I’ve had this post started for the past week, waiting for the green light to set it in stone. I finally got that green light!
Let’s start with a flashback to running the Spring Forward Distance Run. I was searching for race pictures and came across Hollie‘s blog. Then we became Twitter friends (even though I thought “this girl will think I’m a super stalker if I comment on her blog and we live in the same general area” which is hysterical now). And because of that internet friendship I met Laura and Heather at Lake Effect Half Marathon in February 2014… now we’re at the next story.
A few weeks ago when I was driving around Virginia with Hollie, Laura, and Heather. I think the conversation went something like this, “If I get this opportunity, I’m picking you!” Laura told me. I laughed, “Definitely! I’m in!” I mean, it was really a no-brainer to me – this opportunity would be fun and when it eventually comes around, I’ll be ready to say yes. Key word here: eventually.
Imagine my shock and surprise when I get a text from Laura on Wednesday in a group message, ironically the same date as my post about fluctuating goals, “I got it!”
“YAY!” is the immediate response. Many four letter words repeated silently in my head is the second response. And when I got the text asking if I’d be interested, I didn’t miss a beat – “Absolutely!”
I am officially hopping on the crazy train that is Laura assisting me with training for my first ever 26.2 race – The Chicago Marathon.
Thanks to Saucony and Competitor Group, I have one of the greatest opportunities right here in my hands. I don’t use the term ‘blessed’ very often, if at all. My outlook on life is that I’ve worked hard for my opportunities and achievements; it is not by accident, chance, or some other outside force. However, this is one time I honestly feel blessed. I somehow, out of all the runners in the United States and Canada, am one of 13 soon-to-be first time marathoners partaking in an awesome adventure. Is this really my life?
Given the more recent tweets, posts, moans and groans I’ve expressed about my current training, it’s probably a bit of a shock that I’d jump on this chance. Go big or go home.
Here’s where I have a blatant confession – I’m a little bit of a “baptism by fire” type girl. If you want me to do something, don’t give me a choice. I officially cannot turn back now (I mean, I could, but that’d be really crappy, y’know?) and my goals are plastered on every social networking site I have, but also on Laura’s, too. I’ve never been one to let somebody down and I’m not going to start now.
Honestly though, to have one of your best friends train you for your first marathon, run it with you, and to be completely transparent — paid for by somebody else — it’d be silly to pass that up. I’ve been so excited that I haven’t really shut up about it to my close friends and family. “YOU GUYS, YOU GUYS – LOOK AT THIS PICTURE SOMEBODY TOOK LAST YEAR DURING THEIR TRAINING. YOU GUYS READ THIS BLOG POST. HOW COOL IS THIS?” I should tell them all now to revel in my excitement because in four to five months, I’m going to be all about the “WHY DID I DO THIS!?” questions.
So where does this leave my training? This summer I still want to aim for dropping my 5k PR, in addition to having fun with these one-mile races, but I’ll definitely have to be smart about getting in the marathon training I need. The good thing about training for a first marathon is my goal is to just finish (I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a time goal in mind, too) so adding in the shorter races won’t derail a training plan if I’m consistent with mileage. Laura knows all about my history with injuries and with her experience, I’m sure we’ll be able to nail a solid plan to get me to the start and finish without too many bruises and all while enjoying the process.
A big thank-you is in order to Laura for taking me under her wing (mmm – chicken wings) to get me through my first marathon. I can’t wait for all the pizza logs, Guinnesses, Kit Kats, Swedish Fish, beer cheese pretzels and jokes that come of the next six months (okay everyone, I guess I’ll eat some healthy food, too, geez). You only have one job… [get me to the finish]. And please do get me to the finish because it’s not a Buffalo Bills bye week.
Of course, I’ll be posting frequently about my training for you to follow if you’re interested. I’m going to try to be detailed in case I happen to want to train for another marathon so I can go back and see what went well and what didn’t. To follow the other veterans and cadets in their journey, be sure to check out the #Saucony26Strong hashtag on Twitter and Instagram!
Let’s do this!