If you have followed my blog for a while you know a continuous, planned out training plan for running half marathons and marathons really never been part of my routine. Life, in generally, tended to push running to the back burner and my training runs would happen haphazardly. I would run but not consistently and I didn’t track my pace or really push myself.
As I mentioned in my last post, I got into the Big Sur International Marathon through a lottery system. Naturally I started to check out the course. The thing that kept getting me was the elevation change from the start to the finish…close to 2,500 feet!
Talk about an intimidating course! I already had a trainer for strength training and he also runs. Something kept telling me though I needed to do something radical. I have followed a running coach, Scott Fishman, on Twitter for several years. I liked his approach towards running and life in general. He would even ask me how my running was going for several years. Around September I saw where his company, Team All American, had a promotion going on for new athletes and they were offering a free one hour consultation. So I decided to check his approach and company out.
I knew the thought above was true! The biggest thing that sold me on hiring a running coach was his encouragement for me to become the best that I am able to with running. See, I have never mentally considered myself an athlete with my running. I struggled and wanted to basically run without any pressure on myself due to all the pressures I have in the rest of my life. Yet, he specifically asked me why I would put all this time and effort into running half marathons and full marathons and not train to do it at the best of my ability? Hmmmmmmm, yes, why would I do that? I am a goal oriented person and I should apply this mentality to all areas of my life. I really needed to get honest with where I was and where I wanted to end up.
I ended up starting my training program in October and I trained for six months for the Big Sur International marathon. I was really clueless as a runner. As I mentioned earlier, I really didn’t know what pace I was running while I was running. I knew the overall pace at the end. I finally bought a Garmin watch and I have never looked back. What an eye opener. I stuck to my training plan for the most part. I went from December until about 3 weeks before the end of tax season without missing a scheduled run or workout. It was tough.
Would I do the same thing again? Yes! A customized, training program actually works 🙂 Being accountable to a live person was key to me. My last marathon I ran at Disney as part of the Goofy Challenge in January 2015 and I completed it around 6:20 and it was flat. I finished Big Sur at 5:40. My only goal was to finish which had to happen in 6 hours or less or they would pull you from the course. So to finish at 5:40 on the toughest course around I am quite proud of the accomplishment.
When when I read the words from my coach where he called me an athlete that was the moment I realized I had earned the right to call myself an athlete. This marathon was a game changer in my approach to running. I am an athlete and I have lots of room for improvement. I may be 47 but I am in better shape now than I was in my 20s. I may have been thinner back then but I was not in shape like I am now. Looking forward to the runs to come!
Training as a fiance, wife, mom, entrepreneur, friend and the list goes on does not happen without a lot of support, understanding and encouragement from the ones who mean the most to me. Of course, it wouldn’t happen at all without God Almighty allowing me to pursue my passion. Thank you, God! Rob was simply amazing at allowing me the time to run when we were together, even ran with me several times. Even when I wanted to give up the week before after driving the course he encouraged me to finish what I had started. He even agreed to get married in California the week before the marathon, even though it was a very special date on the calendar for us. I love you, Rob. Your love and level of encouragement and support is a blessing to me. Thank you, Rob!! Mayson and Clayton allowed me the time to workout and run although they are teenagers and have their own lives basically. Thank you to my friends for understanding when I had to bail on get togethers get my runs in.
If you are wanting to take your running to the next level, I highly recommend hiring a running coach. It will change your life.
In my next post, I will share week leading up to the marathon and expo.
In His Strength,