Thursday, October 1, 2015


Training for a marathon, "they" say, is not for the light-hearted. It takes time, committment from not just the runner, but the family and friends that surround the person. As a first-time marathon trainee, my goal, also as "they" say, should be to "just finish". My goal - "just finish" without wanting to collapse. ;)

About two and a half years ago, I decked out the backside of the mirror which covered our medicine cabinet with words of encouragement as I began my "Five Months to Fitness" preceeding my wedding day. I taped all sorts of pictures, quotes, graphics and my workout schedule on the inside of that miror. For some reason, I also included cut-outs of "5K", "10K", "13.1" and "26.2". At the time, I was training for my first 5K. I had thought maybe some day I'd do a half marathon, but I remember thinking that I was putting the 26.2 up there just to round it out. It hadn't crossed my mind until I was able to draw a big black check mark on the 5K, 10K and 13.1, that checking off that 26.2 is something that I could do, but I didn't really have a reason to.

For the last 18-or-so weeks I have been following a training plan that I created based on a lot of research, going over some other training plans and knowing my own schedule and limitations. What has gotten me across half marathon finish lines in the past is the focus and regiment of a training plan - knowing that I will not be feeling my best if I don't complete the training plan as it's laid out. Now, that's not to say I didn't sleep in and skip a Monday run here or there, or if an injury crept up, I took the bench for some time. In the back of my mind, I always know that if I skip a run "just because", I lessen my chances of crossing the finish line with a smile on my face.

While marathon training might seem similar to the training that I have done for the 6 half marathons leading up to this race, it has proven to be vastly different. Surprisingly though, I hadn't felt the true effects of honest-to-goodness marathon training until about a week ago as I was gearing up for my longest and most important run of this training. I sort of felt like everything up until then was really preparing me for this 20-mile run, not the 26.2 miles I will do 3 weeks from then.

If not more important, what's at least equally important in marathon training is mental strength and how well you mentally prepare to cover those miles. I've got to admit that I feel this is my biggest strength through this training. Screw my legs, my mind says I've got to hit 20.00 - not 19.99, not 14.97 on a 15 mile week! I want to see those numbers get higher and I'll keep pushing until I get there. If thoughts of "still 8 miles left" start to creep into my mind, I focus on what's at the end of those 8 miles - rest, a big glass of ice water, an egg and veggie filled burrito (thanks to Shawn!) and usually I'll be able to push right through and the last miles fly by! (Who says food can't be a reward!!?)

As I head into the taper weeks with a lovely head cold (thank you Cam and his kindergarten friends), I'm feeling ready, but nervous. I'm focusing on the finish line and visualizing seeing 26.20 on my watch, getting the medal and celebrating! I'm remembering that I have done the work, the hardest part, the's practically over! Its been a long road, but I know it'll be worth it!


I was honored to have been invited to the Heroes are Here Tribute on the day before the CHaD HERO event, and am sorely dissapointed that I cannot attend, as I'll be in Lowell, MA preparing for the Baystate Marathon - BUT, I am THRILLED to be representing CHaD as I run. I am continuing to fundraise up until October 15th, when the donor pages close.

Please, if you haven't donated yet, consider a donation of even $5 to support CHaD. Any amount helps. If you haven't read my post about where the donor dollars are used, please read this post.
You can make a donation to CHaD HERE.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! YOUR first marathon! Congrats on making it through the training. I've done four marathons (one of which was an over-night ultra), and you said what I have first-hand experienced...the training is far more difficult than the race itself. Good luck!!!!!