Not My First Rodeo (er, Full Marathon)

Fact: I will be running my first marathon at the 2017 TCS NYC Marathon this November.

Fact: I will start training officially for this marathon sometime in May or June of this year.

Also fact: This is NOT the first time I’ve started training for a full marathon.

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I know. Shocker.

But it’s true: I signed up for the Atlantic City Marathon back in 2014 and had to drop down to the half after injuring myself during training and basically losing my mental toughness as a result of said injury.

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I’m not proud of this; in fact I don’t talk about it a lot because I’m still kind of upset by it. I’d be lying if I say that redemption isn’t like 80% of why I’m ready to attack NYC later this year.

But I’m writing about it today because it’s real. If we’re all honest with ourselves, I bet you’ve experienced something similar in your life. I want to share my story so you realize you’re not the only person to set a big scary goal and not achieve it. And just because you don’t achieve it on the first try doesn’t mean it will never happen.

[just imagine a fun “never say never” gif that DOESN’T involve Justin Bieber, because I didn’t realize that’s like his phrase now]

While scrolling through my archives, I found this post about training for my first full marathon, and at first I was upset – seeing my old posts about marathon training bum me out. They remind me that I set up a huge scary goal for myself and I failed at the goal. Runners knee in both knees, calf strains, failed long runs and a few illnesses along the way all caused me to postpone my goal and that hurt. I can still remember crying on the phone with my friend as I told her I couldn’t do it. But I ALSO remember the relief I felt in finally saying it out loud: I wasn’t going to run the marathon.

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And while I didn’t run 26.2 miles, I gained a LOT of knowledge about myself (which I went into in greater detail in this post). Long story short, I discovered that I should want to run the marathon for myself, not for other people. And in getting there, I learned how to listen to my body, how my anxiety affects my training, how to manage that anxiety, and so much more.

I wasn’t ready to cross that finish line in 2014 for a number of reasons, both physical and mental. But the training I DID accomplish, and the lessons I learned as a result, taught me how to prepare on all fronts.

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And now I’m ready: ready to train, ready to fight, ready to push myself, ready to be scared. But above all, I’m really ready to cross that finish line and accomplish a goal it’s taken me nearly 4 years to accomplish.

How about you: what have you learned in setting big scary goals for yourself? Have you ever had to defer your dream? Let’s talk!

10 thoughts on “Not My First Rodeo (er, Full Marathon)

  1. I have been wondering if I am ready for a 1/2. After reading this, I know. It is okay if I need to wait. The most I have run is a 10k. I have been running almost 2 years & feel like a failure since I haven’t done a 1/2 yet. Worry that others think the same. Thanks for keeping it real.

    • You are absolutely NOT a failure! The only thing that matters is you do what YOU want to do, and if you don’t want to do a half yet, you don’t have to! I always say: the distance will be there for you when you’re ready. As long as you’re enjoying what you do now, just keep it up! 🙂

    • Babes, pressure is the WORST thing you can do to yourself! DO not feel pressured! It takes away all the fun… keep doing it for the LOVE and your 21km will happen when you, your mind, your body are ready and it will be AMAZING, you will ROCK IT!

  2. Ready is the BEST word… you know when you are READY… everything is in sync and you cannot force that… well, i don’t think so… *lol* but then i haven’t run a marathon… did a half and LOVED it… walked most of it, but it didn’t matter… i did it for the love…
    That is my motto these days… just do it for the love! Life is so short to not enjoy what you know you love doing… why risk injury etc just because you think its what you should be doing… sod everyone else *lol* i think you’re amazing and brave and going about it in the best way ever!
    ENJOY!

  3. I just found your blog when I was looking for posts about people getting into NYC! That is my fave place in the world and the marathon has been on my bucket list since long before I was a runner lol. I entered the lottery for the first time this year. Regardless of what happens I am looking forward to reading about your training and experience there!!!

  4. I love that you were able to admit this and then courageously start back and attempt again. I am in the middle of pre-marathon jitters and came across your post. You actually really inspired me. I hope I make it to the marathon, but if I don’t, I know there will be another time and place. Kudos to you and I look forward to reading about your experiences.:)

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