First Marathon Story: Shannon

Literally, all I have to say to you right now is that I am having a crazy week at work, I had a hard 8-mile tempo run yesterday and I’m going to see Madonna tonight (!!!), soooo, how about another first-time marathoner story? Yeah? Great.

This one comes from Shannon, a college student training for the New York Marathon. I can’t imagine having trained for a marathon during college (um, partially because it would have taken away from my beloved beer and pizza time), so mad props to her!

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Mon Amour (

Years running

Marathon training for
ING NYC Marathon

Why I decided to run a marathon
I was a competitive swimmer up until my freshman year of college when injury forced me to quit. I felt like I lost a part of me and tried everything I could think of to feel like myself again. I decided to sign up for a half marathon but hardly trained for it. I had always been intrigued by the marathon but had never given it much thought until my cousin mentioned he could get me guaranteed entry in the NYC Marathon. New York is one of my favorite places so being able to run my first marathon there had me convinced almost instantly.

How is marathon training measuring up to your expectations? What’s better or worse than you
I was a little worried about the training since I had hardly any motivation to train for a half marathon. Luckily training has been going better than I could have imagined. The more I run the more I crave running. I finally feel like I am training with a purpose again, and that feeling alone is enough to make me love training for this beast. So far my hunger is much better than I expected. I was anticipating being constantly hungry and eating everything in sight but luckily that is hardly the case. I haven’t made it to the 16-20 mile training runs yet so we’ll see how my hunger levels are then. I wouldn’t necessarily say anything is worse than I expected, although training for a marathon as a college student is definitely proving to be a challenge.

Number of days running per week
Four. If I run more than four days a week my legs get cranky. I am also doing a fair amount of cross training (swimming, biking, yoga, strength training) to prevent burnout and injury.

What are you most excited about for the race?
I am most excited for literally everything about running a marathon. I want to take in the whole experience and enjoy every moment of it. I think I am especially excited about running a once in a lifetime race and feeling the pride of crossing the finish line though.

What are you most terrified of?
Probably of getting injured. I was frequently injured as a swimmer and already have had some minor IT band issues. I would hate to make it all this way and then be set back by an injury.

Do you think you’ll ever run another marathon?
Absolutely. I am from Pennsylvania and go to school in Maryland so I already want to run the Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh Marathons.

Number of black toenails so far
None! And I am hoping to keep it that way!
None! I did almost lose a toenail after my first half marathon, though, so I am trying to be careful to keep them all intact.

Leave Shannon some love, tips or tell me about your first marathon or long-distance race.

3 comments on “First Marathon Story: Shannon

  1. nic

    Best of luck! Just curious about the guaranteed entry you mentioned. Are you running for a charity or did you make the qualifying time? I’m working on my 9+1 for the NYCM so I’m hoping to get in that way.

  2. Jess

    So fun! I love reading about other first-timers since I’m one myself too! I have to agree on the hunger thing — I’m surprisingly doing ok on the hunger scale 95% of the time, once and awhile hungry horrors creep in but not too terribly for the vast majority of training. Who knew?!


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