Fitness

My First Marathon- Part 1

I did it! I finished my first marathon.

For those who have been kind enough to read my blog, you may know that about six months ago I signed up for the San Diego Rock n’ Roll Marathon.

 

I’ve done a few half-marathons, but a full marathon was completely new to me.

 

My training for the marathon wasn’t the smoothest, but I’ve come to believe that practically no one has marathon training that goes exactly as planned.

In the hopes of avoiding any hiccups along the way, I started training for the marathon six months before, instead of the standard four months.

I thought I was doing it all right. I signed up for a training program through a local running shop and started logging all the suggested miles.

 

Then in late January, I ended up with a stress fracture in my shin that sidelined me until early April.

 

This meant I had two months to build back up my running endurance. Oh, and I also had to take off the ten pounds I gained while my workout was limited for those two months.

At times I got really discouraged. Even a little depressed.

But I religiously went to physical therapy twice a week and stuck to the two workouts I was cleared to do outside of PT- strength training and spin.

 

Once I was cleared to run again I took stretching really seriously.

 

If I couldn’t make time to stretch, then I didn’t let myself run. With this promise to myself, I always made time for both.

I noticed my body felt better and I managed to stay uninjured even though I ramped up my mileage pretty quick.

 

And I did increase those miles quickly.

 

In a few weeks I went from not running – except for during physical therapy – to getting up to my 20-mile long run three weeks before the marathon.

Unfortunately, this meant I had to focus on building back my endurance instead of increasing my speed.

 

My old goal of finishing the marathon in four hours was replaced with just finishing the marathon.

 

And I have to say going into the marathon I was just fine with that. I was grateful to be there.

I was so blessed because my husband is amazing and booked us to stay a bed and breakfast minutes from the race start line.

My parents are the best and flew down to San Diego to cheer me on.

I chose San Diego because my sister lives there, and even though she and her boyfriend had to move that weekend, they made me feel so special by dropping everything to spend time with me.

 

I was so excited to be with everyone, but to be honest, inside I was a nervous wreak.

 

The day before my marathon, my husband and I drove the course and my fear turned to terror.

I had heard there was a huge hill at the end of the course, but I had no clue there were tons of hills through the first eight miles.

As we drove the course it started to hit me just how long 26.2 miles is and how many hills I would have to climb to complete it.

 

Thankfully, my parents had suggested we go to a Padres baseball game the day before the marathon. This was a life saver.

 

It got my mind off the marathon and I loved just sitting (so important to stay off your legs as much as possible right before a race!) while still spending time with my family and enjoying something unique to  San Diego.

Unfortunately, the nervousness was still there, and with that came an upset stomach. I had trouble eating all day, and by the time I was ready to call it a night, I was just a huge bundle of fear and had a massively upset stomach.

 

But the next day was a completely different situation…

 

Want to hear more? Then check out my blog tomorrow when I’ll post a recap of race day, followed by a lessons learned post later this week.