Ever since I was a kid I thought it would be fun to run a marathon, but for some reason (mostly FEAR) I never put the effort into achieving my goal. My desire never became an intention – until NOW, exactly 8 years after I originally set a goal to finish one by age 30. Missed that one, but hey, better late than never, right? So here I am a first time Marathoner, a first time Ambassador, and a first time Blogger – SO EXCITING and, not going to lie, also a little scary…OK a lot scary.
So the key question now becomes “How am I going to finish this beastly 26.2 mile race in one piece?” Well, here is my answer:
1. Train / Run: I will never achieve my goal if I do not get out there and simply RUN. Right now I am running 5/6 days a week. On Mondays I do a 6 mile run, on Tuesdays I do an interval training running class that includes weight training. I rest on Wednesday. Thursdays I either run 4 miles up Runyon Canyon or another 6 mile loop around West Hollywood. And on Saturday or Sunday I am starting to get the miles I need – last weekend I did 9 miles and this past weekend I did 12. My plan is to add 1-2 miles onto every long run every weekend and to keep my running on weekdays consistent. I am absolutely terrified of running my first 20 miler but I am not going to let FEAR hold me back anymore. This brings me to my next step in the plan to finish my first marathon:
2. Join a TEAM or Training Group: I love running alone most of the time. I get lost in my thoughts, my dreams, and sometimes even my problems – but running 20 miles by myself seems slightly boring and lonely, so I am going to join a running group or at the very least find a small group a runners willing to do “long runs” with me. There are meetups in LA and some great running clubs in the area. As far as the plan goes, I gave myself to February 1st to get signed up.
3. Write Everything Down: I read an article in Runners World about writing everything down and I tried it and LOVE IT. Sometimes it might be the only thing that gets me out the door, knowing I get to go home and write it down. Looking over my last 4-5 months of running allows me to see my progress, because it’s all down on paper. It’s amazing to look back and see that I honestly had a hard time finishing my runs without walking at first; now, not so much. I am getting stronger and faster every day - I can feel it and by taking the two seconds I need to write it down it gives me another, more tangible way to track my progress…believe me it pays off.
4. Prepare: “Failing to prepare is preparing to Fail” …it’s my dad’s favorite quote and it’s the truth when it comes to training for a marathon. Preparing for me includes wearing the right running shoes for my feet, wearing the right clothes for my runs, staying hydrated, eating right, sleeping, and letting my body rest. I’m no expert (remember, this is my 1st marathon), but from what I read it sounds like finishing a marathon successfully (key word) is all in the “DETAILS”. It’s almost as if I DO have to “sweat the small stuff” to run 26.2 miles successfully so staying prepared is a big part of my game plan to finish my first marathon.
5. I have to WANT it. I want to do this right. I want to challenge my body, my mind, and my limits. I want to put the effort into accomplishing this goal and I want to finish for me…because I WANT to. Because I said I would, because I am strong, healthy and because I am finally SOBER. But more than anything, because I am so very grateful that I get to run. That I get to train. That I get to challenge myself. That I get to have the life I have today. Whatever your reason, whatever it is that is getting you to the starting line on July 27th, 2014 let it carry you and inspire you to stay determined, hungry and focused on finishing the race.
This is what I plan to do. HAPPY RUNNING XXOO