First Marathon Story: Valerie

Happy Friday! I just got out of work, and I am SO excited for a long weekend.

Here’s another First Marathon Story, from another one of my gchat besties, Valerie. I will probably say this any time I post one of these, but I am SO excited for her.

val disney.jpg

Name

Valerie

Blog

Zero to 26.2 zerototwentysix.tumblr.com

Years running

I ran my first 5K in March 2011 and have been running on and off since then, but only regularly since June of this year.

Marathon training for

Walt Disney World Marathon in January 2013

Why I decided to run a marathon

Other than because I’ve lost my mind? It’s something I’d been thinking about for a few years, and becoming friends with a bunch of runners only made the voice in the back of my head stronger. I’ve never been particularly athletic, and it’s something I want to prove to myself that I can do.

My fiance Kevin and I went to Disney World with friends a couple years ago, and ever since we’ve thought it would be fun to do the marathon there if we ever made the commitment to do a long race. With the Disney marathon’s 20th anniversary in January (and my upcoming 30th birthday later this year) I figured this year was as good as any to do it!

How is marathon training measuring up to your expectations? What’s better or worse than you expected?

First of all, running is HARD. It’s just not something that comes naturally for me. I started out with a nearly 17 minute mile and over 10 weeks have gotten that down to just under 15 on a good day. Thankfully we still have 4.5 months to go for me to get stronger and faster.

One thing that’s definitely easier than I’d anticipated is just getting out there and running four times a week. We just missed our first run this past week, and that’s because we were up in New York and our feet were worn out from all the walking. It’s been really great to have Kevin as my training partner and to help keep me accountable. As for anything that’s harder than I expected, I honestly expected this to be kind of awful and, well, it hasn’t been! It’s hard during, of course, but I always feel better once I’ve finished a run. We’re only up to 5 .5 miles, though, so I expect my feelings may change once we approach double digit mileage.

Number of days running per week

Four. We’re following Hal Higdon’s Novice Supreme training plan to the letter, except that I need to get better about doing cross training.

What are you most excited about for the race?

Crossing the finish line and having the volunteers place the medal around my neck! I have several friends who are also running the marathon and half marathon that weekend, so I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone down there. We’re making a vacation out of the trip and will spend the four days after the race hobbling around the parks, and yes, I will wear my medal every single day.

What are you most terrified of?

The sweepers. Disney makes you maintain a 16 minute per mile pace, or they politely escort you to the loser van. The idea of spending 7 months training, trying your best and then not finishing makes me want to throw up.

Do you think you’ll ever run another marathon?

Let’s see how I do with the first one before deciding! I’ve heard they’ve addictive, but time will tell.

Number of black toenails so far

Zero and I hope to keep it that way! But I have an extensive nail polish collection should the need arise.