The decision and commitment (registration) has been made… There is no turning back now… I’M RUNNING A MARATHON! Actually, let me clarify. I am running my FIRST Marathon the day after running a Half Marathon! Sound a little Goofy? Good, because runDisney Goofy Challenge… Here I come!
Here’s a little bit about my running background. I made the decision to start running 2 years ago at age 35. Quite simply, I was tired of feeling tired all the time. I had gone from young and athletic to feeling old and anything but athletic! Time to make a change! It took about a year to get going, doing the occasional local 5k’s with no training. Many times questioning what I was thinking. I really didn’t LOVE it…. Yet! I needed motivation! Besides a flight of steps telling me I was out of shape. So I think back to a friend telling me about how she was able to run a Marathon through Walt Disney World… Ummm, hello, this is just what I needed! Walt always talked about having a weenie in his parks, well, his parks had just become my weenie. I signed up for the Tower of Terror 10 Miler in October of 2014. This would be my first real race of any distance. I got a plan together, found support, had some ups and downs along the way and before I knew it, I was a runner! Since that first race in October of 2014, I have now run 5 Half Marathons, including 3 Challenges (10k/Half), The Broad Street 10-Miler and a handful of other 5, 8 & 10k’s. My first year is not over yet and it’s already been an amazing journey. How do I celebrate? I commit to running a Marathon.
So why a Full Marathon? Why now? And why throw in a Half the day before?
- I’m goal driven. I tend to perform much better when I have something to work towards. That includes my dedication to the training. I compare this commitment to the one I made when I registered for Tower of Terror. I’ve paid the money, I’ve told friends and family I’m doing this, there is no turning back.
- My friends are my support. Welcome to Shenanigans! Through running I have met the best group of people. They are all so supportive and genuine. I would dare say the friendships have been the best thing I have gained from running. The health and fitness are second. I know that when I have bad moments, days and weeks during this process, they will right there to pick me up and carry me through. They want me to succeed just as much as I want to! And there is NO WAY I will sit on the sideline and cheer for them while they have all the fun without me! Feeling “left out” is a big motivation!
- The Doubters. We all have them at some point. Mine have seemed to dwindle after each race I finish. But they are still there and I love proving people wrong. I had one that I’ll be using for my first Marathon. One person who was very close to me thought it was funny as I told them of my early training, the things I was learning and the direction I was heading. Their response, mixed with laughter, “What are you talking about?! It’s not like you’re ever running a Marathon!” Guess what…
- How many people can say they are a Marathon Finisher?! Seriously. What a tremendous test of both your physical and mental strength! I know this is a journey that I am going to be extremely proud of!
Why the Diary and why share it?
- Accountability! I know this is NOT GOING TO BE EASY! I’m going to need help and support! There is no better place to turn than the running community!
- Reflection. I have learned that the race itself is just a celebration of all the hard work you put in getting to that day. A medal is nice, but this diary will be a greater “medal” for me.
- Motivation. What I have gained this past year from running cannot be explained. The friendships I’ve made. The challenges. The accomplishments. It’s all been amazing. I want to share that and let someone experience all the great things that will come from running.
Finally… Here is what you can expect from now until January. Honesty. I am far from a professional runner but I am someone who I hope many of you can relate to. I’m going to make mistakes, I’m going to have good and bad days, days I don’t run and I’m sure times I just want to quit. I will share those moments and how I attempt to overcome them. I’ll share my training plan. My diet. Cross training. What’s working and what is not working at all! Hopefully you will get a great idea of how much work this is and the great fun and rewards that follow!
Click here to read Mark’s entire journey to becoming a First Time Marathoner.