Running Your First Marathon – A Story
The character, Josephine (Jo for short) is completely fictional, but I assure you, her ups and downs will be very real. Join us every other Tuesday as Jo trains for her first, and what could be her last marathon, depending on her state physically and mentally post marathon.
Part 1: Commitment: No one likes commitment.
The Marathon Bug
The sun sparkles over the fairly flooded Lake Calhoun. People loop the lake like the earth rotates the sun. Summer is here, and the Minneapolans are making the most of it. Jo is one of them. Attempting to get her morning jaunt in prior to a Saturday of boating, bikinis, and perhaps a little beer, she trots around the lake accordingly.
She has always run, not excessively, but enough to ensure fitness. She loves the stress relief it provides and the sense of community it brings out in people. Jo has done a number of small road races, no longer than a 10k, but occasionally tests out the 13-mile waters on her own.
This particular morning alongside the lake, Jo takes notice of all the marathon finisher shirts adorning the other early AM risers. Did she miss the memo that it was national race shirt day? No, she’s pretty sure that already happened. At least here in Minneapolis. What’s the deal then?
Perhaps she is experiencing a type of baby fever, only less emphasis on the baby, and more emphasis on long and grueling processes to produce hopefully a happy end result.
She begins bantering back and forth in her head.
Should I sign up for a marathon? I could totally run one! I mean I’ve run half marathon distances before. I would just have to do that… two times…in a row. I know Twin Cities is supposed to be a great one to run. The best urban marathon from what I hear.
I think I could do it. How hard can it be?
Plus, it would be really cool to buy one of those 26.2 stickers to put on the back of my car. You can’t slap one on there unless you’ve actually done one.
That’s it, I’m doing it. I’ll sign up when I get home, just before leaving for the lake.
Are You All In?
Smoothie in hand, salt rinsed away in a post run shower, Jo sits down at her computer. She looks up TC Marathon. Registration is still open. Of course if she would have committed to this in February, she could have saved herself a couple bucks, but that is beside the point, she is committing to it now.
This will be fun, she thinks. Training for something, hopefully finding some people to do long runs with, this will be the challenge she needs. Who knows, she might be the next Deena Kastor. A girl can dream right?
After typing in all her information, submitting her credit card, and making sure she has no prior commitments the first weekend in October, she hits the submit button.
What if I can’t run that far? Twenty-six plus miles is longer than I drive in a day, sometimes a week for that matter!
After a few minutes of aiding the growth of stomach ulcers, she calms down.
“My boyfriend will be so proud of me! Maybe he will even propose if I can complete the dang thing. I’ve got to do something to speed up this marriage business process. Besides, it will be so cool to say I am a marathoner. I’m stronger than I think I am. I’ve got this in the bag. If Pamela Anderson can run a marathon, I should have no problem. I’m good.”
The marathon is on the horizon. Jo is undertaking her biggest athletic challenge to date. Training starts today… well maybe tomorrow, she’s got flippy floppies and a boat to be on today.
Are you running your first marathon? What was it like signing up? Share your story below.