Am I Insane?

I’ve never run a marathon… Or even a half marathon. The past couple of years have been trying on my physical and mental health and I am ready to make a big jump towards feeling good again. Since I was a child climbing little Mount Monadnock in NH, watching a guy in his 60s run up the mountain with ease and grace, I’ve dreamt of being able to run through the wilderness myself. I spend a ton of time outside, hiking, moving my body, but I need a reason to shift some things in my life and the Mad Moose Arches full marathon feels like just the challenge for me. Everyone in my life I share this with says, “why not try a road race first?” and “What about a half?” but I feel like this is the moment and opportunity I need to step into endurance athlete territory and a great stepping stone before I get really crazy looks for wanting to do an ultra in 2023. I kind of came here looking for validation - is this possible? I have a training plan loaded in TrainingPeaks (strength and mobility for running over the next 6 weeks, then marathon training - both from 80/20 endurance) along with knees over toes guy’s program to set my joints up for the trails. We travel full time and I will have plenty of time to do runs at elevation and we will be around Moab for about a month before the race to make sure I’m used to it. Can I do it? Will I make it? Am I being stupid? Crazy? Maybe all of the above is a yes, but I am eager to join all of you on this beautiful journey. And if you have any advice; it would be greatly appreciated. <3


looks like the cutoff is 5pm which gives you 10 hours to finish… so 2.5 miles per hour, or call it 20 min/mile to be on the safe side. That’s about a fast walk pace… completely do-able I think.
Can you hike all day ? that would be a good starting point.

The 80/20 Endurance marathon plan is going to be focused on road running, so will probably have your long runs at 3hr or less. I’d be inclined to add some long walk/runs on trails in place of some of those long runs. Run when you can, walk the uphills and the steeper downhills, get in 4-5 hours on your feet moving. The distance covered in these runs will give you an idea of the pace you could do for the Arches trail run.


I might be insane, so you may or may not want my two cents :laughing: but I think it’s about mindset. I am also not a runner. I go through waves where I run a little, or maybe a lot, but I spend a lot of time outside, and have consistently hiked hundreds of miles for many summers. Last July an accident landed me in the ER. One severe concussion and three facial fractures later, I was quite wobbly on my feet and pretty nervous to risk another fall that could quite literally bust my head open :grimacing: But I rallied, started training in August and finished the Cuyamaca 100k trail race on October 2. The only “race” I had ever done prior to that was a casual, flat half-marathon on a road. I say listen honestly to your body and stop if it tells you to—but if you think you can do it, then why not try because you maybe well can! :v:


My advice would be find people who will support you in your crazy endeavors. Get rid of naysayers. In my opinion, there is only one way to know if you can do something and that is to go out and try it. The worst thing that can happen is you don’t finish but you have a great day on the trail and you learn a bunch. The more likely scenario is that you do finish, you have a great day on the trail, and you learn a lot. You might even meet some cool new people who will support you in your crazy adventures.

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