Marathon: 251 Days Until Race Day
Today I took the plunge and signed up for my first marathon. I will be running in the 2015 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon on Sunday, October 18.
While excited to get started, I am also a little nervous. I have always admired marathon runners. The discipline, endurance and willpower to do what it takes to complete 26.2 miles is truly unbelievable. Growing up, it seemed beyond belief that it was humanly possible for someone to run that far.
Never for a second, did I think of attempting the feat. I always had in my mind that it’s just too far, it’s only for people that loved running or had the running gene. I definitely wasn’t born with a running gene.
Running was never something I found enjoyable. As an athlete growing up, I dreaded the conditioning aspect of playing sports which involved running wind sprints and long distances.
Two years ago, I turned 30 and found myself not eating particularly healthy, out of shape and always feeling tired and groggy. After playing a pickup basketball game with friends from work, I knew a change was needed. I had played basketball in high school and although 12 years had passed, I felt I would be OK. Certainly my basketball skills could not diminish that quickly. I soon found basketball skills did not mean much if I could barely make it up and down the court. Just five minutes into the game, I was huffing and puffing, begging for a water break.
That evening, I set a goal to eat healthier and work to get back into shape. Again, easier said than done. Knowing myself, this goal would not be accomplished unless I did something drastic. I went to the Capital City Half Marathon website that January day and signed up for the May 4 event. Crazy? Yes. I knew if I put the money down, backing out would not be an option. It forced me to schedule and maintain a specific routine.
Again, trust me, I’m not a runner. I never found running to be “fun” and I was nowhere near running shape. Before starting my routine I did the necessary research. It was important that I took all of the proper precautions to avoid injury. Proper training was important, so was properly nourishing my body. I gave up soda and fast food and traded it in for a diet of fruits, vegetables and chicken.
After a few months of training, eating well and more than my fair share of ice baths, I was ready for the half marathon. Well, as ready as I could be. My goals were to finish and to do it without walking. I was able to accomplish both goals, finishing 7,606 out of 8,120 runners with a time of 3:02:09. Not a particularly great finish but I set goals and accomplished them. After shuffling across the finish line out of breath and in pain, I was filled with plenty of emotions. The first thoughts that came to mind were, “Why did I do this?” and “I will never run a half marathon again!”
Two weeks later, I signed up for the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Half Marathon for that October. Going back to my couch potato ways was not an option. My new goal was to beat my time of 3:02:09. I completed that goal, coming in at 2:56:12.
Fast forward to today, I continue to eat well but feel that I have regressed physically, I should be doing more to be active. It would be easy to blame work and that fact that I have an eight month old son but it would be an excuse. Others have the same time constraints that I have and are able to reach their fitness goals.
No more excuses.
Each week, I will lay out my progress on the site, giving a 7-day wrap up that includes:
There are a few things I didn’t do when I prepared for the two half marathons that I will change when preparing for the full marathon. Although I ate well, certainly didn’t eat enough, nor did I do enough strength training outside of running. Because of that, I went from 205 pounds when starting down to around the 160s. Essentially I turned into a walking toothpick because I was running so much and not eating enough.
I’m excited to get started and hope everyone follows me on this journey as I prepare for the Columbus Marathon! Only 251 until race day.