Challenge,  running

An Exercise Goal…

Granted, A Stupid One…

I just heard from a marathon run (26.2 miles) that I had sighed up for a few months back that it will actually happen on November 14th. Shocked, I say. Shocked. I signed up just not believing it would happen, but they figured out a way to do it to get the state to approve it.

Now I am in decent shape, but not marathon shape, and still about ten pounds overweight to try that distance.

But I have six weeks.

When I am not injured, which I am not at the moment, I average about 40 miles per week of a little running and a lot of walking just in my normal exercise routines.

So like any large event or project, I plan.

Here is my plan, such as it is…

I am taking my average each week up to 49 miles this next week and doing more running. And I will drop two pounds a week, which is a healthy pace.

Following week I leave the distance at 49 miles and another two pounds down.

Week of October 19th I go to 50 miles (only one mile up), with a lot more running.

Week of October 26th, more running and a total of 54 miles. Two more pounds down.

Week of November 2nd, two more pounds down and a total of 61 miles, more running than walking.

So doing over 60 miles a week and down 10-12 pounds before November 14th. That’s the plan.

Factors involved are still record heat here for this coming week. With luck, that should finally drop into normal fall temperatures.

My plan is also on the race day, November 14th, I will walk more than I run. If I run/walk I average about 13 minutes a mile, which is under 6 hours if I make the entire way. (I have a pretty good walking stride from my years of golf.) I did that pace last year on the Vegas marathon/half. My normal 10K pace (6 miles) is right at 12 minutes per mile.

So goal #1, get to the race.

So goal #2, to finish.

Goal #3 to finish under 6 hours.

I will be 70 years old and should win my age bracket since more than likely I will be the only one my age running. (grin)

So I will report in along the way. Chances of not getting injured, dropping the weight, and actually showing up that morning on the 14th are fairly slim at this point. Finishing even slimmer. I respect that distance a great deal.

But there is a chance. Let me see if I can beat the odds.


  • David B Wisehart

    Great goal and solid plan. I’ve run/walked two marathons, and hope to still be going strong in my 70s. Wishing you the best. You got this.

  • Kate Pavelle

    Your best bet is to focus on injury prevention, IMHO. This way, you can treat the marathon as a training run with “finish optional,” and keep running through the winter with a spring marathon in mind. I’m glad you’re doing it, but remember to keep it fun ((grin)).

  • Jonathan Coker


    How are you breaking up the running for 49 miles? How much each day? Do you have any rest days? At the beginning of August I started running myself having already lost 16lbs at age 42. My goal is to try and run at least a half marathon if not a full one by next spring, just looking for some advice.

    This has also helped improve my productivity with classes I am taking and my writing. Haven’t felt this great in a long time.

    • dwsmith

      I got a Fitbit on my wrist and pretty much live by it. I have a base of 10,000 steps, which is five miles for me in a day. I count every step.

      Then past my normal 10,000 steps, I have some longer days. Here is how the Week of Oct 5th I hope will look.
      Mon… 5 miles
      Tues… 8
      Wed… 5
      Thur… 8
      Fri… 10
      Sat… 5
      Sun… 8

      That’s 49 miles. That week will be my hardest, since I am ramping up over the 35 miles per week of 10,000 steps a day.

  • Deb Miller

    Great set of goals! I always set 3 goals for a race, very much along the line of your goals (although I typically do finish as goal #1, a slower time as goal #2 and my target time as goal #3). Regardless, if you meet goal #1 to show up at the race, that’s a success! My advice (which you can and probably will ignore): you need to taper for at least 2 weeks before the marathon rather than ramping up on the next to last week. I typically taper for 3 weeks. 54 miles two weeks out is plenty. If you can do 54 miles, you’ll be fine. IMHO, doing 61 miles the week before the race is asking for trouble. I did 46 miles three weeks before I last qualified for Boston. The last two weeks were much less. However, normal walking isn’t included in my numbers. Just suggesting that you consider reducing the mileage 2 weeks before the race.

    • dwsmith

      Deb, I most certainly will cut back. I will rest a bunch, do short runs and walks the week or so ahead.

      But goal is to finish. The other stuff I will use to keep pushing me along the way. Especially the mile times. I know I will be hurting the last six miles or so and be slow, so if I can maintain a decent pace (not fast, just my normal) the first 20, I’ll be happy. Thanks for the reminder. I had already eased that last week or so back a bunch.