How do you KNOW if you can do it?? My homework for coaching. +my usual day play-by-play.

Hello!!!!!!

My Tuesday workout was at the gym with Andrew.  He wanted to get in a run too so we went together.

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We planked together too.

I hit a 2:20 minute plank on my elbows and I felt pretty proud about it.

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PS my legs are still feeling quite rusty since Saturday:)  A few more days of easy runs are just what the dr. ordered.  Seven miles.

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Yesterday afternoon we went with my mom and dad to go see Boss Baby.  The kids have been waiting to see this movie since the first time they even heard about it.  They loved it and it was really funny!

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Oh and we had popcorn too but I somehow managed to spill most of the below cartons of popcorn as we were walking (ps a theater by my parent’s house does really cheap movies and popcorn every Tuesday… it’s amazing).

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For dinner we had salad and spaghetti and then I reached into the freezer for a chocolate Halo Top.  The chocolate one is my current favorite.

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Snuggles with Beretta before bedtime.

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And Brooke has actually gotten really good at folding laundry with me:)  She enjoys it too so I’m just going to hold onto that for as long as possible.

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Dads are just meant to get kids wound up right before bed (picture from another day but same story;).

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I finished off the night by doing my homework and watching the video before my coaching courses this weekend!  I cannot wait.  Hours and hours of learning about running, the best.

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Sarah recommended this documentary to me and I LOVED IT!! It is about 4 different women ultra trail runners at Western States 100!  These women are incredible and learning about what they go through is incredible.  Watch it during your next treadmill run!

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I wanted to talk about a question that a reader had yesterday!  How do you know when you are ready to sign up for a full marathon!

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Let’s take a trip down memory lane——>  My first 1/2 marathon was when I was 21 and my aunt bought me a bib to do the race with her.  At this time I was living in Hawaii and doing the elliptical each day and then once I moved back home I started running again (aka 2 weeks before the race).   Let’s just say, race day was not pretty because I was so undertrained.  I told myself during the last mile of that race that there was NO way that I would ever run a marathon (or even another 1/2 marathon again).

Fast forward a few years and I continued running randomly but for never more than 4-5 miles and I stuck to mainly spin classes and the elliptical.  One day I was doing the elliptical next to Megan and she told me that she was running the Salt Lake City Marathon and asked me to join her.  Ummmm no.  I had a flashback to my first half marathon and thought there was no way I could ever finish a marathon.  But then I remembered that it had always been on my bucket list to do a marathon.  I also knew it would be good for me to change my brain a bit and focus on exercise as a way to be healthy and to reach race goals… not just a way to lose weight/obsess over calories.  After some thinking I told Megan that I would run the marathon with her (even though I doubted myself big time).  My aunt sent me a training plan to use (my first marathon training plan is HERE) and I got to work.  And after 13 weeks of training, I made it to that finish line of my marathon even though after my first half-marathon I never thought it was possible to do a marathon!

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(above picture was from before a marathon and thinking I’m pretty tough)

According to my own brain, here are some ways to know you are ready for a full marathon (or increasing your race distance):

*You’ve really got to understand the FACT that you are a real runner, if you run… you are a real runner. You just are.  No questions asked. So now that you are shaking your head yes and agreeing with the previous three sentences that I wrote about you being a real runner, you have the confidence to chase down whatever goal you may have for yourself and your running.   There is no such thing as a fake runner.

*Marathon training is a time commitment but it is doable, you just have to juggle a few things around.  I personally think that for your first marathon the goal should just be completion… forget about time.  For my first marathon I only ran THREE days a week and I finished the marathon quite happily.  My highest mileage was 35 miles per week.  I did teach spin classes on some of the other days but my schedule called for plenty of rest days and cross-training for that first marathon.  I think the biggest time commitment to worry about for your first marathon is ONE LONG RUN A WEEK.  If you can fit in an hour or so a few times a weeks and then enough time to go out on the weekend for a few hours on your long run, you are all set to go for the marathon.  It’s when we are wanting to get faster and faster that we add in more miles and time during the week for training.

*You really want to do it for yourself.  You’re not wanting to do one because marathons are popular right now or because all of the runners on Instagram do them, but because YOU want to do them.  There are going to be points along the way in your training and on race day when you are LOW ON MOTIVATION (that is more than normal).  But if you are doing a marathon for YOU and not because you think you should do one because everyone else seems to be, then you will have that internal motivation to keep pushing through the hard stuff.  I have felt the pressure in the past because my blog is my job to do more marathons than I personally want to/feel is right for me but then I say nope.  I stick to running/training for marathons for only when I WANT IT for me.  When I want to train and run a marathon for my own personal needs/goals—> I can get through the low points of training.

*You’ve done a half.  You don’t need to do a half marathon before a marathon (ummmm…. Andrew I am looking at you) but I personally think that if you can do a half-marathon, you can do a full.  You can.   Whenever I look at my training plan in the beginning of marathon training I get overwhelmed and wonder how the heck I am going to run 20 miles consecutively in 10 weeks.  But then I remind myself to just take it ONE WEEK at a time.  Don’t even think of the weeks up ahead.  Focus on completing the week you are in.  Each week you will get stronger mentally and physically and with the many weeks of training, you will get to that 20 miler and realize you’ve got this.  It takes time but you will get there.  You might look back on your half-marathons and think, “I could never double that distance” (I sure thought that) but with the training each week, you will build up your strength and endurance.

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*You are okay with doing the extras (which can be done at home with kiddos, during your lunch break at work, at night before you can go to bed etc).  Marathon training adds a lot of stress on our bodies.  A lot.  So if you can commit to injury prevention with foam rolling, stretching, core work, some strength training, a sports massage (if needed) and fueling/hydrating plenty for the stress of marathon training, you’ve totally got this!  Once again, I think you can absolutely train for a marathon without these things BUT your body/mind will be a lot happier (and less likely to get injured) if you do them.

If you want to do a marathon… GO FOR IT.  If you run just to run and you aren’t so much into racing… then don’t race.  If you prefer the 5k/10k over any other race then keep doing what makes you happy.  If trail running is where your heart is then stay close to those mountains.

Your family, your friends, myself and the internet… we will all be cheering for you no matter what you decide.

You’ve got this.

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How did you know you were ready to train for the first race that you did that scared you!?

What extras (the things we do outside of running to help our running) is the hardest for you to do?

How many days of running per week is your body happiest with?

-When I started marathon training it was 3 days a week but during my marathon training recently it was 5-6 days per week.

Last ice cream flavor that you had?

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79 comments

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To be honest, I don’t think I ever felt like I was ready for a marathon…and yet I did them. As runners it can be so daunting to look to “the next goal”. If you haven’t run more than 15 miles, running 26.2 is tough? Your longest, fastest or hardest run is always scary. I do believe taking the plunge and just “doing it” (Yay cliche nike quote?) is the best thing you can do for yourself.

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Yes I think this is so true! There have been times when I felt an odd pressure to move up to the next distance. I told myself I would run a fast half marathon before I signed up for a full. The problem was, I kept getting faster but then telling myself “this isn’t actually that fast, maybe I can do better”!
Eventually I just took the plunge and ran a marathon and… it was great!

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I’m gearing up for my first full marathon training, starting in three weeks or so! I am a little nervous, but more excited! I know I’m ready because I’ve been dreaming about this for a while and I have done a half, which felt super good to me!

Most recent ice cream flavor was birthday cake Halo Top! It was SO good!

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I’m getting ready to start training for my first full as well. I’ve done 5 half marathons, and it was only at the end of this last one I actually thought a marathon seemed possible. It still scares me to think of the distance, but like you, I’m more excited too. My goal is just to finish and not feel like death at the end lol. Good luck to you!!

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GOOD LUCK BETHANY AND AMANDA!!! You’ve got this! Please keep me updated with how the training is going and the race!

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I realized I was ready for more when I on a whim signed up for a trained for a half in 3 weeks. And did just fine! That’s when I did my first (and maybe only? Never say never) full marathon. I also only ran 3 days a week and did other workouts on the other days. A marathon is hard but I survived and I’m so glad to have that checked off on the bucket list. Half marathons are my happy place so I think I’ll stick there :) I have a couple of 10ks coming up on the next couple of months that I’m just excited to do to get me back into racing after being injured for WAY too long.

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I’m impressed by your planking! I want to do more planks b/c I know it’s something I could easily incorporate into my day while playing with my baby on the floor, I just need to make it a habit. That documentary looks great, I’m definitely adding it to my Netflix for my next treadmill run, thanks for sharing!

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You are so welcome Christina! I hope you love it and it makes your treadmill run zoom by!!!

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That was a lovely pep talk. Thank you, Janae. :)

I think my body is happiest with four days of running, given that it is not my sole focus. For the 10 mile race I did, the training plan called for three days of running a week, and I liked that because it fit into my regular running schedule. But it wasn’t enough for me personally to improve my mileage. I really need that fourth day. But when I tried for five days a week, I got super grouchy, because I had to give up other things I loved doing. So four is my happy place.

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My first marathon I ran 4 days but they were consecutive. Rookie mistake. I used to work from home on Thursday and Friday so it was run Thursday and Friday long run Saturday and recovery run Sunday. I never went higher than 35-40 miles in a week. But I also lacked cross training. Since then I only do three runs a week and go hiking or something once a week.

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Great tips for running a marathon. I’m in a similar position – I’ve ran a half and although I say I didn’t enjoy it, I really did and have always wanted to do a full, but something is just holding me back. Not sure what it is. Probably being scared of the commitment that I won’t be able to follow through with it? So I really admire you for how far you have come, how honest you are about your training, and how much it has helped you clear your mind over the years. Maybe one day for me too!

Last ice cream flavor I had was some kind of a grapefruit sorbet at a frozen yogurt place in a little college town visiting my sister last weekend with a ton of gummy bears and sour skittles on top ;)

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Froyo with gummy bears is SO good! :)

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The toppings on that sorbet sound incredible!

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That combo sounds like heaven to me! You keep doing the races that make YOU happy:) Thank you Allison for your sweet comment and i hope you are having a beautiful day!

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Can I just say that it makes me so happy to see how much joy you and Andrew share together and how much y’all do together in life?! It’s so wonderful to see how love has impacted you both so tremendously. :)

I’m most comfortable running six days a week. I really need that one day of rest for sure. I can’t wait to be able to run again soon! Please say a prayer that all of my kidney issues are gone and that my doctor clears me to run when I go to my appointment today.

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Last icecream flavor I had was cookie dough! Its my all time fav. I like the piece about doing it for yourself. If you dont have that internal motivation then you’re probably not going to enjoy it and more likely to fall off the training wagon!

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I don’t know if I was ready for the full marathon but I was super excited to make the jump so I just did it. The time commitment factor is reeeaal but like you said it’s doable especially if your friends/family support you. As a slow runner for my entire training cycle I pretty much spent half of Saturday running and the rest of Saturday napping on and off. Luckily Adam supported my goal of completing a marathon so he was willing to basically not spend much time with me on Saturdays (unless you count sitting next to me while I sleep a shared activity lol).

Normally my body likes 5-6 days of running but I’ve had bronchitis for so long now I don’t know if my body remembers what running even is!!! :(

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I definitely didn’t *know* I was ready to train for a full marathon, I just sort of registered and said ‘I’m doing it.’ I only ran 3-4 times per week for training and my body was happiest with that.

Favorite ice cream flavor is cookies n cream, hands down

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Hi! I never comment but I love your blog. I just have to say that I’m in week 10 of training (using the Hal Higdon plan) for a half marathon and I would have never in a million years thought I could do something like this and it’s all because I stumbled across your blog one day. You are the reason I started running a year ago. I’ve done 3 5Ks and 2 10Ks so far. I just wanted to thank you for all your tips and positivity, it’s extremely motivating! I haven’t actually signed up for the half marathon yet (it’s 2 weeks away) because I’ve been doubting myself and not feeling like a “real runner” but I think I’m going to go for it! Thanks again! :)

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Heather!!! Thank you SO SO MUCH for your sweet comment, it made me smile so big! CONGRATS on all that you have accomplished this year with your races and training. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let me know how your half goes! Love the Higdon plan! YOU ARE A REAL RUNNER!!!

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Thanks for responding, it made my day! I’ll be sure to let you know about the half. Thanks again for everything! :)

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Dang girl, that’s a long time to hold a plank.

Outside of running, I go to a yoga class about twice a week, do lots of core on my own, and use the free weights we have set up in our “at home garage gym”.

The last time I went to see a movie, the popcorn had clearly been sitting out too long and hardly had any butter on it…it broke my movie popcorn loving heart.

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What course are you taking to become a running coach Janea? I’d like to take an online running coach course too, but I don’t know what company to choose from. :)

Loving your blog! As always. ;)

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Hey Kayla! I am going through:

http://www.rrca.org/our-programs-services/programs/coaching-program/level-one-courses

Only the first video is online and the rest is in a classroom! Super excited to do this! Let me know what you end up doing!

Have an awesome day!

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Awesome! Thank you for sharing! And, I most certainly will. ;)

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I haven’t run a marathon yet and may never do it! I don’t know, I just don’t have the desire I guess. I’m happy with half marathons. I can’t remember the last ice cream I had – oh wait – we had I think vanilla ice cream served with our chocolate cake at dinner the other night!

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Thanks Janae! I really enjoyed this post!
I sometimes feel under pressure to constantly increase my distance, its nice to read your view on this :)

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Thank you Florence. You keep doing the distance that is best for you and your current season of life! Enjoy your day!

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Thank you thank you for answering my question in a whole post!! :) That was sooooo helpful. I thought a lot yesterday about my motivation to do a full right now and you’re so right, it has to be at the point where I’m doing it for me, not because Instagram or runner’s world tells me I’m supposed to. :) I love the half distance and after a lot of talking yesterday with my husband we agreed this year (with me baby still being so dependent and my husband on call a lot for his work) sticking to a few half’s is probably wiser. BUT – I’m so grateful for your answers to my question and will he referencing this post again often! :) Thanks Janae!

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HEY GIRL!!! Oh I am so glad you asked the question… thank YOU for asking. That sounds like an awesome plan! Our running is so dependent on the season of life we are in:) Keep doing what you love to do! Keep me updated with how you are doing!

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Have you tried the Peanut Butter Cup flavor halo top? SO DELICIOUS!

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Seriously. So amazing. That is Andrew’s favorite!!!

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Last year I started training for half-marathon but I wasn’t really scared of the race. The race never happened though. I think planks and weights help me a whole lot to get stronger in my running. I love planks but I’m definitely not a weights person.
Regarding days of running, I’m still experimenting on what is the optimal amount of running days that my body is happy with.

Last ice cream flavor I had was Birthday cake with vanilla from a local creamery.

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I’ve done 3 full marathons – all on 3 days of running.

Honestly – I would say if you’re considering a full marathon it sounds like you’re ready to take the leap. Like Janae said, FINISH your first one, decide if you like the process and the distance & if not, then stick to what you do love. If you love it, then set a time goal & train for another!

My body is VERY happy with 3 days of running. I’ll toss a 4th in for perfect weather, or if the Mr. really wants to run, but only as easy miles. Honestly, the training cycle I’m in right now SCARES me. My half is on April 22, and I’m training for a BIG PR – while not meeting my goal would be a tough pill to swallow, I am putting in HARD WORK, and seeing HUGE results. That if this race isn’t my day, I know my day is coming soon.

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I had wanted to run one but had been too scared (ALL the what-ifs) to go beyond the half. My husband was dealing with some scary health issues, my job was a bit stressful (and I didn’t like it) and I needed something to focus my energy on so I spontaneously signed up and LOVED every minute of training, even when I was exhausted. I ran the Vermont City Marathon… or 21 miles until they canceled it… and I’m excited to train for another. It’s totally a “one thing at a time” experience and I learned so much from it.
I definitely struggle to foam roll regularly until I have to then it hurts so much.
Now I want ice cream :)

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So, is Halo Top ice cream REALLY all it’s cracked up to be?! Everyone raves about it, but I just keep buying my standbys (the current Friendly’s chocolate flavored cookie dough ice cream that you can buy at the grocery store is out of this world! :)

I knew I was ready to run a marathon when I just WANTED to do it. I had the DESIRE. THAT HAS to be there. A marathon truly is like having another part-time job on top of the jobs (work/mom/life) that you already have. You have to be willing to make sacrifices.

Extras–I wish I had more time to take more strength classes. I love them, but I usually can only find TIME to take one a week when I’m running a lot.

I think 5 days, sometimes maybe 6?!, is my sweet spot for running.

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I did my first marathon last October–I didn’t feel 100% ready, but I committed to it and it turned out ok. I like strength training a lot, so that is easy for me to fit in, and I am pretty good about stretching, but I never foam roll until I’m in desperate need of it. I don’t know why because I actually like it, I guess it’s just not a part of my routine yet. I ran 5 days a week for my marathon cycle and I think it was too much for me. I love working out 5-6 days a week, but I like to balance running with cycling and swimming. Right now I’m training for a half Ironman and I’m running 3 days a week, swimming 2 days a week, cycling 2 days a week, and strength training 1 day a week (fit into 6 days–some multiple workouts/day). I’m loving it! I feel like I’m in good shape, challenging myself, but not burning out on one activity like I was running 5 days a week–granted I am only in the 2nd week of training LOL! I might change my mind in a couple months. :)

I love ice cream. The last flavor I had, and my favorite, is called Zoreo which is a flavor the local ice cream shop has–dark chocolate ice cream with oreos and brownie bits mixed in. Delicious.

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I ran my first marathon before running a 1/2. I had only done 5K races up to this point! I looked at the training plans (thinking I would do a 1/2) and I realized that training for either was a big commitment AND if I was going to make that commitment I might as well run a full marathon. So that’s what I did. I finished in 4:17 with 1000 ft elevation gain on what turned out to be a lot of trail. It was brutal but absolutely the most incredible thing I’ve done for myself because it made me realize what a strong person I am.

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WOW!! Rachelle… 1000 ft elevation gain/trail and your first marathon… you KILLED IT! You are strong and thank you so much for sharing your story with me!

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Chocolate gelato (almost ice cream, right?) with Mini Eggs in it. It was seriously delicious.

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That sounds heavenly!!!!

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I had just been running for exercise, no plans to run a race. Then, I met a runner/coworker who convinced me to run a 10k with her. I knew nothing about training and never ran more than 3 miles at a time. Not knowing anything sometimes is the best! Even though I was nervous because I didn’t know what to expect, I had a blast running the 10k….I was hooked! Ran several shorter distance races and worked up to half marathon then a marathon but it took several years. I was so ready and it went awesome.
I run on average about 4 days a week, but I want to qualify for Boston so I am looking at plans that would increase my running to 5-6 days….still not sure about it….
Ben and Jerry Vanilla – I know, boring, but its my favorite.

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Oh I LOVE your story Cathy… YAY for being hooked after that first race! You’ve got this… can’t wait to see you get to Boston!!!

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Oooo, it frustrates me so much to hear people say that they’re not a *real* runner because they haven’t done a marathon! It’s like…you run. Therefore you are a runner. Sometimes life is actually that simple!

I agree with you that you should probably have a half marathon under your belt before you tackle a marathon. For me, a lot of that was figuring out how to build up my mileage while still managing to balance all the extra training goodies AND learning more about how I felt and how my body responded to training (ie, should I be this sore after my 20 mile run, or am I dying?!?) If I had no half marathon baseline, I think I would have ended up injured or quit my training halfway through.

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I agree! We are all real runners because we are running… that is the only thing needed to be a real runner!
I completely agree with you and how important it was to understand how your body would handle and react to all of the training! Hope you are having a beautiful day!

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Thanks for the post about being ready for that next level up; I have been contemplating running a marathon (because I am 26 this year and for a few years now have been thinking it would be sooo cool to run 26.2 miles when I am 26 (does that make me a running nerd? If so that is ok !)). I definitely run better when I strength train (but it is also the extra I struggle with the most to get done), so I have been thinking about getting my gym membership renewed to take body pump classes again this summer. :)

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You are so welcome Emily, thank you for your comment! I LOVE THE GOAL of running a marathon when you are 26 (I love running nerds… do it). Yes, do the body pump classes and you’ll inspire me to do those too!

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I have been wanting to do a marathon for a long time. I’m about to do my 6th half. I have a mental block about marathon training… and I want to overcome it. Thanks for this post! It made me feel like it’s definitely doable. Just one step at a time.

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You’ve got it Vanessa! I believe in you:) Good luck at your SIXTH HALF!! I want to hear how it goes!

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I read your list and just thought, yep yep yep! I am in the “ready to run a marathon” stage. If you will accept out of state runners once you start coaching, I am all for it!

Last ice-cream flavor: a wonderful bowl of chocolate, because anything chocolate is the best (duh!)

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Thank you so much Jenny!!! You are ready!!! I will be taking out of state runners so I’ll let you know when I’m ready to go and all certified. Hope your Wednesday is a fabulous one!!!

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My last races was 4 years ago and it was rough mostly because my brain defeats me. Also I haven’t had ice cream in a long long time because my stomach tries to kill me after I do. In fact dairy is making a full and swift exit from my diet and I’m thinking red meat is next. I just don’t feel good after. I eat it.

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That is really interesting Elizabeth and I hope that the elimination of red meat helps you even more! Keep me updated with how you are feeling!

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The farthest I have run in an actual, sanctioned race is 7.5 miles. I’ve run farther on my own but sometimes I still think I’ve lost my mind because I’m going to run the San Francisco Marathon this year without having raced farther than 8 miles. But I’m a big believer in doing the things that scare you because you think you can’t (not because they are actually dangerous) so I’m doing it.

The last ice cream I ate was the Peanut Butter Cup Halo Top. Probably in my top 3 ice cream flavors of all time.

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I’m a big believer of that too Elizabeth! GOOD LUCK at the marathon this year and keep me updated with how you are doing and how the race goes!

I need to dig into the PB halo top next!

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The PB Halo Top has actual swirls of peanut butter in it. I have to exercise a lot of self control (for the sake of my budget) not to buy it every week.

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I wish I could hire you as my running coach!! I only run 5k’s but I bet you could make me so much faster lol.

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My first race besides cross country in high school was a local half in 2008……..a coworker dared me. I got the flu right before it-in bed with a fever and chills up until two days before. I finished in 2:30 and won free shoes but the race was a blur because I felt so weak still. My next race wasn’t until 2013……I ran from 2008 to 2013 but no races. My time for the half that year was 2:04 and 2:03……then I tackled my first full in November 2013 and ran around 4 hours. Haven’t been able to break 4 hours and I may not be fast but I did break 2 on the half since then. Distance doesn’t intimidate me really…..I know I can run 26.2 miles because I have done it in races twice now…..getting faster is my struggle now.

I typically run 4 or 5 days a week.

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A coworker told me once that, since I had run a 10-miler (Cherry Blossom in DC) that I could run a half & if I could run a half, then I could run a full marathon. I believed her & registered for a first-timers group and the Marine Corps Marathon immediately. My best training is 1 day of speed intervals, 1 easy/short day, and 1 long run each week, with CrossFit workouts 1-2 days per week.

Have you had Enlightened ice cream? I like it better than Halo Top. Just let it soften for a long time.

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That is AWESOME Corey and I totally agree with your coworker. Way to go!!!
I haven’t tried Enlightened! Which flavor is the best??

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Ahhhhhh your last three points are so motivating! I really want to run a full marathon (I’ve ran 5 or 6 half), but I’m so scared of the commitment. I think I’m going to enter the lotto for Boston and NYC starting next year and if/when I get in, that’s my sign I’m ready. You’ll be such a great running coach!

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Congrats Jamie on your half marathons! I think that is a great idea to enter some lottos and if you get in then it must mean it is meant to be:) Thanks and I hope you are having a great day!

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I love everything you wrote about doing a marathon! It is all so true! Especially the part about doing it for you and not because of what others think. Running a marathon is so much more a mental thing than a physical thing. So if you don’t do it for you, it’s going to make the mental part really, really hard.

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Thanks for this post! I really wanted to run the SF Marathon this year mostly because I’m curious about the experience and how my body will cope/feel before, during and after! But after thinking about my schedule and the other parts of my life, I felt like I wouldn’t feel 100% committed and I definitely thought that would make it hard during the long runs. I felt like your part on the “do it for yourself” reassured me that I made the right decision this time around :) there will be more opportunities!

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I’m running San Francisco and I totally picked it based on the timing of it- and maybe a little because I’ve always wanted to run across the Golden Gate Bridge. I’m finishing my last semester of college and have a pretty light (for me anyway) course load, so I have the time to train. It’s totally about choosing the right race for YOU, with everything from distance to the actual day of the race.

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Good luck!! I live in SF and definitely take the bridge for granted, but it is quite a view and will not disappoint! :)

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I didn’t think i was ready for my first half but a friend asked me to do one with her so I did. She got injured halfway through our training so I just kept going. I used “The Non-Runner’s Guide to Running a Marathon Plan” (because I was only running up to 4 mile runs) and I felt like I was a non-runner. I trusted the plan and was good to go. I think my body is happiest with 3 days of running and some cross training but I usually do 4.
Last ice cream i had was a Wendy’s Frosty and it was divine.

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– I’m super injury (stress fracture) prone, so most races scare me. :) My longest race was a 15k, in the mountains, in a very snowy month of March. I did it unknowingly on a stress fractured tibia. Ouch. That race terrified me before, during, and after as I watched the ortho wrap my leg in a hard cast. 😬 I have since done 13.1 on my treadmill because it was a “before I turn 40” bucket list item. I didn’t train, really, but I just turned on a movie and went, felt great at 8 miles so I kept going, same when I hit 10 miles, but I sort of hated myself the last 1.5 miles. Ha!

– Stretching. I hate it.

– My body definitely prefers 3 days, tops.

– I just had SO Cashew Milk Sea Salt Caramel & Chocolate ice cream the other day. It was okay. I like their Chocolate Coconut Milk ice cream better though.

Great list and advice, Janae! Not to mention a great pep talk too. Thanks! Maybe I’ll start looking to train for something… 😉

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I decided I could run a full after about 5 halfs:):) I’ve completed two fulls- but prefer halfs-they put less stress on my body!

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This post is so true-a marathon is not validating whether someone is a runner or not. For YEARS my family was baffled why I wasn’t doing marathons-as I LOVED (and still do) long runs. I’d train with people to keep them company, but not actually run a marathon *event.* My first two marathons were in Ironman races. FINALLY, after my 4th baby my mom asked me to help her get a BQ at the Portland Marathon. She was 61 and I was 35 years old with a newborn. Sounds practical, right? Let’s just raise our hand in thanks to massage and sports chiropractors (mine was amazing). I got through it and it was hard. NO question it was hard but so fun because we built up to the mileage week by week and doing one accidental 23 miler (supposed to be a 20mile) So, you CAN do it if you really want to. Do I love racing? not at all. It’s not as easy now that I live overseas AND I still feel pressure to race 110% rather than run it to run it. Events can and should be fun and it’s important to decide if you’re going to race or do it to complete. You may find that they meld into one.

I was 10 when I did my first 10k race-my mom was racing and plopped me in it basically for supervision, then she ran back for her cool down.

Last ice cream was Amy’s organic coconut milk Vanilla with mini chocolate chips and granola on top. I bought some “One Sweet Swirl” Ben and Jerry’s because how cute is that name?

Stretching feels as challenging to do as laundry. ugggghhhh. But I do yoga almost daily so I really ought to quit whining.

I would run 7 days a week if I could. I love it but that’s not healthy so I do 5-6. Some weeks if time and weather allow I’ll swap in long bike rides for a run because my boyfriend is a cyclist and it’s good together time and cross training. If I have too many high mileage running weeks then I get edema in my legs and feel sluggish so I am careful now. Age, it’s a real thing.

I was winded but the Original Poster of the marathon question sparked some mama reassurance/advice. Again, sweet post Janae! And yes, we’ll all be lifting each other up no matter what the running goals and adventures are!

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I agree that moving from 3x per week to 5x during marathon training helped me a lot. I’ve run two marathons, and when I was training for #2 my coach bumped me from 4 to 5 times a week running I was pretty freaked out. I hadn’t done that since college. But because we kept the increase slow and steady, I didn’t get injured, and the increase in volume and leg strength really helped me in those last few marathon miles.

BTW, you (and all your awesome commenters!) have inspired me to start me own running blog. Would love to have anyone who wants to check it out. I’m still new at this :).

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Great discussion on when to do a full marathon!

I decided to do my first marathon because I was bored! I know, I know…but I was fresh out of college, just moved to a new city and didn’t know anyone, and I had never done a half. But I had the time and was looking to meet people so I went for it!

Sometimes you just have to go for it!

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Fantastic article! Great advice and really great read! Thanks for posting!

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I signed up for a marathon and then dropped down to the half option and I kind of felt like a failure at the time. Looking back I was doing it for all the wrong reasons. I really want to run one but I want to be smart about it. I got a stress fracture trying to get faster for a half and then kind of stopped running more than just a handful of times. I am pregnant and running isn’t easy/something I enjoy so once I am cleared to exercise I am going to start running again and re-evaluate things!

Last ice cream I had was cookies and cream, I just can’t branch out I love it too much.

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So I have like a “part 2” of that question of how you knew you were ready for a full: How did you know you were ready to aim for that (ambitious for me!) 3:15 marathon time?! Is that the speed you naturally settled at in training or did you set out to train at that speed? Although I just want to run all the time I have also found cross training keeps me healthier!

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Great question…. so that is what my aunt thought I could do (she has done a billion marathons in her life). She thought that was a good time for me and sent it over. I honestly didn’t really know anything about times much and just tried to follow the plan the best I could. I finished with a 3:20 so I was close;) BUT what I recommend now that I know a bit more… is zero time goal for the first marathon.

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Running has always been a love/hate sport for me. I always have the heavy-footed dread of my next running venture, but when I finally get into it (with Pandora in tow), I feel really good :) Thank you so much for sharing these tips and just your day-to-day fun activities with the family! (also, I recently heard about Halo Top from a friend and I am DYING to try it!!!). Great job!

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I had always had a marathon on my bucket list! I finally did it last fall! It may not have been my fastest race possible but I was so proud I finished (ALIVE! ;)) I had done 4 half marathons and several other small races so I figured if I just put in the time and extra effort I could accomplish my goal of 26.2! I learned SO much during training and on race day. It was so insanely hard but also amazing every single mile that ticked off. I loved it!!!

I’d say besides running the hardest thing I do would be the stair master! Ha! It’s so hard for me!!!! But I feel like it really helps strengthen my legs and cardio!

I LOVE these tips you shared!! They couldn’t be more true!

Last ice cream was tonight–cashew milk chocolate ice cream by So Delicious!! It’s AMAZING!!!!!

I think my body is happy with 4 running days per week! A few short runs, speed work and a long run!

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Your pep talk about being able to do a marathon running 3 days a week ALMOST makes me believe that I can do it :) The first half marathon I did I didn’t train as much as I should have but I finished! This year I did a 5k, 10k, and a half in one weekend over the course of 3 days! I was running 3/sometimes 4 days a week using my last training plan and that worked well for me! I am a run/walker so there’s still some things i want to accomplish with the half marathon before I tackle a full! I’ve gotten better at stretching after my runs, but the cross training is something I know I need to do more! The last ice cream flavor I had was the Mint Chip Halo Top! Yum!

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