Thoughts Before the Start of Marathon Training: A Runner’s Love Fest

As I sit here, the night before I begin training for my first marathon, I can’t help but feel extremely excited, maybe a little bit nervous, and absolutely ready for the next 18 weeks. Besides the physical things I will need to ask of my body, there are far more things I will need to draw upon mentally; strength, courage, perseverance, determination, and an indefatigable will to succeed.

With that said, I find myself feeling extremely inspired. I’m also happy to report, that after six weeks of being a lazy runner (running with no watch, at whatever pace I felt like and for as many miles as I felt like), I’m ready to get back to training.

A couple of weeks ago, there was an overwhelming amount of runner love and support going around. Running Stories started the love fest when they asked people to name five people who have inspired their running. What a great way to start a Friday, right? I will admit that it was really hard to narrow it down to just five. So many people in this amazing community inspire me. It was an incredible reminder of just how lucky I feel to have become part of this great community. For that, I am thankful EVERY DAY.

Such an incredible community!

Such an incredible community!

I was touched by some of the things other runners said about me that morning. It’s nice to know people feel that way about me. I like to think I have a good, optimistic attitude 95% of the time. I’ve worked very hard over the past five years or so to become this person and it’s nice to know that people see me in this way. I wasn’t always like this. As I’ve said, ad nauseam, running has forever changed my life in the past year and a half. It has made me happier, stronger, braver, more determined and more confident. It has taught me how to look fear in the face and go after something even when it scares me. It has made go after things especially when they scare me (read: training for a marathon). Running has made me finally realize that playing it safe is boring and doesn’t make your life better and that the magic really does happen outside your comfort zone. Running has taught me that I’d rather try and fail and know instead of always wondering what if.

But anyway, I digress. Thanks to Running Stories, I really thought about some of the people that inspire me on a daily basis and those that have inspired my running through their determination, perseverance, strength and will to succeed; people that have inspired me to DREAM BIG this year.

Annie: In one year, this girl shaved more than 15 minutes off her half marathon time and ran her first sub-2 half marathon. If it weren’t for this girl, I may never have had the courage to sign up for my first half marathon, or my first marathon. She inspires me and challenges me and, most importantly, she lets me be crazy and obsess over running at any time of day.

My #1 Running Buddy

My #1 Running Buddy

Abby: I don’t know where to begin. I really don’t know what I did to deserve a friend like this in my life and I’m grateful for her every day. She constantly inspires me. This girl qualified for Boston at her very first marathon. She’s FAST. I mean really fast. Even through injury, she kept a positive attitude and always wanted to know how my runs were going. She coached me to an almost 5 minute half marathon PR at my goal race this spring; helping me to exceed my wildest dreams (and cheered for me and ran with me to boot). She supports me and encourages me and inspires me to be the BEST runner I can be every single day.

{PS. As of the end of this month she will be a certified run coach and you should HIRE her! She’s that good.}

Me and Abby seconds after crossing the finish line and surpassing my dreams!

Me and Abby seconds after crossing the finish line of aforementioned half marathon!

Jocelyn: This girl has become fast. I mean, seriously, fast. She ran her first sub-4 marathon last November without a watch and then went on to crush that time this spring in Eugene. She inspires me to leave my watch at home often (I highly recommend it if you haven’t tried it). She’s beyond real and so humble about how fast she has become. She would smoke me in a race, yet still genuinely asks me when we can run together next. There are so many things I love about this girl and so much about her that inspires me to be a better runner.

That's Jocelyn to my left mere seconds before taking away my watch!

That’s Jocelyn to my left mere seconds before she confiscated my watch!

Meggie: {Side note: I think Meggie and Jocelyn were sisters in a previous lifetime. Have you ever met two friends that are so incredible and make your heart all warm and fuzzy when you see them together? Everyone should have a friend like these two are to each other}. If you haven’t checked out the progress Meggie has made as a runner, head over to her blog and be inspired! Oh and while you’re there, congratulate her on her BQ AND her MD. This girl is on fire lately! I told you; inspiring.

The smiles BQ's are made of!

Thanks for letting me steal your post BQ picture, Meggie!

Ali: If you follow her, enough said. If don’t, you definitely should be. Ali, you have no idea how much you have inspired my running. Her blog was the very first running blog I ever followed. For a reason. The end. I followed her while she trained for her first marathon. I will likely be re-reading those posts in the weeks to come.

Ali becoming a marathoner inspired me!

Ali becoming a marathoner inspired me!

Stephanie: This girl also inspires me every day. She inspires me to be stronger. She inspires me to run faster. She inspires me to never give up, ever, no matter what. She is strong, determined and has taught me that when you think you have given it all you’ve got, you can still probably give a little more because she always does.

Photo Credit

Steph killing it last year at the Philly Half Marathon!

Leticia: Much like me, this girl has gone through a major weight loss transformation, changed her life and ran her first marathon last year. She is one of the best examples of someone who never gives up. She is strong and determined and will keep on pushing until she achieves success. Her marathon training inspired me last year. She inspires me to want to work HARD because she always does.

Leticia smiling after becoming a marathoner!

Leticia smiling after becoming a marathoner!

Okay, having said all that, I’M READY TO START MARATHON TRAINING!!!!! Deep breath; here goes nothing!

Tell Me.

Who inspires YOUR running?

Any tips for training for your first marathon?



5 thoughts on “Thoughts Before the Start of Marathon Training: A Runner’s Love Fest

  1. There are so many incredible people in the running community. I draw inspiration from them on a daily basis and was just reflecting the other day on how much the whole running and fitness community has added to my life in the past year. It’s truly amazing. So excited for your training!!!

  2. You are too sweet Beth! I am so excited for you to train for your first MARATHON. It’s going to be a great “journey” (not sure if that is the cheesy word, but it will definitely be something you remember forever). One of my favorite things to read are blog posts from a first time marathoner in training, so I can’t wait to see what you have in store in the next couple of months. ENJOY IT!!

    ALSO – yes, seriously a RUN SOON. No joke – send me your training plan.

  3. I’m training for my first marathon as well! This was such a sweet post and it’s awesome drawing inspiration from friends. 🙂

  4. I am loving this love fest!! And you mentioned almost all of my favorite bloggers!! Love Jocelyn, Meggie, Stephanie, Ali, and especially Leticia!! Y’all are so blessed to have such a great group of running girls in a tight community. Makes me want to move to the Big Apple <–is it cool to even call NYC that?! I think everyone has people that have encouraged them in their running journeys and I'm so glad you dedicated a post to it 🙂

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