I’m running a marathon!

I’ve started a blog to document my training and experiences while I train for the Vancouver Marathon, which is on May 1, 2011. I’ve decided to document my experiences while I train for this marathon for two reasons:

1.     It’s my first marathon ever, and I’m sure there will be plenty of successes and failures along the way that will be worth documenting.

2.     I’m training for and running the marathon with my dad (he’ll probably be the only one to actually read this blog).

Now, a little history to explain what lead to my decision to run a marathon.

I started running my senior year of college in an effort to lose weight, and my friends and I even signed up for the Kirkland half marathon. However, I wasn’t very dedicated to my training and didn’t change my eating habits, so I didn’t lose a single pound. I did learn a good lesson: signing up for a half or full marathon with the sole objective of losing weight is a terrible idea. Running is hard (especially if you’re overweight or out of shape) and if weight loss is your only goal, it is far too easy to lose motivation. My friend, Christina, and I completed the half marathon in 2:24. Despite not being in the greatest shape, overall it was a positive experience, and I was proud of myself for finishing it.

After graduating college, I was able to lose weight through diet, exercise, and calorie counting. Regular exercise has become an important part of my life, and I’m always looking for fun classes since I find the gym to be incredibly boring. A year and a half ago, I started taking spin class and immediately liked it.  I’m still a dedicated spinner because it’s a great cardio workout and I really like my teachers. Last spring/late winter, I started running again, mostly because I was curious how spin would translate to running.  Well, it did – running was still hard, but not as miserable as I remembered.

Last May, I could feel myself becoming lazy and unmotivated to go to the gym. Let’s be honest, who really wants to work out when you can go to happy hour with your friends and eat nachos? To motivate myself, I decided that I needed a goal to work toward (something more tangible and realistic than just getting super fit and having a hot body like Jessica Simpson in Dukes of Hazard), so I decided to run a marathon in spring 2011. The goal was ridiculous since I hadn’t run farther than three miles, but it was nice to have a goal, something to keep me on track and motivated.

After making the decision, my dad was the first person I told. He was really supportive and suggested that he run it with me. My dad started running marathons when I was in middle school and has completed 18 marathons. In the last few years, he’s become an avid tennis player and has given up marathon running, so this will be his first marathon in several years. After giving it some thought and research, we decided to run the Vancouver Marathon, giving ourselves one year to get mentally and physically ready.

I knew that I needed to train a lot just to be in good enough shape to start training for a marathon, so I decided to run the Seattle Half in November. I had a few mishaps along the way, but after several months of training, I finished the Seattle Half in 2:03. It was a huge improvement from my first half marathon (from 11 min/miles to 9:25 min/miles).

Now, after eight months of training and prepping, it is finally time to start training for the marathon! I am following a basic training program found in Four Months to a Four Hour Marathon.

I would love to run a four-hour marathon, but I don’t think that is a realistic goal for this race, and I don’t want to set myself up for disappointment. So I’m sticking to the plan designed for the 4:15 marathon.   I will update the blog each week to discuss how my training is progressing. Wish me luck!!

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