100 Days to Run a Marathon Challenge: Done!

So I finally managed to do a marathon. About three weeks earlier before the deadline, 26 of June. The summer is here and it’s getting hotter and hotter, hence my decision to do it as soon as possible to avoid the summer heat. It was an interesting road to this point, back in March when I started day 1 of this challenge and did my first run it was cold, there was ice and snow outside, the next day the snow started melting, there were puddles everywhere but I went for a run anyway, needles to say, I soaked my running shoes and my socks with water. Since then I’ve run through cold, snow, ice, puddles of water, mud, rain and heat. And it seems like this journey took me through all the seasons and through more time than some seventy-something days.

100 Days to Run a Marathon Challenge
100 Days to Run a Marathon Challenge

My first marathon was hard, no doubt about it, when I started to train for it I had some legitimate doubts that I can finish it. More about my limitations in one of the posts that I’ve written. The last third bit of the marathon was the hardest because by then I developed blisters at both of my feet and they got increasingly painful. Hence, I had to walk most of the last twelve kilometers. My socks got soaking wet from all the perspiration and this in turn made my feet start to move against the shoes and all that friction caused some painful blisters on the soles of my feet.

The time? A little bit more than six hours. I estimated that it would take me about 5-6 hours to do it. If I hadn’t developed the blisters than I would have had a better time but time wasn’t really a preoccupation for me, the important thing was to finish the marathon.

The weather today was quite good, it was cloudy, this kept the temperature down, a few sporadic droplets of rain came down, around 11 AM the clouds began to scatter and this led to some increase in temperature, but all in all it was a pretty good day for running today.

Other related posts:

The 100 Days to Run a Marathon Challenge

Day 50 of the 100 Days to Run a Marathon Challenge

Day 50 of the 100 Days to Run a Marathon Challenge

It’s day 50 of my 100 Days to Run a Marathon Challenge and the first thing that I can say about this challenge is that I’m a bit behind schedule. As mentioned in my first post, The 100 Days to Run a Marathon Challenge, I don’t really have a schedule or a plan on how I will achieve this objective, my only plan is to incrementally run longer distances, so around day 50 I should be running 21 kilometers in one running session.

100 Days to Run a Marathon
Image source: Wikimedia

Am I running 21 kilometers in a running session these days? Not really, yesterday I’ve come close to running a semi-marathon, I did about 19 kilometers of running and hiking. The explanation for the hiking part is this: a part of my running itinerary took me up a forested hill, which is ideal for hiking,  I haven’t done any hiking in quite a while and the peacefulness of the forest, the coolness and the better quality of the air, the absence of buildings, cars and people made me want to linger around more.

My plan for the next runs is this one: Tuesdays – a slow, 10K run, Thursdays – a faster, 4-5K run which might include stairs running, Sundays – a slow, 21K run. This is a change from my original plan of incrementally running longer distances and is partially inspired by the “usual” plans of training for a marathon. I will do this for the next 3-4 weeks, increasing the distances a bit after each week with 2 or 2,5 kilometers.

The “deadline” for this challenge is 26 of June but I want to accomplish it earlier because around that date we will be almost one month into summer and the temperatures will be high. I don’t know how it is for others but for me, high temperatures mean a drop of 10 to 30 percent in my energy levels, performance, motivation, everything. So, ideally for me would be to end this challenge in the next 4-5 weeks top, even if that means that I will have to make a jump from running 20K+ to a marathon.

Halfway There. Day 50 of the 100 Days of Writing Challenge

My challenge of writing for 100 Days has been quite a ride so far, I wrote 50 posts and about 20000 words, covered various subjects like book reviews, startups, business, self-improvement, history, neuroscience, cryptography, reading lists and haikus.

Word Count plugin, 100 Days of Writing Challenge

I’ve written most of those 20000 words in March, I have quite a lot of posts about 900+ and 1000+ words long. In April however, I started slowing down but I kept going, I “cheated” a bit by creating short cryptography challenges, reading lists with my favorite books and three lines long haikus.  I slowed a bit with writing on my blog because I’m quite busy lately and I’m also questioning if it’s worth writing long, interesting, value adding and time-consuming blog posts because almost nobody reads them.

I hope that you like haikus because long posts or not, I’m determined to finish this challenge even if that means writing most of the next 50 posts as haikus.

I’ve started doing series lately in order to bring more structure and order to my posts; my first posts where about all kinds of subjects, I didn’t do much planning and I din’t knew about what I will write until a few minutes before starting.

The first series that I started doing is about decision making:

How Much Analysis of Outcomes is too Much Analysis?

How Much Analysis of Outcomes is too Much Analysis? Part 2

Rational Inattention

I continued with a series with cryptographic challenges. These little cryptography challenge where fun to make and didn’t took much time to do them, one hour at most, compared to one to three hours for a lengthier post.

Decrypt This Post, Difficulty Level: Easy

Cryptographic Fun With Emojis

Cryptographic Fun No. 3: Deus Vult!

Islands, Pirates and Treasures: Cryptographic Challenge No. 4

The Pharaoh Sails to Orion: Cryptographic Challenge No. 5

Four Brain Cells Cryptography: Les Shadoks

Atomic Cryptography


Continued with reading lists:

My Top Fiction Books – Reading List

My Top Books on Startups – Reading List

My Top History Books – Reading List

My Top Marketing Books – Reading List

My Top Mind & Neuroscience Books – Reading List

My Top Business Books – Reading List

My Top Biography & Autobiography Books – Reading List

My Top Psychology Books – Reading List

And then haikus:

Ask the Wind, Ask the Dust – Haiku

Morning Run – Haiku

The Gun Kata – Haiku

Artificial Intelligence – Haiku

La Vie en Rose – Haiku

A Neighborhood Walk in the Spring – Haiku

The Mind – Haiku

#DeleteFacebook – Haiku

Three things that I learned so far:

  1. Somewhere around day 20 I started worrying about running out of subjects to write about. Well, the number of subjects that you can write about is virtually infinite, your only limitation is your imagination and your creativity.
  2. One thing that I do in order to remember about what I want to write is to create a draft post, an empty draft post with nothing in it but the title. At some point I had about 20 or more of such drafts, I still have a lot of drafts waiting to be transformed into full fledged posts.
  3. It’s important to start; this step can also be the hardest. Even if you feel like writing or not, muster enough will to write a title and a paragraph. Most of the time you won’t stop there and continue writing until you finish the post.

The 100 Days to Run a Marathon Challenge

It’s important to always challenge yourself, to get out of your comfort zone, to set goals and to have systems to achieve them. There can’t be growth without getting out of your comfort zone. I’ve been wanting to run a marathon for about 7-8 years now, yet I haven’t succeed yet to achieve this goal because of various reasons. It’s time to stop wanting and to start achieving.

The 100 Days to Run a Marathon Challenge

forever running into the sunset
Source: Pixabay

The challenge is to run a marathon – 42 kilometers in the next 100 days. Day 1 was yesterday, 18 of March and day 100 will be on 26 of June 2018. Yesterday I’ve run about 3.5 kilometers in cold, through snow and a patch of ice and did a few ups and downs on a big 55 steps stairway which is about 100 meters from where I live. The weather is a bit problematic at the moment and it seems that it will still be winter until the next week at least. I will be running outdoors only and the compacted snow and ice on the streets is increasing the risk of injury. Hopefully I will not end my journey as soon as I am starting it. I haven’t run today but I will do.

I don’t have any special training plan, I only have a simple system: to run almost daily and push myself a little bit more each time. Running daily is not a realistic and even recommended because the body needs time to recover. I will make up the plan as I go.

Realistically speaking, I’m a bit reserved towards my chances of achieving this goal. I’m in a relatively good physical shape, I’ve run before, but I’m quite bad and slow at running! I have bad long-distance running genes (I’ve done a DNA test a few years back, I will most probably write a future post about genetics), I have fast-twitch muscle fibers, fast-twitch muscles fatigue faster, all the elite marathon runners have slow-twitch muscle which are great for endurance. I have bad running form, my options are limited here because I have a problem, don’t like to talk/write about it but I have some limits in the use of my left arm and I can’t do the proper arm running movements. I don’t know my VO2 max but it’s probably lower than the average, I took a test some years ago because I had a pulmonary infection, i’m not sure how the test is called, it’s the one where you have to blow as hard as you can into a device – and the doctor asked me if I smoke after reading the results – I’m not a smoker, I tried smoking but didn’t found it appealing, smoked 5 cigars tops in my whole life.  Probably my VO2 max improved since then, I’m less sedentary now than in those years.

Like I said earlier, I tried running before, I have my in-built limitations but I’m not a beginner: I succeeded in running semi-marathons before. I participated to an official trail running competition, even though I worked very hard, I  was among the last ones to cross the finish line. What stopped me from running a marathon until now is the lack of consistency I guess,  I had periods of weeks, months and even years in which I didn’t run because of various reasons. I don’t know about others, but in my first runs after not running for a month or less my lungs are burning like it’s the first time I’m running.

This bucket-list goal has been evading me for too long. I will check it off by 26 of June.

I won’t be writing daily about how this challenge, goes, I will most probable write an update on day 50, day 99 or day 100 or earlier if something unexpected like breaking a leg happens.

N.B: I’m also on day 11 in my challenge to write a post each day for 100 days. I haven’t wrote about doing this challenge before, you are finding it now for the first time.