Up until a few years ago, if someone had told me I was going to run a marathon, I would have said they were out of their mind. Not only was I not a runner, I didn’t even exercise.
Having had four children within five years, I convinced myself there was no time for it. People who knew me joked that I got my exercise chasing my kids around.In fact, for most of my life, I disliked the idea of anything to do with fitness—this is probably because I was terrible at every sport I tried. As a child in gym class, I was always the last one picked whenever we had to form teams.
No matter whose team I was on, we would lose.
What made my situation even more pathetic is my dad, who is a lifelong athlete. He exercised — and still does —every day, not only outside or in the gym, but all over the house.
He attached a chin-up bar to his bedroom door, left weights everywhere, and was known to suddenly get down on the floor for some push-ups while passing through the hallway.
Whenever the subject of exercise would come up in his presence, he would pull out THE CASE — a giant glass display of all the trophies he won as a runner. So it’s ironic that I’m now training for my first marathon.
When my youngest kids — twins — were about 4, I finally had a few hours a day to myself for the first time in nearly a decade. So, I joined a local gym. I started taking aerobics classes and enjoyed them.
It wasn’t long though, before I discovered a series of huge machines sitting a few feet from the aerobics room— the treadmills.
Within a few months, the treadmill and I had become the best of friends. I ran several miles a day on it and also started —occasionally — to run in small, local 5Ks, finishing in the middle of the pack.
Last fall, I made friends with Emily, another runner at the gym who introduced me to running outside.
It was early winter and the weather was getting colder and colder. Yet I was getting happier and happier, since at 42, I finally found the sport for me.
I joined a local running group, where I met people who’ve been running for decades, including serious runners —people who compete in triathlons, Iron man and much longer races.
I began to hear words I’d never heard before— PR, striders, hill repeats, 800s, and energy gels — and I constantly asked questions. It was at running group that I met Kathy, one of those multi-sport people who I found to be particularly inspiring. Fast forward over the next few months.
I improved. I began to place in my age group. Kathy started asking me when I was going to sign up for a half-marathon, which still seemed scary and overwhelming. Despite this, I finally signed up and completed my first half marathon a few months ago. I liked it.
So now, here I am, getting ready for my first marathon! Will I be ready?
I’m about to embark on an 18-week training plan created by Kathy. But I’m busy. I have a job, a family and a busy household. Will I find the extra time each day to add more mileage to my runs? And while trying to digest the fact that I’m doing this race (in New Jersey), Kathy explained we had to do well at it to qualify for Boston—another, more competitive marathon!
Deep breaths! So here I am, with this blog I’m going to write three times a week. I hope to inspire you and show that if you have the motivation, there’s nothing you can’t do, no matter how old you are or how much experience you’ve had.
Please join me on my journey!