First Marathon Story: Jess from Eat Drink Breathe Sweat

I have another First Marathon Story for you!

This one is from Jess from Eat Drink Breathe Sweat. I love her blog because I love following her training, but I also love how thoughtful her posts are–she’s never posting just to post. And her and her husband are adorable. They’re training for Chicago together, and it’s adorable. They make me really want to find a boyfriend who runs. At just the same pace as me.

Chicago was my first marathon two years ago, and I’m so excited for everyone running it this weekend.


Jessica Sutera (twitter: @jessfit654)


Years running:
Hm. I’ve never been asked this question before! My husband and I started running, but only casually, shortly after we got married in 2004. We only really started running more seriously when we started running races like our favorite Thanksgiving day race series near our house and only got really serious after we chose to train for our first half marathon in 2010. So my long answer to your short question? Started running – about 8 years ago. Started running more seriously: 4 years ago.

Marathon training for
Chicago Marathon – October 7th baby!! (which just so happens to be one day after my birthday…and my sisters…we’re triplets!)

Why I we decided to run a marathon
I didn’t decide to run a marathon – my husband and I decided to conquer it together. It actually all started years ago when my husband told me that on his list of ‘things to do before I turn 35,” he wanted to run a full marathon. At the time, I totally scoffed at him, giving him the biggest are-you-crazy-no-way-in-hell look ever. I never thought I’d EVER have it in me to run 26.2 miles…I mean that is just a ridiculous distance, is it not??

And honestly? It still feels like a ridiculous distance (ha) – but the difference came last year after I saw a few of my blog friends conquer 26.2 and they inspired the HELL outta me. They ran with such heart and a fearlessness that I totally envied. And to be honest, the allure of a full marathon was always in the back of my mind, I was always just too afraid to face it. So when I told my husband last year that I sort of wanted to run a full marathon with him one day, that it was on my fitness bucket list, I wasn’t all that surprised when he agreed to join me. I mean, it is on his list of things to do by the time he turns 35…and he just happened to turn 35 this past May. Timing couldn’t be more perfect, really.

So we committed. And haven’t looked back ever since.

How is marathon training measuring up to your expectations? What’s better or worse than you expected
I am utterly blown away by what marathon training has become for Scott and I. Marathon training has become SO much more than training for a race – it’s become a journey of faith, conquering fears, and evolving into too very joyful runners…who just happen to also have the strongest marriage they’ve ever had. I’m serious – marathon training has brought us together as a couple WAY more so than anything else we’ve experienced in our 8+ years of marriage. We’re there to support eachother on long runs, but also to let eachother ‘just be’ when we need it. We laugh, we joke, we run in silence, too. But by the end of that 15, 16, 18, 20 miler – we’re DAMN proud of ourselves and of eachother and it’s the most amazing high mixed with the most amazing bonding moments ever. I can’t really even fully put into words just how much I’ve appreciated this journey for what it’s become for me and for us. I will cherish these months of training forever…even if I come away with it a little bit more sore and achy by the end. 😉 (no pain, no gain – right??)

Number of days running per week
Right now, we’re running just three times per week. We typically run four times per week but our approach to marathon training has been a less-is-more approach. I’m a big fan of working smarter, not harder and this is even more true during this training cycle. I’ve been injured before and I did NOT want to face that again after working so hard to get to 26.2. Plus, my goal going into this race – our goal, really – was not to let marathon training rule our lives, but to let it fit into our lives instead. And so far, that approach is really paying off. We’re both running joyfully and injury-free (knock on wood) so far, and with 6 long runs until Chicago, we’re feeling REALLY great, all things considered.

What are you most excited about for the race?
Crossing that finish line, hand-in-hand, with my best friend and the love of my life by my side. Just thinking of that moment brings tears of joy and pride to my eyes.

What are you most terrified of?
The unpredictability of the weather on race day. I’ve heard it could either be SUPER hot or SUPER cool that day. I’m praying for perfect race weather conditions up in here!!

Do you think you’ll ever run another marathon?
I keep saying ‘no’, that we’re ‘one and done’ but everyone swears we’ll answer this question differently after race day. 😉

Number of black toenails so far
Me – ZERO (woohoo)
Scott – two (ew)

Have you run Chicago? Leave Jess some tips for the course! I honestly have none. It was too hot, and it was my first one. The only thing I paid attention to was staying on my feet, which was a rousing success!

2 comments on “First Marathon Story: Jess from Eat Drink Breathe Sweat

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