Maine Marathon training weeks three and four – when life intervenes

One of my favorite places to run or ride my bike – Kennebunkport.

For many teachers, the last two weeks of the school year are often the most hectic and stressful weeks on the calendar. For a teacher who is also beginning a marathon training program, the scheduled runs are usually seen as a welcome respite or as just one more task for which there’s just not enough hours in the day.

For me, I’ve worked hard to settle into a rhythm, into a schedule of running relatively short distances (3-5 miles) on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. On Saturdays, it’s time for a longer run (6-10 miles)  and then on Sundays, the mileage drops again. The week ends with a seemingly too easy 3-4 mile run.

Mondays and Fridays are rest days, and as a 57-year-old runner, I think I finally fully understand the importance of rest and letting my legs recover.

Away from the running trail, it certainly has been a busy few weeks. My school held graduation ceremonies. I finalized my student’s grades for the second semester, and I made sure I had final exams ready for all of my undergraduate students. At home, in an effort to get ready for another summer by the river, I stripped nearly two decades worth of paint from my front porch and celebrated my son’s and my father’s birthdays. And still, I found the time to run.

The race route for the Weekly Back Cove Race Series in Portland about 20 minutes before the race was set to begin,

This past week I ran in Portland (Weekly Back Cove Race Series), I ran along the beach in Old Orchard (my favorite small town), and of course, I ran near my home in Saco. I ran early in the morning and I ran as the sun was trying to linger above the horizon for just a few more minutes. I watched as the clouds came in and still with a sense of wonder, I watched the world around me.

I even managed to see a creature who naturally runs at a pace a bit slower than I do. But the most important aspect of these past two weeks was that despite the crazy schedule I was trying to complete, I continued to run. As someone once said to me, “it looks like you’ve got places to go and people to see.”

I am looking forward to the next few months and the schedule that my profession allows me to follow during the summer. For the most part, I’ll be spending time with my wife and family, working on a new manuscript, working on my house, and running.

Believe it or not, here I am at the end of a 6-mile run in Saco.

One of nicest honors to come my way happened this past spring when the organizers of the Maine Marathon named me as an ambassador for this year’s event. As such, I will continue to write about my training and the people I meet along the way, but I would also encourage other runners, of all ages, to join me as I embark on my weekend runs. I plan to leave from the parking lot of the Fleet Feet Maine running store on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

The runs will be posted on facebook and twitter (@DavidArenstam) and with any kind of luck, I’ll always run on part of the route used by the Marathon. But for now, I hope you follow along as the training continues and I work toward this looming goal of mine.

Stay tuned – as always, if I think it’s interesting, I’ll write about it.

Thanks again for reading my stories and as always, you may purchase my novel, Homecoming: A Soldier’s Story of Loyalty, Courage, and Redemption at your local, independent bookstore or online:, or

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David Arenstam

About David Arenstam

Originally from away, but here to stay - Maine is my home and I love writing stories about the people and places from my end of the state. I am a teacher and writer and my first novel, "Homecoming: A Soldier's Story of Loyalty, Courage, and Redemption" is available now at