Emma Black's Story
I consider myself an advanced runner and I primarily run for fitness. This was my third marathon completed. I decided to take on the challenge of another marathon because I find it the most rewarding of all the distances. The marathon takes heart, dedication, and commitment. I also love running long distances and this is the perfect distance for me.
Essentially I follow the running room's 4 month marathon clinic training program. I have trained for all three of my marathons with this program. I adjusted some of the longer distances however to include 4 20+ milers in my training. Instead of fartlek's on Wednesday's I do a two month weekly Yasso's workout at the track, building my repeats. I also do not include walk breaks in my long runs. During my training I averaged 40+ miles per week.
The best advice you will ever receive in training is PACE YOURSELF in the marathon. If you don't, YOU WILL PAY THE PRICE later.
Marathon morning was very humid. We started at 5am. I was up by 4:30am getting myself ready and eating my powerbar. The fireworks at the beginning are inspiring! I didn't like the fact that there were no pacers or pace bunny's or anything in the marathon. It is self paced and was really crowded at the beginning. I went out too fast as I was aiming for a 4:10 marathon. My 10k split and half marathon mark were way off and I was too fast but thought I could get away with it. There were adequate water stops and I took one water at EVERY station while pinching a cup. Every 45 minutes I took a GU Gel and continued on. This is the most crowded marathon I have ever participated in. At the 20 mile mark my legs were dying. I wasn't as fast as I wanted and my legs hurt! I had to take a few walk breaks but pushed myself to run on. I wanted to beat my old time at least so I really pushed mentally when I knew that finish line was in sight! I would say I really don't like the temperature for running a marathon and am used to the cooler BC weather!
My recovery wasn't bad. I rested a lot and took a cold bath and went swimming at the beach. I massaged my legs and didn't run for three weeks.
Running Gear Recommendations:
Moving Comfort Sports Bra's
Moving Comfort Sports Bra's! They are the best. I like the FIONA model.
FUEL Belt for long distance training runs.
GU Gel for long runs with Vitamin C.
Tips/Words of Encouragement:
The Half marathon is an accomplishment and should be respected. The full marathon however, is in a class of it's own. It takes courage, commitment, desire and heart. How well you do will depend on how hard or how much you train. For beginners I suggest you just run to complete the marathon. If you put too much pressure on yourself the first time you may not fully enjoy the experience and may not want to run another one :-) Anybody who can run, can run a marathon. The question is do you really want to? Are you willing to do what it takes?
Plans to Run Another:
I'm planning to run another marathon because I love this distance. I love being on a running schedule. I love to run. I feel strong, free, happy and connected to myself as a human being. I love the challenge of pushing myself near the 22 mile mark when I know my body is going to fight. I push myself mentally saying "You've done this before","You can do this", "Quitting isn't an option". I love the mental battle. And your body will respond.
For my next marathon, I will PACE MYSELF and aim for a 4:10 marathon! That's my goal. I'm a short runner about 4"10". (-short Guatemalan). One day I would love to run a full marathon in 4 hours. But my ultimate dream would be to qualify for and run the Boston Marathon. I know it will take a lot of work, but most dreams do.
From: Vancouver, B.C. Canada (Female)
Age on race day: 31
2011 Honolulu Marathon
This was my 3rd marathon
and I finished in 4:18:46.