“Are you crazy? Heck no. I will never run a marathon!”
Famous words out of my mouth, uttered many times over the last several years. Until one day about a month ago, a tiny speck of “What if?” entered my mind. And proceeded to grow.
I guess I knew it might happen one day. I had told people, “I’m only half-crazy, I’ll stick to half marathons. Maybe when I get tired of those.”
Well, I guess I got tired of 13.1. The wonder of “Will I be able to finish?” and the rigors of training became expected and…I can’t say easy, but certainly no longer the insurmountable challenge that I once felt elated and excited about overcoming. I had done it, several times over, and I knew I could. I needed something new to conquer.
Enter the Naples Half Marathon “runcation” with my sisters about a month ago. It was the hardest 13.1 miles I had ever run, and it was certainly not my best time—in fact, it was my worst time ever. But, I had finished, something many times during that race I wasn’t sure I would be able to do, and I guess that’s when I realized that I had officially defeated the half marathon. It was time to up the ante.
It started with my sisters talking nonchalantly about the marathons they had run over some happy hour drinks after our race that weekend. Fueled by a couple fruity beverages, I decided, this was my year! I would run a marathon with them!
The next day we laughed it off—alcohol can make you bold, but c’mon guys—I still wasn’t that crazy. I would leave the marathon running up to them. But somewhere in the back of my mind, that curiosity was beginning to grow and I tried to ignore it. Did I really want to go through the time, dedication, and mental/physical strain of marathon training? Not to mention the actual race of 26 miles. Plus the .2 at the end…I always imagine that’s got to feel like the longest part.
The next night at dinner with some wine in hand (we know how to balance run + fun, what can I say), the topic came up again. The Marathon. I think Brandi and Lara could sense I was teetering, and they continued to talk it up. Lara sealed the deal when she said this year, she would be coming to run the Chicago Marathon with Brandi. Well, if they were both running it—what better race could I wait for?
I told them that was it—I was going to do it. And of course, they didn’t believe me. That’s just the wine talking, they probably thought.
A couple weeks later, I decided to hold myself accountable so I wouldn’t back out from the fear, and posted on Facebook that I was going to sign up. What better accountability than 673 “friends”! Lara asked if I had been drinking wine again.
This time, no—it was all me with a clear and focused mind. I’m ready to run a marathon, and on Tuesday at noon I will be signing up, along with my sisters, to do something I never thought I would do in my life: Run 26.2 miles.
Any advice for a marathon newbie? Any good books or training you’d recommend? I’ll take all the help I can get!