Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Clydesdale and Athena Divisions

So I'm new to all this marathon racing stuff. I just started running really about a year ago with my husband. We were trying to get some cardio workouts in and get back into shape, after spending the last couple decades raising three kids. It was finally time for us, since the kids were all grown up.

Anyway, we started out walking a block then running a block. When we finally made it all the way to Starbucks, yes, that was the goal, we nearly jumped up and down. We probably would have too, if we hadn't been so tired from the run.

Now I'm training for my very first marathon or 26.2 miles at fifty!

It's a serious challenge and I've been working to build up my endurance but I had no idea there were so many divisions for racing. I sort of knew about an age bracket classification but I had no idea your weight could place you in a certain category too. Well, it can and it does.

Did you know there is a Clydesdale (198 lbs) and Athena (150 lbs) division in the Pacific Crest marathon? They will even be doing an official weigh-in at Packet Pickup (now, I'm not sure I'd want to weigh-in in front of all those other runners--who are usually way thinner and more athletic-looking than me).

But the cool thing is that the Clydesdale/Athena divisions will be recognized in the TRI NorthWest Long Course Championship as well. My point, is this is an incentive to get out there are run even if you don't have the "correct" body type to do it because believe me, I don't have a runner's build. In fact, last year when I was late to the half-marathon race, because they'd moved the start line, I asked some of the people standing around, "Where's the starting line?"

"The walkers are over there," one woman said.

I would have laughed, if I wasn't insulted, "No," I told her, "I'm running."

She looked at me like I had to be out of my mind but pointed me in the right direction.

Luckily for me, because I finished that 13.1 mile run with NO problems.

Now, I'm working really hard to get my weight down so I can run the marathon without having to stop. I've read that every extra pound we carry creates 15 pounds of pressure on our joints. So every 10 pounds I lose reduces 150 pressure and at my age, I'm seriously concerned about my joints and knees.

I'm going to read more and do more research - because this helps motivate me to want to lose weight before the race but it's not easy. So, any good tips you might have would be much appreciated.


David Batista said...

Wow, good luck! I've been seriously impressed all this time reading your blog and following your progress. It's amazing how dedicated you and your hubby have been.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

How frustrating to have someone say "walkers over there!" As if body type has anything to do with running. That said, good luck as you keep on truckin'!

Kelly Polark said...

Good for you,Kim! That is awesome.

I just can't walk/run outside in the winter (I can't stand the cold), but once spring hits, my goal is to walk for 40 minutes once a week besides my other workouts (which have diminished since I started my part time job this year). Little steps. :)

Jen on the Edge said...

I am living proof that weight is not a deterrent for running ... and I definitely weigh much more than the minimum for Athenas.

I read somewhere recently that every 10 pounds you lose improves your running times too. It was something like 30 seconds per mile. I need to do more research, but that's a good incentive for me! :-)

I'm so proud of you for training for a marathon!!!