To Randy: Maybe we do indeed have different philosophies about marathons. I guess I am coming from the perspective of an active person who gets interested to try new/different/fun things without wanting to spend months or years carefully building my life around the training to do it exactly right.
Does this backfire sometimes? Yes. Have I gotten a "permanent injury" trying stuff in an unorthodox manner? No. And I don't know anyone else who has, either. I didn't train the "right" way for my marathon and it went great. Different strokes and all...
To Mike: Now that I know you are 97 kg = 214 lb = 15 1/4 stone (?), yeah I'd say figure more like 7 hours rather than 6. Randy mentioned that you need to forget running the whole 42K. That is 100% true. I'd say plan on running less than half. Do yourself a favor and go read that previous thread about the guy who did the LA Marathon on 1 month of training. It will give you a really good idea about what to expect.
To Ed: Do I get to sharpen that tongue depressor before I take on the bear?
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