Marathon Series: Why I Finally Decided to Train for A Marathon
I am starting a mini blog series with Sweat providing training tips and insight on what it is like training for the Boston Marathon which I will be taking part in on April 16th, 2018. A lot of what I want to share is from my personal experience and I hope to inspire, motivate, and educate other marathoners on my journey. Feel free to follow my journey up close and personal with my hashtag: #StarsJourneytoBoston on Instagram!
Since I ran in college at a NCAA Division 1 program, I consider myself very lucky to have ran so few marathons (only 2!) and to have qualified both times. Although I have qualified twice in the past this will be my first time actually running in the Boston Marathon.
The first time I qualified, I experienced a hip injury and was unable to run for a year and half. Due to my injury it took three years to feel okay about running again, build up my endurance, and try to run a marathon. Here's why I took another chance at marathoning and am now running the 2018 Boston Marathon:
- I needed to let go of the fear that I would get injured again. I didn’t want to allow fear to keep me from doing something I loved to do as a kid. Running has been a part of my life since I was 8 or 9 years old and I always (still do!) saw myself as an old woman still running and enjoying the sunshine. I took it as a sign that if I allowed fear to keep me from something that made me so happy, it would continue to roll over into other areas of my life.
- I missed the sport so much. Every time I saw someone running or jogging, even in the rain, I would catch myself reminiscing on all the times I was out there.
- Running gave me peace, confidence, and was a stress reliever. I found peace in being outside and feeling the sun. The endorphin rush also carried a whole wave of confidence flooding my brain into thinking that I was the strongest, most capable, and best version of myself. Away from running my daily dose of endorphins was becoming rationed. I found running to also be a huge stress reliever for me especially when I was studying, working, and trying to juggle so many new adult responsibilities. It was my way of caring for myself.
- Marathoning was a new challenge that I was committed to conquering. Once I ran my very first marathon I could not stop smiling and instantly knew that I wanted to run more and become better. I loved every step of the first 26.2 miles and enjoyed the amount of positive affirmations, discipline, and mental push it took to complete it.
- I wanted to make more friends that enjoyed running. Even though I had a team that I trained with and hung out with, many of them are now post-collegiate and have hung up their running shoes. It didn't feel the same to still be invested in a sport, but not have friends that also felt similarly about it. I knew I needed to find a group of friends and a running community that I belonged to, so marathoning was my new way to socialize and find the support I needed.
This upcoming Boston Marathon, I have changed up so much of my training plan and approach it very differently than my last two. Previously, I would just work up to a certain amount of time per day for running (about 60 minutes), start increasing miles for my long run one day out of the week, and take one day off. I didn't do any intensive workouts, tempos, fartlek training, or races.
THIS time around even the way I think and describe my training has changed. Now I am doing track workouts, tempos, increasing my long run days for farther distances, incorporating hills, and have scheduled a race or two. I decided to do this for a couple of reasons:
- I feel more confident in my training
- I want to survive the Boston Marathon hills (haha)
- I would like to achieve a PR (personal record) or hit a time close to my goal (3 hours and 10 minutes).
- I want to do all I can to prevent injury so I can look forward to my next marathon without worry.
- I am using this marathon as a bench marker for future PR races. Every race helps to build to where you want to go!
Stick with me my friends! Expect more posts on my upcoming training life! Is anybody else running the Boston Marathon or any other races soon? We would love to know and encourage you on your journey as well ❤️