“Why are you running 26.2 miles?” Or what people usually mean when they ask this question: “Why would you possibly want to subject yourself to three months of training just to run for four hours?” “Just to run” is not why I do it. I do it for the whole experience surrounding the race-- the training, the crowds, the finish line, and the feeling of accomplishment.
I first got the idea in my head to run the Chicago Marathon by watching my coworker at WalkJogRun.net run it in 2009. My goal of running it this year was deterred by my lack of extra funds to register. But then something nothing short of luck happened- my friend gave me her entrance into the Shamrock Shuffle, and inside the goody bag was a scratch-off card from Team In Training. I won a free registration into the Team In Training program, which also gives me registration for the Chicago Marathon! I’ve committed to raising $1,000 for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
I immediately set forth upon finding a training program that I felt would get me ready enough to run 26.2 miles. I decided on the Nike+ Coach program because I like the visual of what I’m supposed to do versus what I’ve actually done. This is how I stay motivated.
Another reason why I’m geeked about running this marathon is this: 26 weeks of training for 26.2 miles for my 26th year of life. I just couldn’t pass this up!
Training has not been bad at all. So far. I’m guessing this is probably because I was training for my fourth half marathon until a week before I started my marathon training. This helped when in the fourth week of marathon training my long run was 13 miles. I must admit that I stopped to walk a few times! I always feel like the walking helps to reenergize my legs and I feel I can go further and stronger. Fourteen miles is the furthest I’ve ever run, so we’ll see how I do when my plan calls for me to go beyond that!
Marathon training has also been a lifestyle change for me. I’m surprised by how much I’ve incorporated running into every aspect of my life. I’ve changed my diet to include more protein and fresh food. I hit the gym about four times a week for strength training and speed workouts. I make sure I’m in bed early the night before my long runs. I don’t buy (as many) platform stilettos like I used to. Finally, I talk about running a LOT.
All in all, as crazy as it may sound to some people, I’m really excited about the training ahead of me!
Briana Scalzo is a part-time runner training for her first marathon. Check out more of her running advice and marathon training updates on her blog, Running