I remember like it was just yesterday the day I announced I had registered for my first marathon. I could barely sleep that night, thinking about the long journey that was ahead of me. But now with eight weeks left, I’m realizing that the finish line isn’t as far away as I had imagined. Here is what I’ve learned the past eight weeks:
- Get every mile in. Skipping a run will only set me back and I want to be sprinting toward that mile marker that reads: twenty-six point two.
- Set mini goals. I’ve come to realize that I will not be faster each and every run BUT each run will make me faster in the long run.
- Be competitive. Train and run local races. With my first 5k yesterday since last summer, it was quickly brought to my attention that I need to commit to speedwork each week in order to PR in next month’s 5k.
- Get my nutrition under control. This is a huge factor that effects my runs in a big way. From here on out, I’m going to be very conscious of what I’m consuming to better fuel my workouts.
- Rest. I can’t afford to get sick. With my heart surgery less than two weeks away, I need to train hard now because I don’t know how long I’ll be out after that. Optimistically the 3-5 days as they suggested but everyone recovers at different rates. And hopefully, the procedure works.
- I have a bigger support group than I ever imagined. Seriously, random people send me motivations online, continue to check in with me either by text or email, or ask me in passing. I try to remain positive when describing my training but I think the biggest shout out goes to the beau. He’s not only heard me bitch and moan, but has put up with my frequent bathroom trips, blisters, stinky sweaty self AND wakes up every morning with me before my run or boxing session. That right there is support. My once trainer now close friend has decided to run the race with me, to be my personal pacer. She is competing in an Ironman just 2 weeks after the marathon… that right there is so much support it brings me to tears just to think how attainable my goal for that day is.
- Be realistic with my goal. This is my first marathon and my goal is to finish. But every athlete has a number in their head and of course, I’ve got mine. I will not be sharing it with anyone (other than my
pacerfriend) and will not be dissappointed if it is not met. BUT I will leave everything on the road that day to reassure myself that I gave it all I’ve got.
Those of you who have decided to make the trip out to support me, I send you so much love and gratefulness. You probably won’t be able to tell if I’ve met my goal when you see me cross the finish line; I’ll be in tears either way. This is one of the most important things on my bucket list that I can’t wait to cross off and if I get to share that moment with others, even better.
If you want more details about the weekend and are interested in coming, check out the marathon’s website here. I know a few friends will be staying at the local campground right on the lake (very close to the start/finish lines) and are chipping in to stay at one site to save cash/have more fun. That’s where I’ll be staying the night after the race = celebration time! If you want to run with me at any point during the next eight weeks, at any speed, for any distance, message me and I’ll set up a meeting time with you.