Before I decided to commit to run Grandma’s Marathon, I asked my kids if they would let me run it. Confused, Adam (13 years old) asked “If you are running the race, why are you asking us if you can do it?” My response was that while the race is 26.2 miles, there are hours and hours of training before June 19, and with planting season being very time-dependent, I may not be able to make as many track meets and other events, and they may get to contribute by helping with chores. He understood the answer, and still thought I should go for it.

That answer is closer to becoming reality now. I have spent parts of the last 4 days under the planter, changing opening disks and adding Keeton Seed Firmers to each row unit. Each row is taking about 25 minutes now that I have a system down, and I have 5 left (of 31). Some of the struggle is wiggling under the units 2 or 3 times to remove and install parts, plus retrieval of the new stuff. This has been a good opportunity to see what pieces fell off last year, and notice what will get a closer look next spring. I am thankful to have a nice shop to work in, but the cement is hard on my knees (and butt) at times. Also some of the positions I am in contribute to a greater feeling of “tired” than when I am working with pigs. I have complained enough about this job that I think all in the family will be glad when it is done.

However tough the work is on the farm, I use it as cross training and core workouts. There aren’t too many days that go without handling a few 50lb feed bags. Also, I get the opportunity to maneuver market weight (270#) hogs and sows (500#+) often enough that my balance and footwork stay in top shape.

Running – wise, I had a good week. Like Monica mentioned in her last post, the winds have been challenging, but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Saturday’s long run was 14 miles, with increasing speed the second half. My plan called for the last mile to be at half-marathon pace (7:15), and I hit that at mile 13. The last mile, not really forcing the pace but with about 8mph wind behind me, was at 6:53. Finishing that run, plus the interval and tempo runs that were at more intense levels, really increased my confidence in my current physical conditioning. I am on track to cover 47 miles this week with a long run of 16 miles and about the same mileage next week. I am not sure how running and planting will mix this spring, but I have a very solid base that will carry me through one or two missed workouts.

There are no “magic buttons” to push. There are no “secret workouts”,  no “wonder food.” The time wasted looking for these things would be better spent working out.- Vies