Guys! I’m finally doing it! I’ve been talking about running a marathon for years and I’m equal parts excited, terrified, and somehow already exhausted. This is a huge step for me on my running journey and I can’t wait to share all the ups and downs (oh so many downs lol) of my marathon training process. I thought I’d start with the basics, so read on to learn about which marathon I’m running, how I plan on training for it, and why I got myself into this mess in the first place. Wish me luck!
Which One: I’m running the Madison Marathon on November 10th! I chose this one for a couple of reasons. I wanted to run locally so I’d be able to recoup at home afterwards and honestly by the time I decided to run it the Chicago marathon was full. The timing is right for me, as well, since I have a family event the weekend of the Chicago marathon. I hear the Madison Marathon is hilly, though, so I’ll be adding some hill runs to my training.
My Training Program: When I first solicited advice on training for a marathon multiple people recommended the Hal Higdon training program. I looked at a couple and this one seemed the most straightforward and approachable, so I’m going with it. I’m using the Novice 1 training schedule. I’ll also be working with a personal trainer to help with me strengthening and stretching to help me avoid injury (I have a bad hip and bunions because I’m actually 90 years old).
Where I’m Starting From: Part of my decision to run a marathon comes from the fact that I’m actually in pretty good shape right now. I run 3-4 times a week already and was running up to 7 miles before I started my marathon training, so I was definitely at a good starting point. I’ve also run 6 half marathons before so I have a good understanding of how races work and my routine leading up to them. I also cross-train quite a bit, eat pretty healthy, and drink at least 100 ounces of water every day, so all around my body feels ready to tackle this.
Goal: To finish the damn thing! I have never had time goals for any race I’ve ever run – time just isn’t important to me. I care about finishing strong, feeling good, and listening to my body. No race is worth injuring myself for and I’d rather walk the whole time (or stop the race entirely) than push myself too hard. Just being able to say I finished a marathon is the only goal I care about.
Why: Running a marathon has always been on my bucket list. But I realize that as I get older and busier it will continue to get pushed to the back burner. Even though I’m arguably busier than ever, it felt like the right time. I’m in good shape, I know where I’m living for the foreseeable future, I have a great community of support around me – a lot of things came together to help me decide.
I’m completely terrified, but also in awe of myself for taking this on. I literally tear up when I think about crossing the finish line (although to be fair, I always cry at marathon finish lines even when I’m just a spectator lol). I’ve never considered myself an athlete. I’ve never been on a real sports team, I’ve never worked with a coach. I’ve only ever run for myself. So to see this little hobby of mine become this incredible goal just reminds me of how far I’ve come on my own and how much I can build for myself by just wanting it and working hard. I’m not particularly ‘athletic’, I’m certainly not fast or ‘good’, but I’m determined and stubborn as hell and sometimes that’s the most important thing.
What I Won’t Be Sharing: You will never hear me talk about calories, pounds, or inches on this blog. I will never share before-and-after comparison photos. I will never talk about a goal weight or a cheat day. I will never say I was ‘bad’ for eating something. I understand that this sort of motivation works for some people (and there are hundreds of accounts you can follow for that sort of thing), but, to be honest, all that stuff is super toxic to me. I’ve spent a lot of my life hating my body, feeling ashamed of what I look like, wishing I was thinner and I just won’t do it anymore. This marathon is about stamina, strength, and commitment, not counting calories or macros or pounds. The only number I’m counting is miles, baby.
Keep your eyes peeled for a lot more running content coming in the next 6 months and make sure you’re following my Instagram stories because that’s where I share my day-to-day runs and workouts. I’ve also started using Strava to track my runs (does anyone else like this?) so follow me on there, if you feel so inclined. Now let’s do the damn thing!