we would need.


My husband, who is not a runner, but the best crew chief you can imagine, is used to my antics and I have been the recipient of many an eye-roll at my early morning runs or other events that I choose to do. He quickly realized that he can't eye-roll at the two of us and sweetly volunteered to pick us up after the game ended around 8 AM.


Sunday morning, the alarm went off at 4:30 we got up, made coffee, got dressed and ran to watch the game which ended up being 6.4 miles away. Unfortunately, the game result was not nearly as good as our run.


We start official marathon training in 2 weeks and plan to explore all corners of this beautiful city in search of the best donuts, burrito, or whatever food we are craving that day.


I am fortunate that he chooses to join me in this crazy sport we call running and spend hours with me enjoying the outdoors and talking about whatever he wants. I am sure that there will be ups and downs during the journey, but I will embrace the challenge and appreciate the time spent.


Until next time...

Sunrise at Mt. Hood


#PNW #Countdownto26.2 #achievegreatness #fueledbyrealfood #marathontraining

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