Diary of a First Time Marathoner

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.

Running my 2nd ever 5k and getting smoked by a child!
Running my 2nd ever 5k and getting smoked by a child!

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.

    Friends like these make running awesome!
    Friends like these make running awesome!
  • 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.

    My first medal!  Tower of Terror 10-Miler 2014!
    My first medal! Tower of Terror 10-Miler 2014!

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.

Mark Avis

About Author:

Mark started running in 2013 and earned his first medal at the 2014 Tower of Terror 10 Miler. He has since run a number of half marathons and is training for his first marathon at the 2016 runDisney Goofy Challenge.

2 thoughts on “Diary of a First Time Marathoner

  1. Thanks for sharing Mark! I’m running that marathon too and training will be so much easier reading your blog! Why wait until race day to catch up with friends, when you can stalk them and make fun of them every step of their journey, right??

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