Sara: On her first marathon, after her second

NB: I asked Sara to write her musings on her first marathon back in January.  I had absolutely no idea that they would be so kind or make me feel so many feels.  If you sub out my name the info is a great resource to finding the best possible route to becoming a first time marathoner.  Please allow me this unbelievably indulgent guide, according to Sara, about how to prepare for your first marathon.

FOUR MONTHS AGO I was a debutante of the marathon, slogging a final mile through the Epcot parking lot with crippling pain in my right calf.  As I trotted through the alley of spectators, the finish line in sight, the crowd was going wild.  With my leg on the verge of giving out, I rode the wave of the crowd’s vibrations to my first race medal.  The applause gave me the final push I needed, and, although I felt like I deserved it, the crowd’s exuberance had nothing to do with me.

They weren’t proud of me for spending hours on the trail mostly every Saturday for the previous four months while my family sat at home waiting for me.

They weren’t congratulating me for spending hours running in cold rain the day after Thanksgiving when I could have been shopping online.

They didn’t know about how I logged weekday miles on my basement treadmill when I managed to get my kids to nap at the same time.

They weren’t impressed with the fact that I went through the wringer to find a babysitter so I could get outside for my tempo runs.

Nope.  Those strangers were going wild as I crawled toward the finish because of this wild runner two steps in front of me waving a blue fairy wand and screaming, “IT’S SARA’S FIRST MARATHON!” to anyone who was within earshot.  I give you zero guesses as to the identity of said runner.

The day after we finished the Disney marathon together, Lauren asked me to write a post for her about being a first time marathoner.  She said to write from whatever angle felt best and that it didn’t have to be perfect.  I decided to focus on creating a list of what I personally needed in order to successfully train for and tackle that elusive distance for the first time.

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PGH Marathon Training: Weeks 3-6 (?)

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OK, so.  Running has not really been a big huge priority lately.  As you might have read, I’ve been suffering from a low point with my depression, which in turn makes me really disinterested in things that usually bring me joy.  I’ve been feeling better, but I’ve also gotten really really busy.  Busy means I’m tired a lot and still dealing with my depression does not really create an environment for running success.  Then I got sick.  And the sick held on for almost a month.  This week, I tweaked a muscle in my glute.  It hurt so bad I could barely sit, let alone run.

Earlier this week I was starting to panic.  I’m running a marathon in 5 weeks.  The farthest I’ve run is 12 miles.

And then, I started talking gently to myself and I decided to take stock of what I’ve done and what I’m able to commit to doing in the next 5 weeks.

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PGH Marathon Training: Week 2

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This week started off OK and then quickly devolved into not sleeping, eating anything and trying not to cry about everything.  Thankfully, I was able to pull it together for the long run this weekend so the week could end on a very high note.

Historically, things are weird for me in week 2 as my body gets used to training again, so I’m not too freaked out.  Just freaked out enough to try to spend $1,000 on new Oiselle gear.  (that I didn’t purchase, you’re welcome Duffy.)

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Friday

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PGH Marathon Training: Week 1

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It has been a little less than four full weeks since Walt Disney World Marathon domination.  I had planned to take the month off from running by getting back to my personal trainer, swimming and using the elliptical machine.  Wellllll.  I went to training twice, swam once and I think used the elliptical machine maybe 3 times.  I definitely took the spirit and letter of weeks of rest very seriously.

While I didn’t do all the working out on my rest month, I did do a lot of thinking about my next training cycle for Pittsburgh.  I did a lot of reflecting on my most recent training cycle and projecting for Chicago — training for which will start right after the Pittsburgh Marathon — and I settled on 3 goals for Pittsburgh.

A Goal:  5:15 would be a 7:42 PR, 12:05/per mile

B Goal:  5:22 would be a a :42 PR, 12:25/per mile

C Goal:  5:45 a solid marathon, 13:20/ per mile

So with some serious goals in mind, let’s get to training!  I’m going to go with a new different format for Pittsburgh training recaps.  Let’s go!

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Walt Disney World Training: Week 13

Y’all.  Last week was LOL.  I had a terrible cold.  Like knock me out, had to sleep for 15 hours terrible.  As such, that week was a little weak on running.  But, I think that’s the thing about being an adult, I can make the hard choices — like not running while I’m dying of illness — and not worry about it.

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It’s OK Auntie Laur — sometimes you’re sick and you need to dress up like the queen of America.

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