About 6 weeks ago, after reading “Can’t Hurt Me” by David Goggins, I was inspired to find something that would challenge me mentally and physically. Around the same time, I was impacted in a great way by my boxing trainer Brian. I had been working with Brian for a few weeks and really starting to love the challenge of learning a new sport. I was a mess when I started, and with his patience and help, I’ve gotten better every session. What I learned when working with him is that he has a lot of personal struggles, one being he needs eye surgery to attempt to correct the vision in one of his eyes, but doesn’t have the finances for it. Finishing the book and learning more about Brian couldn’t have happened at a better time. I immediately wanted to help Brian, but didn’t have the finances yet to do so. So, I decided to choose something mentally and physically challenging for me, a marathon, to raise money to support Brian. As of today, we are only $500 short of getting his first surgery!!!
I am 5 weeks into my marathon training.
Here’s what I’ve learned so far throughout my training process:
- Sign up for a race
- Stick to a training schedule
- Find accountability partners
- Take care of your body
- Runners are gross
- Running is mostly mental
- Believe in yourself
Let me share a little more detail about these little nuggets I’ve learned!
Sign up for a race!
I found a race to sign up for and paid for it before I even started training. By spending the money on registration, I immediately locked myself in. I will run that race because I refuse to waste my money. I chose a date and location that worked for my schedule. I am running on November 10th in Madison. This allowed me to start training right away, while giving me enough time to do so. Scheduling something next year didn’t make sense, one because I’m raising money to help Brian NOW, and two, putting it off made it more likely I wouldn’t do it.
Stick to a training schedule
I follow Hal Higdon’s Novice Marathon Training Schedule. (https://www.halhigdon.com/training-programs/marathon-training/novice-1-marathon/) I run 4 times a week. Three short runs during the week and long runs on Saturdays. I like checking items off lists, so it’s fun to check off the long runs I’ve completed already!
Find accountability partners
I knew that my weekday runs would have to be at 5am or there was a chance they wouldn’t get done. I didn’t want to run alone in the dark for safety reasons, so I reached out on Facebook to see who would be willing to run with me. I literally made a post saying that I was looking for a running buddy that would be willing to meet at 5am and run with headphones as I cannot talk while running. I am so grateful to Carli and Danielle for committing to meeting up for so many reasons. I didn’t know these amazing women very well prior to our runs, but now I’ve gained two more great friends. When the alarm goes off at 4:20am, I don’t hit snooze because I don’t want to disappoint them and not show up. Last, it’s nice to know I have 2 other friends out there breathing heavy and pushing through with me!
Take care of your body
To be 100% honest, I’m still working on this one. It’s so important to spend time stretching, hydrating, and treating my body with care so when race day arrives I’m ready. My knees have suffered the most, but I’ve been icing and get to visit my great friend and chiropractor Dr. Melissa Caulfield this afternoon for support. I know she’ll give me a variety of ways to help take care of my body and it will be my job to implement them. I did invest in compression socks and a great pair of running shoes, which have helped tremendously. Thank you to my IRONMAN friend Yvonne for all her guidance there and really with everything!
Runners are gross
I’m not going to lie, I feel like I turn into the most disgusting, unattractive person when I’m running and guess what?! I don’t give a damn! When I’m 10 miles in, sweating my ass off, burping, spitting fig from my mouth (whole food, inner race fuel), I just don’t care! LOL Sorry, not sorry, to all of the people I’ve ran by on the streets, exhaled on, and probably sweat on at some point too!
Running is mostly mental
I’ve experienced a lot of different things in my life, and running by far is one of the top 3 most mental challenges I’ve faced. Let’s face it, it’s me and the open road essentially. Me and my mind, which can be a scary place to be at times. I cannot stress how important a healthy, positive mindset is. On my long runs, there have been days I’ve felt miserable and couldn’t talk myself out of how awful it was. However, many days, I remind myself how lucky I am to be able to run and literally tell myself, “I’m proud of you,” “You got this,” “You’re so strong.” It’s been amazing to feel myself transform mid run from an I don’t know if I can do this to I can do anything state of mind!
Believe in yourself
I’m not going to lie, 26.2 miles still scares me, but I believe in my training. I know I’m going to do my very best on November 10th and give it all I have. I have to stop telling people I’m crazy for running a marathon and that I’m not a runner. The more I say it aloud, the more it will become true. So from now on, I am a runner, I’m not crazy, and I’m excited to run this marathon!