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.