Tag Archives: first marathon story

First Marathon Story: Emily from Em in NYC!

You may remember that last year, I ran several first marathon stories on my blog. I wanted to share a special one with you today.

My friend Emily has “wanted to run” for a long time. Her good friend Kathleen and I both are marathon runners, and Emily would always say how much she wanted to become a runner.

Last year, she got a Garmin for Christmas and then blogged that she should run a half, or something. This is where I stepped in.

“I’m running the D.C. Half. Here’s a plan. You should run it, too.”

And she did. And then said “people who do fulls are nuts.

And then called me in May and said she wanted to run NYCM. (On the same day Anne told me she was thinking about a marathon, too. MY HEART SWELLED for both of them.)

And now, my dear friend Emily is just five days away from her first marathon, the best marathon in the world. I’m so proud of her, and below is her story in her own words.

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Name: Emily

Blog: www.EmInNYC.com

Years running: Just 10 months…so not quite 1 year!

Marathon training for: ING NYC Marathon 2013

Why I decided to run a marathon:

Marathon Day in NYC is magical and I look forward to cheering on my friends each and every year. The energy of the city is off the charts and it’s so fun to be a part of. There’s pure joy everywhere and quite simply, I wanted a bigger piece of it.

But if I’m being honest…and since we’re all friends here (right?)…I’ll admit that I had also been in a bit of a personal slump and felt like I needed to shake things up a bit. Taking control of my loneliness, anxiety, and general lackluster feelings about the present state of my life and replacing them with something that would make me feel proud, strong, and awesome was the only option. Setting a goal that was well outside of my comfort zone gave me something to pour my time, energy and heart into. It’s been hard work, but I’ve found joy after every long run, every donation that was made to the cause I’m running for, and every piece of Lululemon apparel I’ve purchased with the excuse of “I’m running a marathon” (my bank account, however, isn’t so joyful).

So, in short, I decided to run this marathon for…JOY!

(Not going to lie…I also thought that training for a marathon would make me “skinny”…spoiler alert…it didn’t…more on that later!)

How is marathon training measuring up to your expectations? What’s better or worse than you expected?

With the exception of one thing, everything about this process has exceeded my expectations. I’m about to bullet point this jam…

  • Through this process, I’ve fallen in love with running. I’ve looked forward to the runs and races that have gotten me to this point. Added bonus: Now I can call myself a runner and not feel like a total poser.

  • The experience of training with Team In Training (to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society) has been stellar. The coaches and mentors are incredibly organized and I’ve been impressed with them every step of the way.

  • The running community in NYC is legit. Even though we’re just a bunch of individuals doing loops in the park, there’s this quiet understanding that we’re all in this together. Also, I’ve found that most runners are SUPER nice and I pretty much want to be friends with all of them.

  • I couldn’t believe it when my wine-less (and pretty boring) Friday nights and early weekend mornings were met with anticipation for tacking on a few more miles. Nothing compares to the way you feel when you’ve completed 14 miles before most of your friends are even out of bed. Nothing.

What’s the exception?

I mentioned this before, but training for a marathon does not, in fact, make you skinny. Surprised? I was! As it turns out, when you eat and drink with abandon after every long run because you feel like you’ve “earned it” or when you over indulge because you’re, like, running 20-30 miles over the course of the week…that’s not exactly a guarantee for success. However, instead of concentrating on a few extra pounds, I’m focused on the fact that my body is strong enough to carry me 26.2 miles in a few days…and that’s pretty awesome.

Number of days running per week

I run 4 days per week – Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. I have also been cross-training at SoulCycle on Monday’s & Wednesday’s with my favorite instructor, Lori A, at the Upper West Side studio. If I could go back and start my training all over again, I’d focus more on my strength training and core work as well. I can run and pedal to my little hearts content but picking things up and putting them down is a very different story.

What are you most excited about for the race?

You can’t honestly expect me to pick just ONE thing, right?

  • Seeing my entire family and so many friends along the course!

  • The “Did I actually just do that” feeling I’ll get and wrapping myself up like a baked potato with one of those finisher foil after the finish line.

  • Having an excuse to wear a hair bow (umm…I’m serious, people. Opportunities for this 31 year old to rock a hair bow are dangerously few and far between. Important things are important).

  • Seeing NYC from the Verrazano Bridge and taking in all the people, stories, and energy around me.

What are you most terrified of?

I’m afraid I’ll miss spotting my family along the course. They basically jumped through rings of fire to make this weekend a special one for me and not seeing them en route to the finish would be pretty disappointing. I’ve recently spent a significant amount of time praying for specific things pertaining to the race and they usually sound a little bit like this…

“Dear God – It’s me, Emily. Please don’t make it rain on Marathon Sunday! Oh, and if I’m making requests…please don’t let some uncomfortable digestion situation prevent me from running my best…but if it must happen…please let there be a semi-clean facility nearby (that has TP) and let’s make the process snappy because I have a time goal and stuff. But seriously…no rain, OK? Thanks and AMEN.”

Do you think you’ll ever run another marathon?

We should revisit this question on the evening of Sunday, November 3rd, but I think yes! I’m actively fulfilling the New York Road Runners 9+1 Program in order to get guaranteed entry to the 2014 ING NYC Marathon. I like having options.

Number of black toenails so far?

ZERO! Aside from a pretty painful blister (thanks a lot new running shoes!), my training ailments have been pretty non-existent. That being said, this week I’m feeling all kinds of new aches and twinges that my experienced runner friends refer to as Phantom Pains. Let’s hope that’s the case! (Editor’s note: True story. Emily and I are also
now lucky enough to work in the same building, and she came up my desk yesterday
to tell me that everything hurt. PHANTOM PAINS, I told her.)

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Any advice for Emily?? As you can see, she already has her name on her shirt, which I feel is a damn good start.

First Marathon Story: Meghan from Little Girl in the Big World

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Blog:Little Girl in the Big World

Years running
: 1.5

Marathon training for

Disney Marathon

Why I decided to run a marathon:

I started running last March to lose weight. I did the Couch to 5k plan with success and got to the point where I didn’t want to walk. I just keep upping my mileage, and after hitting six I decided a half marathon was possible. I trained for the Disney Wine and Dine and ran it in 2:06. I had the bug. Since then I’ve run 3 other half marathons (with a PR of 1:57.44) including one where I ran it the day after a 15k and 5k. Races are the best days of running! I had thought about doing a marathon for a bit of the training, but what did it for me for real was standing at the finish line of last year’s Disney marathon. I had run the first half of the Marathon Relay (not an event again this year for some reason) and was waiting on my partner. Seeing those people cross the finish line with such pride, excitement, and accomplishment on their faces both gave me the chills and also the full-fledged desire. I knew that that moment I would run a marathon!

How is marathon training measuring up to your expectations? What’s better or worse than you expected?

I am so scared to start the training program. I had surgery at the beginning of August and haven’t been able to exercise since. I’m supposed to get clearance on Thursday (fingers crossed), but Monday is day one. I guess missing three days of training won’t be the worst as they’re very low mileage days. I’m using the very beginner Hal Higdon training plan since I’ve had this time off, and I’m just hoping to pick up only a little behind where I left off. I worked out hard until the day I went in for the surgery.

Number of days running per week

Four. Long Runs on Saturdays, Cross Train on Sunday, Off on Monday and Friday, Maintenance Runs on Tuesday and Thursday, and building on Wednesday. It’s the Wednesday runs I’m the most afraid of. I’ve never run more than 6 miles on a weekday.

What are you most excited about for the race?

I am most excited for the race. I can’t wait to be running and knowing that I’ve worked my butt off for the experience. I am so excited to wear the bib, walk to the start, see the Disney fireworks, and run through every park. I can’t wait for the new course this year, but mostly I can’t wait for the finish line and the ability to call myself a marathoner. I think it will be the proudest day of my life so far. Plus, putting that 26.2 sticker on my car will be so rewarding.

What are you most terrified of?

I am most terrified of what running is going to be like getting back going. I am someone who races the clock and has trouble when I go a pace that I perceive to be “slow”. I know when I start back this week I won’t be running close to my normal times, and I have to mentally get over that for thefirst few weeks back. I’m also terrified of the day that my training schedule first says something over 13.1 miles. I’ve never run farther than that, and I’m so afraid that I’ll throw myself off mentally on some of those really long days. Heading out for 20 miles seems like the most daunting thing in the world right now.

Do you think you’ll ever run another marathon?

Yes. I want to run the Chicago Marathon. I’d love to do NYC and will apply every year, but who knows if that’ll ever happen. The only reason I’m scared of Chicago is because I live in Florida, and training in the middle of the summer sounds like the worst thing in the world.

Number of black toenails so far?

I think I’ve only had one in my running days (the whole year and a half I’ve been doing it). It fell off and was so so pretty. I got a pedicure and asked the nail lady to just pretend there was a nail there. Other than that, I’ve got bloody blisters and yucky looking feet to spare!