Fall Marathon Training: Pick a Team

Wait, just wait: It'll all make sense in a minute why I chose this image!

Maybe I shouldn’t lead with this fact, but I am most definitely not a fan of the Twilight series. (Okay, so I’ve never read the books--which friends tell me are superior to the films--but after watching the first flick with our teen niece, I was peeved I’d wasted two hours of my life. Come on, admit it: You, too, kept waiting forthe family of vamps to break into mime during of first half of movie.) Yet because I am a voracious reader of Entertainment Weekly magazine, I keep up on all the latest Twilight pop culture. Despite not having any tweens or teens under my roof, I am well versed in the Team Edward (fans of the white-faced vampire) v. Team Jacob (those who drool over, I mean, root for the teen-turned-werewolf) rivalry.

What’s all this got to do with Run Like a Mother? I’m getting’ there… On one of my final East Coast RLAM tour stops, a woman asked me if readers ever tell Dimity or me that they like one of us better than the other. I laughed: While Dim and I have a, ahem, running joke that she’s “the cute one,” I’d never heard anyone say they favored one of us over the other. (Gee, at least not to my less-cute face!) Instead, I told the woman, many fans tell us they relate more to one of us than the other. I chuckle every time someone writes a comment on our Facebook wall like, “I’m so Dimity: I always curse my alarm clock and swat at the snooze button,” or, “I’m an SBS, always trying to set a PR.”

The woman’s inspired response: “You should make up tees that say, ‘Team Sarah’ or ‘Team Dimity.’” LOVE it!

While we haven’t gotten the silk screeners on the task yet, you can still choose sides. Yesterday Dimity posted the first four weeks of her beginner marathon training program. If you've been around the 26.2-block numerous times and have a weekly mileage base of roughly 35 miles, step up to my plan (also crafted by the wonderful Andrew Kastor, coach of the High Sierra Strides and an all-around awesome guy). We've dubbed it the Advanced Marathon Plan, largely in contrast to Dim's plan. I followed the 12-week plan when I trained for Big Sur Marathon this April, and I’m going to follow it again for Portland Marathon, which is on the propitious date of 10/10/10.

Like cutie-pie, uh, I mean, Dimity, I’ll keep notes about my training in the plan. Unlike Dim, I’ve filled in all 12 weeks of the plan. That admission shouldn’t surprise you, given I’m the competitive one, right? Or, as Sarah Katz, a journalist who wrote a first-person account of the East Coast event wrote to me, “Though my running vibe is more along the Dimity lines, I appreciated your candid manner, honesty, and ability to take running seriously without taking yourself that way.”

Thanks, Sarah K., I think you just fittingly provided the motto for Team Sarah: “Take your running seriously, not yourself.”

32 responses to “Fall Marathon Training: Pick a Team

  1. Thanks for your effusive comments, Meagan, and for following us around the Internet, magazines, book. I used to be a MASSSIVE fan of Dr. Pepper in high school. That plus BBQ flavor potato chips while watching “Guiding Light.” Oh, talk about guilty pleasures before I even knew such a concept existed!! I’ve moved away from ice baths (mainly b/c of the time commitment but, let’s face it, they are not much fun!), but maybe I’ll resume during this training cycle.

  2. I liked this post! I am mix of both I think. I’ve been following your blogs since I read your article about the Nike Women’s Marathon in RW. I bonded with Dimity right off the bat when she said her running gave her mental clarity- So true!- and I liked the fact that she used to pay her self for every mile she ran ( I used to do that too, but I paid myself in Dr. Pepper!) To date I still use alot of her quick meals (PB and banana and chocolate milk after a run.) But I’m also like Sarah when I am doing speed work or a long run. I am there to get it done and according to my family I take it way to seriously. ( and when Sarah wrote about taking ice baths I finally decided to give it a try and now I am a believer!) Thank you so much for keeping up with your blog and also I loved loved loved your book!

  3. Sarah, I am going to follow your plan for NYC for November!! already this week, I am going to need your inspiration on here for hill training!!!!!!!!!!! YIKES!!

    1. Right on, Grainne! Something tells me, though, your upper-body routine would put me and my flabby guns to shame! Are you going to mix in more x-training than my plan includes or are you with me on running 6x/week??

      We can do a celebratory run together in CT–I’m hoping to be out there for Thanksgiving week. I’ll keep you posted.

  4. This post made me laugh! Ever since we read the book, my running partner and I have this discussion all of the time. Are we Dimity or SBS? FYI…your names are brought up on our runs at least once a week. We will quote different things from the book, quotes one of you have said, advice one of you have given…we are a little RLAM obsessed!

    Anyway, since we are both newbie runners (9 months in so far), PR’s are not our focus right now. Distance and staying healthy is what drives us. We both like to hit the snooze once or twice (and occasionally three times) in the morning, but are always happy after our morning runs. If we don’t run in the morning (5am alarm), it doesn’t happen. We both work full time and each have 2 children. We are currently training for the Rock-n-Roll 1/2 in Philly in September!

    So, to finally get to the point, we are Team Dimity. Although this hard for me to admit since my daughter’s name is Sarah and I feel a kinship to all the Sarahs (esp those with an H) out there!

    Good luck to both of you! Thanks for writing your book and your daily blog…i look forward to it every day! 🙂

    1. Maria–
      This explains WHY my ears have been burning so much lately!! “;>)

      Seriously, though, thanks for the RLAM-love, and awesome job aiming for a half marathon a year into your running career. Have fun, and let us know how it goes.

  5. SBS, you had me at “salt and vinegar chips”!! My weakness too…just had some. I’m running my first marathon on October 17th, the Baystate Marathon. It has the highest percentage of Boston qualifiers, although I’m just hoping to finish. I also am working on my stride like Dimity to keep a knee injury at bay. I relate to both of you, really. Thanks for the inspiration and motivation!

    1. Erica–
      Oh, now you’ve done it: I’m now salivating at the very MENTION of our beloved chip flavor! (But skip the Lay’s version: Jack bought a bag last weekend. Too flimsy, and fake flavor.)

  6. I am a solid member of Team Edward and though I love you both, I’m also in SBS’s camp. (Which should come as no suprise – I love a PR like nobody’s business!)

  7. The other day my sister sent me the video link to Run Like a Mother. Since I started running years ago (lost 90 lbs) and kind of gave it up last year, after deciding to do my first half (Seattle Rock & Roll) only to have my knees HATE me as I graduated to 6 miles.. your video inspired me to get back out there! I am a mom of 5 kids and finding the time to run is very very difficult. I thought once they were all out of the stroller and schlepping their own stuff would be easier. I think putting them back in the stroller for the run might be easier at times ha! Well, maybe just finding the gumption to get OUT is the hard part now! 🙂

    So I’m looking for your book & flip to the blog – to see your very first line about TWILIGHT. That alone had me hooked. My 14 year old daughter, an avid reader, loved the first 2 books. I took her to see the Twilight movie and sorry, Twilight fans, we both walked out completely disappointed. I hoped to find it a really good, as in, well done, movie and afterwards, I couldn’t believe all the hype. Being avid movie watchers who really enjoy all the cool stuff they can do now, we know what a good movie is. 😛 My daughter, too, was disappointed. So your opinion there, well I’ll have to read your book now.

    Anyway, I’m checking out cutie pie – er – “Dim” is it? blog on marathon training for beginners. And I’d better visit the local shoe store for updated tennies. Thank you for helping us moms & inspiring us onwards!

    RamFM of

    1. RamFM, welcome back to running! Thanks to your sis for sending our video your way (isn’t it awesome!? Dim made it so I feel I can brag with abandon!).

      It warms my heart to read today of all the teens who did NOT like Twilight. I had enticed our East Coast niece out for a visit by telling her much of the movie was filmed here in Oregon. She carried her DVD on plane in her carry-on bag, “because what if the airlines LOST it?!” (Me: “Uh, buy a new one on Amazon?!”) Sure, enough, it was a total homage to our gloriously verdant state, but ack, such drivel!

      If you haven’t found us on Facebook, head on over to Run Like a Mother: The Book for more inspiration. The community of women runners assembled over there never fails to amaze and motivate us!

  8. Ever since I read the article about your Nike marathon in Runners World, I’ve loved reading about both of your journeys and experiences equally so it would be impossible to choose – there are parts of each of you that I admire and relate to. I’m always injured like Dimity, but goal-driven like SBS (not to say that Dimity isn’t goal-driven, ’cause I know just getting up and going to PT some days is a goal itself). You’re both wonderful motivators and inspirations. Maybe I’m crazy, but you’re both more alike than different, and it’s the package deal that keeps me following your blog. 🙂

    1. Ah, shucks, Heidi, thanks!! Dim and I agree: We are a strong duo that play off each other well. She’s been a dear friend for years, and we didn’t start to realize our mutually respectable differences until we collaborated. Thanks for following us for three years. As my parents are fond of saying: Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be. (For the record: I’m the sappy one in the Dim/SBS dyad!)

  9. I love this post–but I can’t choose a team. Sometimes I’m definitely on Dimity’s team (especially with regards to rest/sleep!), but I also have a competitive streak that I didn’t know existed until recently…and I have always wanted to set PRs and been disappointed after races where I didn’t. So that’s more like Sarah. I am hoping to run a marathon in January, but am training for a half right now. If my half goes well, I’ll use Sarah’s plan.

    On Twilight…so much suckage in those first two movies, but I kinda enjoyed the third one. The characters actually, um, laughed and smiled once in a while. The books? Enjoyable escapist ordinary-chick-nabs-the-hot-mysterious-Byronic-dude story. Not great writing, but neither were the Harlequin romances I snuck in as a preteen–and I still did OK as an English major later on. (That NPR thing cracked me up.)

  10. this summer i am Team Diminity. I have been training for my first marathon and am on week #2. It has been a struggle, but there are so many great blogs out there that it is easy to stay motivated. it seems like the heat and the humidity here in NH are what have been killing me, besides the fact that I have 4 kids off of school as well.
    as far as the Twilight series I read the books in 1 week, but I have not seen any movies. i am not a big book to movie girl, you always leave disappointed.
    thanks for the updates. i definitely look to you guys for motivation.

  11. I am an Oregonian, but Team Dimity. I am non-competitive, happy to finish races without walking. My usual pace is 11 minute miles. But, I am training to run the Eugene Women’s half on Labor Day weekend, and the Eugene 5K Race for the Cure on 10/10/10.
    As for Twilight movies and books – my 12 year old daughter, my 20 year old daughter and I all think they are a waste of space and time!

    1. Andrea–
      I hope to meet you at Eugene Women’s Half: I’m racing it, as well as speaking at packet pick-up the day before. I’ll be selling/signing books, too. I think it’s going to be a great race.
      And SOOOOOOO delighted to hear all three of you are in agreement about Twilight! That would be tough if, say, your 12-year-old was smitten. United you stand!

  12. Sarah- I read the first book and I can’t imagine how the movie could have been worse. Two NPR correspondents did the best review of the books that I’ve ever seen (and neither of them had finished the first book). Not to be a kissass, but I’d have to put myself on Team RLAM. Lately every run has been a struggle (heat? lazy? self-fulfilling prophecy?) but at the same time, I have grand (mental) plans for my running.

    I’m with Aimee- running my first marathon 11/28/10.

    NPR review:

  13. I am Team Dimity, I am on my sixth marathon, and also on a beginner plan. It was your video of working out with your child, and the dog walking through that cemeted it. But being an Oregonian, also am pulled in the Team Sarah direction. (And will be out on race day cheering you on Sarah) I guess it’s more of an inner battle. Keep up the great posts, I’m really looking forward to cheering you both on this fall. And of course, printing the plans for the next race.

    1. Yay, Tryna, I look forward to you cheering me on at Portland. It just dawned on me now how much FUN it’ll be to have people at various spots along the course. Usually it’s just one or two friends along the way. Or, in the case of our Big Sur, only at finish.

  14. Having read the blog yesterday, I printed Dimity’s plan because this is my first marathon, (Space Coast Marathon, Cocoa Beach, FL 11/28/10). So I get up this morning, ready to do my 3 miles, when I step outside and it is super humid. I felt like I was running through a wall. After a mile and a half I was ready to quit but I actually thought to myself, Dimity is running 3 miles today. I can’t quit on the first day! So I didn’t. I ran my 3 miles.

  15. Love it!! I think Sarah K is Team D and I am Team S, thanks for sharing the plans and enjoy the effort as you guys get ready to rock your races this fall!!

    1. Yup, Kathy, even from our brief meeting, I’d agree that you and I are same team. I’ll just be bringing up rear, speed-wise, as YOU lead the charge! “;>)

  16. Ack!! You can NOT decide how you feel about the Twilight series based on those movies. I read the four books in two weeks, but I couldn’t even finish watching New Moon. It was THAT bad. I mean really, really bad. The books aren’t particularly well-written, but I devoured them. And I’m team Edward ALL the way.

    Sarah, I’m running the Chicago Marathon–also on 10/10/10! But I’m going to have to call myself Team Dimity because I’m sticking with a beginner plan. I don’t have the base to go advanced. Good luck as you head into what I’m assuming is your 5th week of training (just because that’s what I’m in, and I’m also following a 12-week plan). 🙂

    1. Oh, goodness, Dim and I always joke that we can’t count at all…but I swear, by my calculations, 10/10 is 12 weeks from last Sunday. Right?!?!

        1. PHEW! I went running after I read your comment, and I just kept pondering HOW my counting could be soooooo off. Of course, it never occurred to me you were on 16-week plan. Ha, ha: Glad I’m off the hook, math-wise, for that brain-teaser! Good luck training for Chicago. Give me updates occasionally.

    1. Mary–
      A comment YOU made to me is one of big reasons I thought this would be a good idea–when you said you felt like you’d “missed” most of my last marathon training b/c of fewer blog posts. Now you can follow along!
      Going for a trail run now. Yay! xo

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