Fitness, Health, Running

I’m Going To Run A Marathon

Happy hump day! I hope you’re all have a great week so far. After my half marathon in April, I never shared what was next for me in terms of running. I knew what the plan was the whole time but I wasn’t ready to share. Something tells me I won’t be able to hide it much longer though… I’m running my first marathon!

The rest of this post was written on March 2, 2018. Less than 24 hours after I signed up for the Philadelphia Marathon on November 18, 2018.

If you told me this time last year that I would be signing up for a marathon, I would have laughed in your face and thought you were crazy. I didn’t run. I thought I hated running since I never truly loved it despite being on the cross country and track team for all of high school. Looking back, I think I didn’t like running 6 days a week and having generic workouts. Nothing was geared towards me. Granted you can’t personalize workouts for 120 girls who run 6 days a week. But I think that’s what I needed to discover that I love running.

Instagram is a huge reason I discovered my love for running. Yes I realize how ridiculous that sounds but hear me out. Somehow I found Melissa one day. As I’m sure most of you do, I started scrolling through her feed. She became so inspiring to me. She has run 7 marathons and has run 4 Boston qualifying times on the day I’m writing this. Guess what – she wasn’t always a runner. She isn’t naturally fast either. Melissa worked hard and fought to get where she is today with her fitness levels.

A few times, I saw her post about her coaching business or her athlete’s successes. I was intrigued and considered it but never did it. Then one day I looked in the mirror and just knew something had to change. I wasn’t thrilled with the girl looking back at me. It had nothing to do with my life either. At this point Alex and I were so happy and had signed the lease to our first apartment,ย  I was about to graduate from college with a full time job and my family was so supportive of everything I did. But I needed something else. I needed an outlet. I emailed Melissa and we started talking about her coaching me.

When I started running, my “long run” was 2.5 miles. And it was intimidating to be honest. I know it’s just 2.5 miles but I didn’t run at all at that point. I started chugging along and running to get miles in and build up my endurance. The more I ran, the more I enjoyed it. Granted maybe I didn’t love it during my run in 90+ degree heat but after I felt so good.

Once I started to enjoy running, I decided to race. So I did a 5k for charity mostly because it was in Alex’s hometown and he knew the family that runs the foundation. Then I decided to really challenge myself by running a 10 mile race. 10 miles seemed like a good place to start for a long race and it went well! Training was great and I beat my goal by almost 4 minutes which felt amazing.

The next step seemed to naturally be a half marathon. So I signed up for the Rutgers Unite Half Marathon at my alma mater for April. I trained hard. I was killing my training paces and Melissa started to make them faster. I stepped up and delivered on the faster paces. The entire process was amazing. I loved the feeling of it all.

At the end of 2017, I told Alex I think I want to run a marathon. Once he got over the shock of me voluntarily wanting to run 26.2 miles, he said he’d support me. A marathon is a commitment in terms of training so I knew that his life would be affected a little bit due to early bed times and me not participating in late night outings. Plus I’d probably bug him for foot rubs and calf massages more than I already did.

I looked into some races for fall near me. I wanted something close and not have to deal with traveling for a race. The Philadelphia Marathon seemed like the perfect race. It was close to home and a big race. I looked into reviews and it sounded like there are a lot of spectators which seemed like a reason enough. So I decided I would sign up.

Then registration opened at the end of February. I went on the website to look into it and got scared. Was I really going to do this? Was I really going to spend months training myself and working towards a new and big goal of mine? So I chickened out and didn’t sign up. I figured that it was just nerves about signing up. Once I paid it was official right? I had to run the whole darn thing. I said I would think about it more and then decide what to do.

On March 1st, I had a phone call with Melissa just to check in on half marathon training. She knew I was considering running Philly and so we talked. Once I heard her say that she knew I was ready for it and could do it, it gave me a confidence boost. Keep in mind I have never met her. We only interact via phone calls and texts and she sees my workouts on Final Surge. For someone who I know “virtually” to say that made me think I could do it. But I was still scared to sign up.

Later that day, I had a tempo run. On it I just kept thinking of the marathon. Yes 26.2 miles is a lot but I don’t just run it tomorrow. I have training to go through to get myself ready for it.ย  While running, I decided I was going to run Philly and that was that so just sign up. After dinner that night, I grabbed my computer, credit card, and glass of wine and signed up. It was official. I’m going to be a marathoner.

Philadelphia Marathon Congrats Message

Don’t be fooled, I’m scared to run 26.2 miles. I’m nervous for how my body will react to running for so long. I’m scared to somehow fail. But at the same time, I am ready. I’m ready to work hard towards a new running goal. I’m ready to train and see what my body is capable of. I’m ready to crush new distances and achieve small goals along the way. I’m excited.

There is a lot that I don’t know yet about marathon training. But I know I have a great support system around me, my training will go well and when I cross the starting line in November I’ll be prepared. Maybe the race won’t go the way I want or I won’t achieve the time goal I have set for myself. I’ll finish though and be able to call myself a marathoner.

Question of the day: If you have run a marathon, do you have any tips?

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32 thoughts on “I’m Going To Run A Marathon”

  1. Yay, love this! My loves for marathons is on hold for the next year or so but I will definitely be living vicariously through your training and posts ๐Ÿ˜‰ Congrats. The marathon is an awesome experience – especially crowd support!

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  2. Iโ€™m so excited for you! The Philly Marathon is great and Iโ€™m excited to run it for the third time this year! My number one tip for a first marathon is just have a goal of finishing! I always told myself I could run as slow as I wanted, I just had to cross that finish line. Also just enjoy the long runs! I know running 13+ miles as a long run is super intimidating, but use the time to think, enjoy the peace and quiet, and possibly listen to some good podcasts haha. With marathon training starting next week, Iโ€™ll be posting some marathon related posts so feel free to check them out ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope you enjoy every bit of this experience because it honestly is an amazing one (even if you donโ€™t realize that until AFTER the marathon lol).

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    1. I’m so glad you are running it for the third time. Makes me feel like I signed up for a good race! The ultimate goal is to finish but I can’t help but have an “ideal” time goal for training purposes! I need to find my headphone charger before the really long runs start. I love just zoning out during them. You know I’ll be all over those marathon posts ๐Ÿ™‚

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      1. I am the same way with wanting a time goal! This is the first time Iโ€™m doing a training plan geared towards a specific finish time and Iโ€™m curious to see how it goes for me! Where did you get your training schedule from or did you create your own?

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      2. I think you’ll rock your plan! I actually have a coach because it keeps me accountable. Without her, I would not get my butt out the door. It just works for me and I envy the people who can motivate and train on their own! Did you make your own plan or are you following one?

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      3. Iโ€™m attempting to follow a plan from the book Run Less, Run Faster but in previous years Iโ€™ve made my own plans based off of a couple plans I found. I try to tailor it to my ability and needs! I wish I had a coach to help me out, that must be awesome!

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      4. Iโ€™m so excited to follow your training! Thatโ€™s awesome youโ€™re able to motivate yourself to get out there. So jealous! Itโ€™s really nice because I donโ€™t have to think about what I should be doing when or which plan is the best. She just uploads my workouts a few weeks at a time and I run haha

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  3. I am so excited for you!!! And as a non-runner who tries to run sometimes, your post was super inspiring ๐Ÿ™‚ I have never run a marathon or even a half, but I’m excited to follow your journey in marathon training!

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  4. THIS IS SO EXCITING!!!!! Oh my gosh– I’m just gidddy with excitement. Tips- I would say just make sure you really taper and rest- that taper and rest period right before it crucial. Never actually run all 26.2 miles in training-the longest I have done prior is 22. Make sure to take a sip of water/gatorade (I prefer water) at every single stop, even if you feel like you don’t need it- in the long run (pun totally intended) it will pay off. Incorporate some cross training too- not just running. My best marathons were ones where I incorporated insanity, weights, and a lot of core focus! I am farthest from an experienced marathoner, but these are some things I have learned that have helped a ton ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. Thanks Mackenzie!!! I think the longest run I’ll do in 20 miles but I wouldn’t dream of going above 22 for a training run. Due to this summer running, I’m already getting practice at drinking water even if I don’t think I need it haha. Cross training tip is SO helpful! I’m definitely going to have to plan that out. It doesn’t matter if you’re an experienced marathoner or not, I am so appreciative of all these tips ๐Ÿ™‚

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  5. YESSSSSSS! This is pretty exciting news. As far as marathon wisdom goes, I have none to offer. I’ve run 6, but have a real love/hate relationship with them. I’m thinking of getting back on that horse right now actually.

    I can’t believe there wasn’t a single food pic in this post.

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      1. I was actually just commenting that I need to tour Philly (I’ve never been). The medal for last year’s race was the best medal ever.

        You didn’t disappoint. I was hungry when I read this, so it was probably for the best. ๐Ÿ™‚

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      2. I toured it once with the family years ago but I need to go more. It’s almost a shame I don’t explore Philly since we’re only 50ish minutes from it. I hope this year’s medal is a good one!

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  6. Oh Maureen this is fantastic!!! I know you can do it too as youโ€™ve been running so well and doing a lot of running:). I hope you enjoy the training process and canโ€™t wait to hear you do the race in November:)

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  7. Congratulations!!! Running a marathon was one of the great memories of my life. I think in the end it was a little too hard on my body to be something I did regularly… but the process was so fulfilling and I’m so glad I did it once. It taught me to be tough and the joy of hitting those new distances was amazing. My advice is to enjoy the whole process because it’s about a lot more than just race day. AND don’t get too caught up in worrying about hitting a time. Just do you.

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    1. Thank you Julie!! I figure try it out once and see how I feel during training and the race itself. Maybe I’ll do more? But the whole point is to enjoy the journey of training and just to finish!

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