What I love about running: Race deadlines keep me motivated. It’s cheap. I don’t need much equipment. You can do it anywhere. It’s easy to plan for any distance. I know what I’m doing. I get to catch up on my podcasts. You can do it alone or with a group.
What I dislike: It makes you hungry. You don’t build muscle. It can get boring, lonely and monotonous. There’s no accountability.
I have been running since I was 12, and in 2003 I ran my first half marathon. Since then, I’ve run about 14 half marathons and two Ragnar relay races. I have been struggling with monotony and feeling unmotivated to train since the distance is so familiar. I feel like I’m ready to move up. So, I’ve decided to train for my first marathon.
This is no small commitment–I’m a mom of three girls, one of which is not in school yet. I work from home. It takes teamwork and planning to get my runs in each week, especially as the distances get harder.
Much of what I am offering here is also not going to be foreign to anyone who has run longer distances before. I’m offering what I know about choosing training plans, buying shoes, staying safe on long runs, increasing mileage and dealing with all the challenges I encounter on the way.
I’m not writing here as an expert in any sense, but rather a recreational runner with years of experience running. I promise you’ll never roll your eyes at unacknowledged privilege or self-indulgence while reading my training updates.
My main point here is that anyone can do this. I began training for my first half having really only ever run 2 mile and 5k races. I built up to the half distance and I’ll be building up to the full distance. It’s scary, and I’m not sure how I’ll do. But that’s also what makes it exciting.
This is marathon training for the uninitiated—as real as it gets.