Pictured above: On the left is my first marathon in Richmond, VA in 2010. On the right is my 7th marathon in Charlotte, NC in 2016.
I was never a runner “before.” You know, before I knew what was possible, before I knew what I was capable of, before I knew that with God in me I could overcome any feat. So, how did I go from sitting the bench in high school and college field hockey games to running multiple Boston Qualifying and Age Group placing in races through my 20’s and 30’s?
After deciding I wanted to go after the marathon, with just one half marathon under my belt, I knew I needed a training PLAN to keep me progressing toward my goals. Don’t ask me what made me want to go sub-4 hours on my first try…that same characteristic is what keeps me going back for more each year. I tried for years to copy race plans from people i knew, to Runner’s World templates, to Hal Higdon’s world renowned training plans.
Not only did I NOT hit sub 4 for that first race, I also sustained and battled through the various running injuries that have become known as par for the course- ITB syndrom, Runner’s Knee, Ankle issues, low back pain, etc… After the first marathon at 4 hours 14 minutes, I also vomited all the way home and almost landed in the ER from lack of fuel and dehydration. This all sounds very dramatic, but it was my experience.
That was almost 7 years ago. I just completed my 8th marathon start and conquered my third Boston Qualifying time. My goal is still get through successful Boston registration in the next few years and I’ll continue working to chisel down my current PR of 3 hours 33 minutes 6 seconds. Over the past 3 years, I have worked to create my own training plan that works for a real-life-runner.
Most running plans will have you eating, breathing, sleeping and peeing miles. They’ll have you eating lots of carbohydrates and using fueler’s that support glucose in the body for energy. None of this was working for me. I was in pain, I didn’t feel good, and I had a job, a family and a life that needed my attention. But I also had a dream with a deadline- the marathon goal I had set for myself.
Over the past 3 marathon’s run, I have developed both a training regimen and a nutrition approach that, while very customizable and dependent upon commitment, has supported shaving significant TIME off my race pace, helped me sustain training without injury and helped me achieve my goals. As a certified personal trainer and nutrition coach, I incorporate a lot more than JUST running into the plan… You’ll find a dynamic schedule and approach to accomplishing and amazing feat…and you’ll still have time to live your life.