Jan from Billings, MT (Female)
Occupation: Application Support Team Leader
Age on race day: 42
2009 Montana Governor's Cup Marathon - Billings, MT
This was my 1st marathon and I finished in 4:50.25.
I decided to run a marathon because I ran the 30K Big Horn Wild and Scenic run years ago and caught the bug. I thought that I would train for a marathon the following year after the 30K but I lost my drive. As years went by I began to feel energized and excited every time I thought about running a full marathon and finally decided to commit to running one in 2009. For me, running a marathon is the ultimate test of will power, strength and determination.
I trained for 9 months using a mileage buildup schedule on the State of the Art Marathon Training Web Site. The first 16 weeks of training worked me up to a 10 mile run by May. The next 16 weeks worked me up to the marathon in September.
The best training advice I received was from a veteran marathon runner who told me to think of my long training runs as "Just spending time on your feet, don't get worked up about how long it takes you to complete the run...think of it as training your body and your feet to go the distance".
It was better than I ever could have imagined. I had so many fears going into this; what if I woke up sick, what if I oversleep, what if I sprain my ankle, you can make yourself crazy with these thoughts. But on race day, I woke up feeling great and so happy that the big day was finally here. I had trained so hard and looked forward to just enjoying the whole experience. And I realy did enjoy the entire race, even the last two dreaded miles when everything in life was bugging me and nothing feels right.
I ran the race with my friend who I traied with all summer. It was such a feeling of accomplishment running side by side, through the wind and rain (which was cold but much better than the sun beating down) past our groups of friends who came out to support us even though they had no idea why we would want to do such a thing.
At abut mile 21 there was a group of high school kids standing at the top of this very small hill (but at mile 21 it might as well be a mountain) and they were cheering on every person that came through. It was so inspiring, their energy and excitement is what literally kept me from hitting the wall. Then of course running into the stadium with my friends and family there was nothing short of awesome! I had finished my first marathon.
My recovery was pretty rough. I stayed on my feet and kept moving for the next 4 - 6 hours after the race. I always suffered terrible stomach cramps after long runs which seem worse if I sat down or laid down so I just tried to keep moving.
Running Gear Recommendations:
Garmin Forerunner This helped me keep track of my training like nothing else could. After every run I could download all the information to my computer to check my pace, hear rate, distance, elevation covered, etc. Search »
Runners World Training Log I'm a list maker, so having a book where I could journal all my training and keep a visual reminder of my accomplishments, total miles ran, helped to keep me motivated and inspired. Visit Runner's World
Brooks Adrenaline I run in the Brooks Adrenalin GTS 9 shoes. They are light, but offer all the support I needed. I bought 2 pairs and alternated them during my training. Search »
Tips/Words of Encouragement:
There is nothing you cannot do. Get your mind focused first, and then the rest will fall into place. Never doubt yourself and when the training gets hard (and it will) remind yourself and how truly amazing you are for even having the courage to try.
Plans to Run Another:
I will run more half-marathons, it is the perfect race because it does not require as strict a regimen as a full marathong but offers a great mental and physical challenge.
For my next race, I would do more speed work instead of being so distance focused.