Monday, December 2, 2013

Marcothon 2013 - Here goes nothing!

I have 8 marathons under my belt.  I have 18 half marathons under my belt.  I've conquered a Warrior Dash, pushed my twins for 5 years in 42 different 5k races in their double stroller.  I've logged nearly 900 miles on my legs since May 15th of this year alone.  BUT - for some reason, committing to Marcothon is something that makes me completely uneasy.  Yes, I run between 100-120 miles a month when not training for a race, so Marcothon, on paper, seems very achievable and easy.  But let's think about the concept of Marcothon a little bit more.  Marcothon (as defined online HERE at the Facebook group and at where you commit to run a minimum of 3 miles a day - EVERYDAY - the month of December.  There are no excuses such as weather, holidays, illness, buffets, kids, snow, sleep, Christmas Story or Christmas Vacation marathons on TV to get in your way.  So yes, I do run 20-35 miles a week as a base,  BUT never every day.  In fact, upon reflection, I have never run more than 7 days a row in my life!!!  Rest is important.  It allows recovery for your body - and honestly, life to happen!  Kids have evening cub scouts, ballet, work travel, and normally you have to plan your runs on days when less conflicts occur - which in the end, allows you to get anywhere from 3-5 good runs in per week.  The biggest challenge of Marcothon isn't the miles at all - it's the time dedication to running EVERY.DAMN.DAY.

So why do it?  Well - we all fall in a big fat rut this time of the year.  Holidays, food, no winter races on the calendar - leads to a very slippery slope.  The slope turns into an awful reality on January 1.  New Year's Day gets runners thinking about resolutions, spring races, and training plans for April and May marathons that typically begin in January.  And guess what, normally the runs in December are so few and far between that when we begin running again in January - we've fallen so far off the cliff of our goal weekly/monthly base of miles and it takes us SO LONG to climb back up that we find our self saying "Gosh Darnit, why didn't I just keep running the last few months and cut back on the fudge a little!".

So - I digress.  I have run for 10 years now.  Never ONCE have I had a successful December running month.  I have always gained weight over the holidays, and 4 times I have ran an April marathon which has required immediate upticks of mileage in January which has been a STRUGGLE.  This year I want it to be different.  I need a goal.  I need motivation.  I need ANYTHING to keep me accountable.  There is not a race to run, no entry fees to pay, but there is Marcothon!

My friend Steve introduced me to this 'event' last year.  He has done it, explained the challenge, the also stressed his trials and tribulations in dealing with the flu / family obligations / weather to really make this happen.  So, about 3 weeks ago when he approached me about trying it this year, I was in the throws of "post marathon" blues of thinking "what's the CARROT I need to keep up my weekly mileage?".  And after some online banter of wagering a bar tab of some good beer in January of whomever doesn't run everyday has to pick up the bill, I WAS IN!!!  So yes, there will be no medal at the end, but there will be a pitcher of beer, a blog, and hopefully the beginning of a great tradition moving forward for all of us who struggle with the challenges of winter running.

Marcothon's basic rules:

  1. You must run EVERY DAY
  2. December only. No other month counts. You can’t run the NYC marathon in July, because the weather’s nicer
  3. Three miles (5km) or 25 minutes – whichever comes first – is the minimum
  4. Yes, it includes Christmas day
  5. If you take a day off, you’re out. Sorry. No playing catch-up
  6. It’s a personal challenge. If you think you’re cheating, you probably are
  7. If you don’t normally run on a treadmill, don’t start. See point above
  8. No cycling, rowing, dog-walking, climbing the stairs in your house (yes, we were asked that) permitted
  9. You can run at 5m/m or jog at 15m/m – the pace is not important
  10. Have fun and share your experiences with other Marcothoners

So I have raised my right hand to committed to this madness/challenge.  I also shared it with the Homewood Flossmoor Community Running Club ( we also have 4-5 others joining the fun.  My good pal Jeffry has also committed to Marcothon and we have both committed to doing ALL OUR MILES OUTSIDE. NO JOKE.  We both will be blogging about our experience right here, nearly everyday that we can, to share with you all our running challenges - both personal and on the pavement - to get thru the next 31 days of excitement.  

A little background about me.  I'm a 34 year old runner and live in Homewood,


I am a full time mom of 3 kiddos (7 year old boy/girl twins and a 17 month old cutie baby girl), a full time practicing structural engineer who works in the steel industry, and a marathoner in my "free time" :)  I am a member of the local running group where we run together a few days a week before work at 5am, Wednesday nights for beer runs, and Saturday mornings with the broader group.  We sign up for big races and local 5ks together.  And honestly - we truly support each other and it is an amazing group of local runners who are also great friends (who even buy my kid's cub scout popcorn when I plead them mid-run!)...ha!

I will begin from this point forward posting daily, as much as possible - images and stories about  my runs. Where I ran, a link to my run data, the challenge of 'getting out the door' that day, and the current daily excuses I had to overcome to get out the door, lace up my shoes, and make it happen!!! 

So - prayers for running health, cooperative weather, my supporting family, and keeping family sicknesses at bay to allow me to head out every day would be very appreciative!  Feel free to send on any ideas to me on how to make this work.  My plan is not to run too many long mileage days at first....just to allow my body to acclimate to the daily running routine without rest days.  But again, a week in,  I may have an entirely new game plan on how to truly make this work.  I travel for work - and between that and my family obligations - it may be a true circus balancing act to make this effectively happen.  Thanks again for your support - HERE GOES NOTHING!!!

- Tabitha