How I caught the "marathon bug"
In the winter of 2011, a friend of mine asked me to run a 10k with her. I’m always up for a challenge, so happily agreed! I never really “liked” running, but always loved that feeling of accomplishment you get when you finish a run and reach a goal. After the 10k, I signed up for the Broad Street Run in Philadelphia, which is a 10 mile race. I didn’t really have trouble training for that race, so I figure the next logical step was a marathon. Right? Seems logical… Running a marathon had always been on my “bucket list” and it just felt like the right time. I began training for my first marathon (the Philadelphia Marathon) in June 2012. I just wanted to get into the habit of running 4 times/week, with a long run (about 10 miles) on the weekend. I started Hal Higdon’s Marathon training plan (a blend of Novice 1 and Novice 2) in July, and followed it to a ‘T’. I had some good runs and some bad runs, but overall I felt ready for race day. I also taught group fitness classes twice/week and worked in some Bodypump or P90x (both strength training) when I had the time. I finished my first marathon with a time of 4 hours and 46 minutes. It was a little slower than what I had trained for, but I finished and nothing can take away that feeling when you cross the finish line! It took less than 8 hours for me to think about signing up for another marathon – I felt like I had unfinished business and wanted to work on my time. Once I recovered from the Philly marathon, I signed up for the Pittsburgh marathon. I kept the training schedule the same, but I added a weekly sprint workout to the schedule. I also made the time to keep up with my cross training, instead of just fitting it in when I found the time. I'm happy to report that I finished my second marathon in 4 hours and 35 minutes! Satisfied with the marathon distance (for now), I'm currently focusing on speed and half marathon training. I'm relatively new to the "racing" world, but stay up to date with my progress on my 'race results' page!