In 2006, I was invited to be a part of a newly formed running group in a small little town in the hill country of Texas. I wanted to be a part of this more than you can imagine. It was a small group and depending on the day, we would have between 5 and 10 people show up for a morning run. We all decided that we wanted to run a marathon and training began. At that time, I did not know if it was even possible for me to accomplish something like this…. It took me several months to build up to be able to comfortably run 3 miles.
Here I am during that time running a 3.1 mile segment of a race…
I followed the Jeff Galloway run/walk method. There are many different ways to use his method, but I settled in to a 3 minutes of running and 1 minute of walking ratio. I purchased a copy of his book called “Marathon, You Can Do It” and began to read it religiously. Thanksgiving 2006 weekend, I was visiting my brother and his family in Georgia and my official marathon training began. I printed out the “to finish” schedule and began logging my miles. I adjusted the schedule so that Saturday mornings were reserved for my long runs and I would take Sunday off to rest. Each Saturday morning was so fun and exciting as I began to add distance to my running. I could not believe I was capable of achieving these distances. The first time I ran 16 miles at one time, I was over the moon! I thoroughly enjoyed all of my training.
The day of the marathon was amazing. My entire family met up with us in Nashville to cheer me on at the Country Music Marathon. Carman had been training in Florida and she and her family met us there as well. We were so excited to finally be there for the big event!
It’s hard to adequately express my feelings during the marathon… when I think about it even today, I remember so many different emotions that I felt… I was nervous, excited, hopeful, scared, empowered, etc.
One of the people in my training group had told me that on race day… you have to Trust Your Training.
I had the best time running that race. It was a huge confidence builder for me. I love running and felt very good about it. At that time, I weighed approximately 165 lbs and completed my first marathon in 5 hrs and 15 mins.
Over the next year, I followed Weight Watchers at home and got down to 143 lbs and decided to train for my second marathon. I was able to shave off an hour of my finishing time, completing the Texas Marathon in 4 hrs and 15 mins. The best part of this race was doing in on New Year’s Day with lots of friends and family!!!
I learned so much about myself and my life while training for those two races. For one… you don’t have to be in “perfect shape” to accomplish big goals. I just went for it… I just had a goal in mind and I mapped out a plan and then put it into action. I wasn’t quite sure if I would succeed, but I knew that I wanted to…. One of my favorite quotes is this….
I truly enjoy running. It’s a great stress relief for me. Being a part of a running group is cheaper than therapy! It has also played a huge role in my weight loss.
If you are interested in watching a video that my brother made of my 2nd Marathon… check it out below.