I've been hoping to run the LA Marathon again this year; I took last year off for reasons that seem silly now, but oh well. I started training in earnest back in August last year, only to be sidelined by the dreaded bronchitis, the worst itis I've ever had, from September - December, during which time I did not run. I didn't do much of anything other than write and work.
Finally, on December 29th I ran for the first time in four months, which is a long lay-off for me. And I felt it. I ran maybe two miles, and I was sore. But I went out and ran again on the 30th, then the again January 1st, and I've been running pretty regularly since then, but not very far. Mostly up and down celebrity-studded Runyon Canyon, maybe three miles at one time.
This doesn't bode well for my chances completing the marathon. But I'm pretty sure I'm going to go ahead and run it anyway, and so in preparation I've been getting up at 5:30 and running around Hollywood. I've got a pretty decent four mile Hollywood loop that I've run the last couple of days which has made me feel better about myself, but probably hasn't done much for my stamina. I haven't run farther than five miles at one time since last August.
I'm not going to be ready to run it. But I also don't want to go two years in a row without running in it (I missed it in 2001 and last year, both for, as I suggested above, silly reasons).
My friend Brian, who's run many more marathons than I, last year created a new marathon training program, in which you begin your training the day of the race. The first couple of miles are run at a slow pace to get yourself into a rhythm, because you don't want to injure yourself too early in your training, then the next few miles are run at the pace you intend to run the whole race, etc-- I guess I better give him a call and get his entire program, since I've got a feeling I'm going to be using it in March.