Marathon Training – Week 7 Recap

You guys.

run

I’ve been a huge slacker on the training lately. Like completely skipping my long runs kind of slacking. I don’t know what it is (well, actually I do know and that whole explanation is coming on Friday…) but I have just not had the motivation to run.

Yeah, yeah… I’ve heard it all before.

Just put on your shoes and get out the door.

Once you get past the first few miles, it’ll feel so much better.

But guess what, I just haven’t wanted to run and that’s that. And guess what again, I’m okay with it.

:: life ::

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I have a lot of stress in my life right now so I’m taking the time to give myself and my body what it needs. One of those things is sleep.

I am the type of person that needs A LOT of sleep in normal situations (we’re talking 9-10 hours per night…). Imagine how much sleep my body craves during stressful times.

I also tend to lose my appetite when I am anxious or have a lot of stress in my life so I haven’t been eating the healthiest.

lunch

Sadly, lunches like the above – however tasty and appetite-inducing as they might be – don’t really fuel me for long runs and they have to stop.

Last week my workout schedule was something like this:

  • Sunday: Hill walkin’ in San Francisco
  • Monday: Yoga Sculpt
  • Tuesday: 3-mile run
  • Wednesday: 6-mile run
  • Thursday: 3-mile run
  • Friday: Yoga Sculpt
  • Saturday: 3-mile run

On a positive note, I am actually getting some running into my routine but not the long distances that I need to be. I think my travel schedule is partially to blame. I have been out-of-town the past two weekends and will be traveling again this weekend. I’m heading to Chicago again on Friday so I am bound and determined to head down to Lake Michigan bright and early Saturday morning for a 13.1-mile run!

Just do it.

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I am a very dedicated person. When I put my mind to something, I will make it happen and this marathon training slump is going to get kicked in the behind starting today!

Last night, I set out my running clothes so they were ready to go. My bright shoes were anxiously awaiting a quick, 3-miles in the morning. I prepared healthy meal options that will nourish and fuel my body throughout the week.

I am ready to go.

Marathon training, schmarathon training… I’ve got this.

motivation quotes

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If you’re new to ONW or missed my earlier posts, check out my previous weeks’ marathon training recaps!

How do you get through training slumps? Do you want to come running with me in Chicago this weekend? I rarely say this but I think I could use a running partner.

Marathon Training – Week 6 Recap

Week 6 was not all puppies and roses and sunsets on the beach. Not that running ever is any of those things for me but – for some reason – this week was especially not pretty.

new shoes

Except for my Asics. They are really pretty, obviously ;)

Training was hard last week. Really hard. So hard that I actually contemplated calling it quits and not even buying a plane ticket to LA to get to the actual marathon in October. I rationalized that yes, I’d be losing the $120 registration fee but I’d be saving $500+ on a plane ticket plus hotel fare. Makes sense, right?

My shorter runs during the week were fine, typically 3-7 miles are no big deal for me, but then came my long weekend run on Saturday. I was dreading it all week.

I think the self-defeating dread began when I thought I had 11 miles but then realized that I actually had 12 miles to run. Trust me, one additional mile is no big deal when you’re running 10+ miles per run but this realization just really annoyed me.

Ugh… a whole extra mile? Seriously??!

Then came Saturday and the thunder storm and humidity that gave me an “excuse” to not finish my 12 miles that morning. I thought my body wasn’t feeling it but actually, I think I just didn’t want to do it. Plain and simple.

I had the “I’ll do it tomorrow” attitude. <– Procrastination doesn’t work for me, if I procrastinate, it doesn’t get done! Hence my morning workout routine…

So, Sunday came and I woke up hoping for a less humid running experience… That wasn’t in the cards. I’m in the Midwest in July, it will ALWAYS be humid here, I should know this by now! I also didn’t sleep well on Saturday night but thought I could quickly crank out 12 miles and be done with it.

Who was I kidding? I can barely function at a desk job with limited sleep, let alone function while putting physical stress on my body!

8.5 miles

I ended up stopping at 8.5 miles after walking for ALL of mile 6 and not having the least bit of motivation to run. It felt like failure but now I realize that it was my body shouting: “HEY, idiot! I’m tired, why are you not giving me the rest and the hydration I need?”

Learning from the week: Get an abundance of sleep the night before a long run. It will give me a positive, “I can take on the world” attitude and get me through a mentally-straining run.

While I was down in the dumps about my crappy running weekend on Sunday night, I came across this post from Theodora. In it she discusses a few mental tweaks she is making to enjoy – rather than dread – her marathon training this summer.

I am going to take her advice and specifically focus on two of her recommendations: getting rid of my negative thoughts (AKA – not even showing up to the marathon and thinking that I can’t do it…) and realizing that some (or a lot, let’s be honest here…) of my training journey is just going to suck. Once I accept this, I think I will be able to enjoy it! As much as you can enjoy running 15+ miles at one time that is ;)

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I have no splits for you this week. I have no great, inspiring, motivating, marathon-training advice (unless you count Theodora’s post above…).

I just have the hope that – after my much-needed rest week this week – next week will be better. And it better be, I have 13.1 miles to get after, darn it!

If you’re new to ONW or missed my earlier posts, check out my previous weeks’ marathon training recaps!

Have you ever accomplished something you thought to be impossible? How do you get through tough physical activities?

A Runner’s Ultimate Strength Building Workout

Happy Thursday!

I’m guest posting for Heather over at Fit ‘n’ Cookies today!

5 miles

Head on over to get some marathon training tips as well as a fun strength building workout :)

Marathon Training – Week 5 Recap

Holy moly – How am I already done with Week 5 of my marathon training??! After this week, I’ll be 1/3 of the way done! Unfortunately this 1/3 of my training included most of my easy runs so it is only going to become more difficult from here on out…

7 mile pace

On that note, how did Week 5 go?

Even though it was a holiday week, I fit in all of my runs and felt amazing after each one! Week 5 was a lower mileage week – I built up miles in weeks 3 and 4 (9 and 10 miles, respectively) so this week was about recovery.

I was supposed to run:

  • Tuesday: 3 miles
  • Wednesday: 5 miles
  • Thursday: 3 miles
  • Saturday: 7 miles

I followed the Tuesday/Wednesday schedule but ended up running 4 miles on Thursday (the 4th of July) and 7 miles on Friday morning rather than on Saturday.

I had plans to go out on Friday night (Pedal Pub <– remember that fun??!) and I knew an early morning run wasn’t going to happen on Saturday so I planned ahead. It also felt glorious to have 3 full days off of running over the weekend!

My long run of the week went fairly well. It was hot and humid so my pace gradually decreased the further I got into my run. This is when it would be nice to know how to pace myself and start out slower ;)

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I finished at 9:16 average pace and although I was super sweaty, it felt great to have that run complete on Friday morning!

post run

Check out that post-run, sweaty bathroom shot in my condo’s lobby. I tend to get snotty need a tissue ASAP after running and the lobby was the closest place to grab a Kleenex after my run!

Since I’m a good way though my training, I thought I’d share a few of the things I’ve learned throughout my first 5 weeks.

  1. I get ridiculously tired after long runs. I’m talking the kind of tired where I have just enough energy to shower and shove food down my muzzle before I need to pass out for an hour… or three. I’ve always been a napper but this is extreme for me. I am hoping that once I start fueling during my runs this exhaustion will subside. Do any other runners run into this problem after their long runs??! (no pun intended!)
  2. I feel much more in shape for this training than I did for my half-marathon training 2 years ago. Maybe I now know what to expect or maybe I am just that much more in shape – only time will tell ;)
  3. Yoga is a life-saver. No joke y’all, if it weren’t for yoga I’d be curled up in a stiff ball on the floor unable to move. Real attractive… While I think 3x/week is probably too much most weeks, 2x seems like the perfect amount to stretch out my hips and legs. I sleep so much better after I get in a yoga class on my rest day!
  4. I hate foam rolling. I don’t care how good it is for you and your muscles. It hurts like a B%&#*!!!! Not my thang. I am going to give it a few more chances but if I feel like I am breaking my legs in two and/or like I’m giving birth to a child, I’m quitting. I’d rather do soothing yoga than cause extreme pain to my body with a foam roller.

5 miles

I have a few more – let’s call them “embarrassing” – learnings that I’ve experienced the past few weeks. Don’t worry, I’m going to share them along with my fabulously humiliating stories with you midway through my training – I’m sure I’ll have a few more to add to the list then as well!

If you’re new to ONW or missed my earlier posts, check out my previous weeks’ marathon training recaps!

What are some things you’ve learned from running? Any good tips on how to not collapse into a ball once I’m done with a long run?

Marathon Training – Week 4 Recap!

Whew – Week 4 was a rough one!

Not only was it crazy hot and humid here in good ol’ Minneapolis, I was also just not feeling the running bug last week. Every step felt like I had a cement block glued to the bottom of my shoe and it didn’t help that it rained every single day.

ugly runner

I ended up skipping Tuesday’s 3 mile run for a walk with Mitchell instead.

mitchell walk

It was dang hot and I felt like I needed a rest day so I didn’t run – no regrets! PS. I wore my new Eat More Rabbit Food tank top during that walk – Check out how freakin’ adorable it is!!

EMRF front

EMRF back

I did make it out for my 5 miles on Wednesday and my 3 miles on Thursday and then came Saturday… I was up much too late and had one too many beers (oops…) on Friday night and although I didn’t feel awful, I knew a 10-miler was out of the question for the day. I want to feel my best for those runs so I rescheduled it for Sunday morning instead!

Sunday morning turned out to be the perfect morning to run – 60 degrees and very low humidity, I was happy when I woke up to the fall like temperatures! Or at least it felt like fall after the week of humidity we had ;)

banana

I fueled with my cute, little banana and peanut butter sandwiches and they kept me going for the entire 10 miles! I think the first time I try “fueling” while running will be later this month when I have a 13 miler.

I took this long run slower than my previous ones. Hal Higdon advocates that while training, you should run your long runs at a pace that is 60 to 90 seconds slower than your goal pace which would be around 11 minutes/mile for me. While I didn’t run quite this slowly, I slowed my pace down quite a bit from last week’s long run!

Here are my splits – apparently MapMyWalk doesn’t provide single mile splits above a certain mileage. Bummer, but I am not about to pay for an upgrade to get those…

splits

My total time for my 10 miles was 1:37:52 – a 9:46 minute/mile pace.

This run felt more difficult than my previous weeks – maybe because it was my longest run of my training to date but I am also contributing it to the fact that I didn’t bring music along. I truly think music helps me get into my running groove!

I continued to test out my “lion breathing” technique every few miles along with shaking my arms out to keep my shoulder blade pain at bay. I had no pain so my breathing and arm shakin’ must be working ;)

I also did not walk the entire run – except for a 15 second stop to grab a drink of water around mile 5! When training for my half marathon 2 years ago, I remember having to walk every few miles after my training runs were over 7 miles so I am confident that I am a much stronger runner and athlete this time around!

It’s all about self-improvement my fellow runners and athletes! How you are improving compared to yourself, not how you are performing compared to others.

In other marathon training news, I’ve decided to break up with my Garmin watch. It pushed my buttons for the last time this Sunday. If you own a Garmin watch, you can probably relate to my two reasons for the break up.

  • It takes approximately 5.7 years to find a satellite. REALLY Garmin??! My phone can locate a satellite immediately and it takes you over 5 minutes? I don’t have time for that shiz – When I am ready for a run, I don’t want to stand and wait for you to figure out where I am. #nothanks
  • I am fairly confident its distance calculations are not accurate. Remember those old Garmin devices that you stuck to your car’s window? Remember how many times they got you lost or couldn’t find satellite? I don’t think their technology has changed much from their early days…

Needless to say, I will be solely using my phone apps – either MapMyWalk or Runmeter – from now on!

If you’re new to ONW or missed my earlier posts, check out my previous weeks’ marathon training recaps!

What phone apps do you use to track your workouts? Do you ever have “off” weeks from running?

Marathon Training – Week 3 Recap

Let me start with saying THANK YOU for all of your awesome tips and ideas for my running questions last week! I am going to do a recap post for all of my questions in a week or two so be on the lookout for some running tips and tricks!

Week 3 is complete!! Only 15 or so left to go ;)

I have two exciting accomplishments to share with you this week!

My first big accomplishment was my 3-mile run last Tuesday. I know what you’re thinking… what’s so big about a 3-miler when you’re going to have to run 26.2 miles in a few, short months??! Well, I ran these 3 miles at the fastest pace that I have EVER run!

Check out these splits – and ignore Mile 2, I accidentally dropped my phone so that timing is slightly off.

photo (1)

After finishing my 3 miles in 24:32, I have decided that I need to set a new goal for myself. Run a 5k with a sub 24 minute time! I am not sure if I’ll actually register for a 5k this summer but I will definitely get out and do one myself to try to meet my goal :)

My second proud accomplishment of the week was my long, 9-mile run on Saturday. In addition to it being the longest run I have been on since 2011, it was also hot and humid on Saturday morning so, needless to say, I was expecting a complete disaster of a run.

photo (2)

To my shock and awe, I completed my 9 miles at an average of a 9:10 pace for a total time of 82:30! This time even included jumping over downed trees from the Minnesota hurricane and walking for about about a minute to deal with a major Gatorade fail.

9 mile collage

About this fail… I thought I would try to use Gatorade as a fuel/hydrating solution during my long, training runs. Well, after running for about 3 miles I realized that this was not going to work. First of all, carrying the bottle was annoying. It was big and sloshy and heavy and made my hand hurt. Second, have you ever tasted warm Gatorade? Gag me with a spoon! (Do tweens still say this??!) I literally spit out the first warm sip that I took and bee-lined to the closest garbage can to dispose of my heavy, nappy-tasting beverage.

Thankfully, Honey Stinger sent me a big package of their products yesterday so I am going to give them a try on my long run this Saturday!

honey stinger

A few other fabulous highlights from my long run this week include NO side cramping, NO need to walk (except for the Gatorade issue…) and NO shoulder blade pain! I was also shocked when I saw my pace for my first few miles – I thought that I had been running slow at the beginning!

I am going to contribute these wins to a new technique I tried… I’m calling it lion breathing. If you are a yogi, you’ll likely be familiar with this breathing method. Every 1.5 miles or so, I would take in a deep breath and then strongly exhale (loudly like a lion or a hiss) all of the air from my lungs through my mouth. I’d do this about 5 times per set. Yes, I got some odd looks but I think this really helped to get oxygen into my lungs and muscles and get the carbon dioxide out!

Seriously y’all, this breathing technique felt awesome and I did not care in the least that those I ran by thought that I was strange.

My goal this week is to find Yurbuds and get fitted for new running shoes by the time my long run comes around on Saturday. I’ll be up to 10 miles this week and am still excited to continue to build my mileage!

If you’re new to ONW, check out my previous marathon training recaps!

How do you breath during your long runs? Warm Gatorade, have you tried it?

Marathon Training – Week 2 Recap

**Before I get into my marathon update, I have a BIG announcement! Remember my Muesli Fusion Banana-Chocolate Truffles? They’ve been chosen as a finalist in a recipe contest! I’d love for your support and for your vote for my truffles on Facebook :) Thanks a bunch!**

Week #2 down – Only 16 more to go! ;)

runner 2

This week’s 5 miles was a low-mileage week compared to my previous two weeks of 7ish miles. I finished my run in 44 minutes which is an 8:50 pace. Although I didn’t feel the best, it was one of my faster paces recently. Win!

Here are my splits – Mile 4 was much slower because I had to stop and wait for traffic. Dang cars ;)

photo

The one major thing I realized this week was that I have no choice but to get my nutrition habits under control if I want to have a successful marathon training. I don’t necessarily eat unhealthy but often I eat too much which makes my body feel less than ideal and definitely not up to par for a marathon training plan!

This week, I am going to focus on eating what my body is wanting but nothing more. I don’t need seconds (or thirds when it comes to cookies!) most of the time and I also need to increase my intake of water during the week.

Sadly, I’m also going to have to cut back on my Friday night wine fests. Two, three, okay you got me – four glasses of wine don’t make for a pleasant early Saturday morning run! With a 9-miler on the schedule for this coming Saturday, I am limiting myself to 2 glasses of vino on Friday night along with LOTS of water.

While running, I come up with lots of questions and I wish I had an experienced marathoner next to me to annoy with a new question every few minutes ;) My next best option is to ask you all! I have lots of questions this week and I’d love your help/advice if you have any!

  1. Sweat. I hate how it drips down my face and inevitably ends up in my eyes. Runners – What do you do about sweat? Do you carry a towel with you or do you just let it drip down your face? I know it won’t be as hot or humid in Long Beach come October as it is in Minneapolis right now but I guarantee you that I will still sweat while running 26.2 miles!
  2. Water. How do you hydrate on your runs? Do you carry a disposable water bottle with you and drink an ounce (or a specific amount) every mile? I don’t know when/how I should be hydrating on my longer runs… I don’t want to get dehydrated but I also don’t want to get water-logged. Help!
  3. Arm/Shoulder Pain. This hasn’t been an issue yet but I remember near the end of my half in 2011, my arms/shoulders were uncomfortable and sore. Do you run with your arms over your head for a few minutes (I’ve seen runners do this…)? What other tips do you have for avoiding this annoying issue?
  4. Fuel. When should I start bringing/consuming fuel on my runs? I have heard of the 90 minute rule… once my runs get longer than 90 minutes, I should start fueling. Do you abide by this? And if this is the case, do you fuel at the 45 minute mark?
  5. Music. Do you listen to music? I don’t for my shorter runs but I need it for my longer ones. What headphones do you use? Ear buds are out of the question for me, they don’t stay in my ears for more than 2.3 seconds. #soannoying I have been using some that hook over my ears but those still fall out every once in a while. Do you have any brand/model recommendations for headphones?

Wish me luck on my long run this Saturday – it’ll be my longest distance since 2011!

Can you help me out with any of my questions above? Do you know of any other runner problems I’m missing that I need answers to?

Marathon Training – Week 1 Recap

Week 1 of my Long Beach Marathon training is officially COMPLETE!! Success #1 :)

run face week 1

I did the math – yep, I can still count ;) – and I am officially 18 weeks out from my first marathon. Cue the panic.

Based on my last few weeks of running, I am starting my training this week at Week 3. This will give some flexibility since I know I’ll be traveling a few weekends this summer and fall (Helllooooo Napa and Vegas and Nashville!) and it will be difficult to fit in my training runs those weekends.

Plus, who want to cut into the wine tasting in Napa or the shopping in Sin City to make time for a training run??

Not I, my friends, not I ;)

city view west

So how’d this weekend’s long run go?

I woke up bright and early on Saturday with the intent on heading out the door for a run immediately. I quickly realized that I was starving so I ate scarfed down a bagel with mega amounts of peanut butter and decided to walk Mitchell for 45ish minutes so I could digest my carbs before running.

After our walk, I headed out for a 7.5 mile run. The first 2-3 miles of every run are difficult for me. I struggle to find a good breathing rhythm and a pace that I feel comfortable with. After I got over my running “hump,” my run was amazing! I did get pecked by the same damn bird that keeps harassing me on my runs (I sense a battle coming on… and little birdy, trust me, I win my battles!) and got a slight pancreas cramp – and yes, I’m fairly confident that it was my pancreas that was cramping ;) – around 5.5 miles so I walked for about 20 seconds but besides those two minor obstacles, my run was amazing!

I finished my run in approximately 68 minutes – a little over 9 minutes per mile.

city view stone arch

And how am I feeling about the whole marathon thing?

Sometimes I feel like I am training for The Hunger Games. Is this an appropriate feeling to have after signing up for a marathon? I mean, I am 99.999999% that I’m going to survive but sometimes I feel like I’m fighting an uphill battle. C’mon, 26.2 miles? What sane person signs up for something like that?

Heh… heh…

Oh goodness, what did I get myself into?!

Thankfully, there is the promise of wine and friends (and hopefully a personal masseuse – I’m still accepting applications ;) ) following the marathon so I’m not likely to skip out on the whole marathon “fun” run thing. I’m just going to keep thinking that I’ll be burning off approximately 20 glasses of wine while running the 26.2 miles, and y’all know that inspiration will keep me goin’ until the end!

So all in all, so far so good. Check in next Tuesday for my Week 2 update!

All you marathoners out there, I need some advice. There is a 10-mile race the weekend before the marathon that Kyle has registered for. Should I sign up for it? I’m concerned about pushing myself too hard and risking injury the week before the marathon but – according to my training plan – I am supposed to run 8 miles that weekend and I honestly don’t think 2 additional miles is going to make a whole lot of a difference. Thoughts? Should I register or pass and be a cheerleader for Kyle that weekend?

My First Marathon

You guys. I did it.

I registered for my first ever marathon!

The first few moments after hitting the all-empowering “submit” button on the registration page were filled with excitement and awe and happiness and a BIG cheesy smile combined with a happy dance.

I looked something like this…

smile

Or maybe more like this… And yes, I’m completely aware that my goofy grin and my nose haven’t changed since I was a toddler…

B&K Vegas

And then it hit me.

I am insane. I don’t have just a little bit of the crazies, I am totally, utterly, absolutely, no questions asked, 100% loony. Someone lock me up right now before I do anything else absurd.

Seriously. I just committed to running 26.2 miles. TWENTY-SIX POINT TWO MILES!! Who does things like this?

Well, I hate to break it to myself, but apparently I do.

After I got over my excitement and the realization that I am insane, I started panicking (yep, the heart beating out of my chest, gasping for air, sweating kind of panic…) and those gosh darn negative thoughts that I mentioned yesterday began creeping into my head.

Becky, you told yourself you’d never run any crazy-long distance race again after your half-marathon in 2011. Don’t you remember how bad your knees hurt after the race?

Girl, seriously? 26.2 miles? Are you trying to kill yourself?

A marathon?? People die during those? Are you sure you want to put yourself up to this? 

During my panic, I sent Kyle a text to inform him that we would be vacationing in California in October and to let him know that he may become a widower in 18 weeks. Melodramatic, eh?

Once I came to grips with what I just signed up for, the panic subsided and the terror set in – I obviously went through the full range of emotions yesterday morning!

During my morning meetings, conversations like this were going through my head (maybe I am insane!).

Holy crap, I’m going to die. I better live it up over the next few months! …NO! I can do this. I am strong. I am confident. I am able. I know when to slow down and I know when to push myself, I’ll be fine. I’ve never run more than 13.1 miles before – am I seriously going to double this distance? Yes, yes you are and you are going to love it and you are going to do better than you could ever imagine!

You get the idea…

Right now, my emotions are now a mix of slightly terrified and mostly excited with a little bit of crazy. Sounds like a fun Friday night, am I right??! ;)

When I told my coworker and friend, Natalie, what I had done, her response was so uplifting. She said: “You’re a goal-setter. You thrive on goals and you always succeed. You’re determined and you’ll be fine!”

And she’s right. The thing is, I love setting goals. I love pushing myself to my limits and testing my capabilities – both mentally and physically. I have come to the conclusion that I will not only be fine, I will be freakin’ awesome and I can’t wait to share my journey with you!

Okay, enough with the emotional jazz. I bet you’re all curious to find out which race I am running! After much debate and research, I decided to register for…

The Long Beach Marathon on October 13th!!

As I eluded to yesterday, I really want to turn this marathon into a celebration and a vacation and what better place to do that than in California?

Other criteria I was looking for in a race – yes, I know this sounds like I am looking for a potential mate here… – was a moderate climate (the Midwest’s indecision – aka possibility of snow and ice – in October frightens me, the South-East is too dang humid for someone who isn’t training there – I’m obviously just as selective about my climates as I am about my men ;) ) and little to no hills. 26.2 miles is going to be enough, I can’t imagine incorporating humidity or snow/ice as well as elevation and crazy mountains into the mix!

Coastal, southern California was the obvious choice. Moderate temps averaging between the 50’s and 70’s in mid-October and basically NO elevation changes along the ocean.

Oh California, you’re like the perfect man – you’re moderately cool but know how to turn on the heat, your landscape is pleasing to the eye, and you always have a glass of wine waiting. How I love thee so.

So, the plan right now is to get into California the Thursday or Friday before the race, spend the weekend in Long Beach and then head up to Napa to celebrate the completion of a marathon!

The location of Long Beach and its proximity to copious amounts of wine may or may not have been a deciding factor in the selection of this marathon ;)

Let’s be honest here, this girl is going to need some serious vino – and ice packs and water and a personal masseuse (now taking applications!) – following a 26.2 mile run. And by serious vino, I mean that I might drink Napa dry in October so, if you’re planning on visiting wine country, get there before October 13th!

In all seriousness though, I am extremely excited for this experience! I can’t wait to do a training recap for you to follow along with each week! I’ll talk about my distances, my overall fitness level, my nutrition plan and, since we all know what a pretty runner I am, I’ll make sure to include a post-long run photo each week for your entertainment :)

Will you come cheer me on during the race? (I’m talkin’ to you Carly and Katie and Allison and Sarah!) Will you run with me?? What should I plan on bringing with me to California? And what do I need to use to fuel during my long training runs? (Please don’t recommend gels or gu or anything of that nature, it makes me gag!)

I’m a Marathoner!

Okay, so I may be exaggerating. I’m actually not a marathoner… not yet at least!

While watching the Minneapolis Marathon on Sunday, I got the marathon bug. And I got it bad. After cheering on my fellow runners, I laced up my shoes and headed out for a 7.5 mile run – my longest run of 2013!

Minneapolis Run

Over the hour I was running, I was contemplating if I should – or if I even could – run a marathon. After busting out over 7 miles (that involved screaming after getting pecked in the head attacked by a crazed bird), I decided that I can and that I should and that I WILL be running a marathon in 2013!!

In my opinion, running 26.2 miles is all mental. Yes, there is obviously a huge physical part to running a marathon too but with the appropriate training and barring any injury or health issues, almost anyone can run a marathon. Anyone can run as long as they are determined and they get past their mind and their negative thoughts.

26.2 miles, you’ve got to be kidding me! I don’t have the time to train. I haven’t run anything longer than 13.1 miles before, there is NO way I could double that by the end of the summer. I don’t have the body of a marathoner, aren’t they all super thin and tall?

I’ve had all of these thoughts before – and am still trying to push doubts from my mind – but I think I am finally ready and mentally mature enough (yes, I can finally call myself mentally mature at age 28!). I have found an amazing beginner’s training program – Hal Higdon’s Novice 1 to be exact – and I plan on sticking to it and finishing my first ever marathon!

Marathon Training

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I have a few goals for my first marathon.

  1. Don’t die. If I hurt or feel like I’m injuring myself or feel a heart attack coming on, I’m stopping. No race is worth dying for, for realz.
  2. Cross the finish line. Most important thing, next to surviving!
  3. Finish with a 10-minute per mile pace or in approximately 4 hours and 20 minutes. Somewhat aggressive but since I finished my half-marathon with an 8:20 pace, I think this is doable. We’ll see how I feel while training.
  4. Have fun. Heh… can fun be had when you feel like you might be dying?

I am still looking for the right marathon to register for. Since I’ll be complete with my training near the end of October, I’m looking for a marathon in a warmer climate. I’m thinking Southern California – Are there any good marathons there in October? Any other cities I should consider? I kind of want to turn this monumental (hopefully life-changing, in a good way, not in a death-bed kinda way…) experience into a vacation!

I’m also looking for any and all tips and tricks and advice when it comes to training for and running a marathon. I’ll take all of the help I can get!

Lastly, I plan on keeping all of you (my beautiful, fabulous, best-in-class readers!) updated on my training progress. I’ll let you know how each week is going, how I felt after each long run and my overall attitude towards my pending race. Is there anything else you’d like to know about my training progress?

Have you run a marathon? What marathon should I register for? Can you start a prayer group in hopes that I don’t die?

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