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Started running 4 years ago. I have run 6 Halfs over the last 2 years so I am now doing my first whole shabang next month. (marathon for those that do know what a shabang is) Training for this is a life altering experience. I feel different and had to change up certain things. So I am wondering who else, if anyone feels this way. I am 47 so I am very familar with how my life use to feel. It's a good, no wait, great feeling but I am wondering does everyone go through changing their life around?
Your first marathon is special, so enjoy the journey. I've read that the best thing a runner can do is train for a marathon, but never run it...lol I wouldn't go that far, but training for one sure does get you in good shape. I don't know if my first was a life changing experience, but I sure did hold my head high when it was over.
At any rate Urbster, my suggestion is to run this first with no other goal than to finish in good shape. You've got plenty of time to chase a time goal, let this first one be a learning experience.
How's your training going, are you feeling good about where you're at with a month to go? I'm in my second week of taper btw, my marathon is Sept. 30th.
Enjoy life, this ain't a rehearsal...
It certainly creates a new perspective and you should be proud of your preparation efforts. I cannot speak for others regarding the the mental and physical process to achieve the full marathon, because it was especially difficult for me, but I am certain that most have to alter focus and improve levels of determination in one way or another. In my humble opinion, you have already completed one of the greatest challenges....and that is simply having the personal confidence to succeed.
Running, in general, has changed my life, so I fully understand some of your feelings. I can also say that I had to struggle with having faith in my training and abilities for the first marathon, but, as Rich suggested, the hard work is already behind you. Just keep reminding yourself of that fact, if necessary.
P.S....plan your post-race party/activities...you are going into a completely different space soon and it is important to celebrate the advancement.
Best wishes for a wonderful event.
I think the impact of a first marathon depends significantly on where one is in one's running "career" and also on one's motivation for doing the marathon. It is a very individual experience.
I ran my first marathon in 2009, but had started running many years earlier - in 1983 - and racing in 1986, so there was a very long running history leading up to it. Of course I had to significantly gear up the training and follow a very structured and intense 18 week program, but I did not have to make any major lifestyle changes to train and race it. My primary motivation was simply to conquer a running challenge that would push my physical and mental capabilities to the limit. There was also an element of mid-life crisis (I was 53 and figured I didn't have forever to wait) but I was not running for a particular cause, other than the charities generally supported by the marathon. The bottom line is that although I was, and still am, intensely proud of that special achievement, I would not consider it life-altering.
@ 5K: Ontario Mills Run, Ontario, CA, 25:19
@ 10K: LA Chinatown Firecracker Run, Los Angeles, CA, 51:44
Hard question to answer change my life? I did my 1st about your age and have been training since, so I guess it did? Here is a quote that fit's me. " There will be days that you don't know if you can run a marathon...but there will be a life time knowing that you have. Marathons are all DIFFERENT, but each time you cross that finish line, you hunger for the next one...it's a great feeling of accomplishment! I am 52 now and my next one is Oct 28! Good luck as others have stated don't worry about a time for this one, just run it.
Did it change my life? -- as in, did I have some mystical experience that made all things clear for me --- no.
I'm not too philosophical about it. Running is what it is. It certainly does not bring any self-centered pride as there are always other runners who are better, and run further.
And after a few days the training starts again which brings a whole new set of challenges to humble me.
Over 30 years ago as a senior in high school, I decided I wanted to run the boston marathon. Stupid kid really, I'd never run a race longer than 10 miles and was mostly just a cross country 3 miler, albeit one that eventually set the standard for my high school for years to come. I had no support system for such an undertaking, and no one really coaching me on where to even start. I just read the old 'runners' magazine which disappeared decades ago, and I believe I did read some Higdon stuff and maybe even Jim Fixx. Reading is one thing, training for and running a marathon completely different.
Times were much different then. No iPod. I think I had a sony walkman cassette player to pass the time. My training timepiece may have been a digital timex with a stop watch mode. I had a hand held stopwatch for interval training. It never occurred to me to run near marathon distance to prepare. My longest long run was probably less than 14 miles. I think one of the thoughts in the day was really long really slow, so I recall trying to run those 13 milers as slow as I possibly could. Funny how times and the 100% best ideas for success change.
I don't have my training logs to look back at how I did it. I do recall supplementing my training with 2 a days and I recall absolutely despising running in the morning. My body just didn't like it at all. I probably topped out in the 60-70 mile a week range.
Anywho, long story short, I had to hit a 2:50 for my 18 year old age, that much I remember. I lined up for the old Philly marathon in 1982 (course much different than today as I recall) and just ran like I didn't know any better, because I didn't. No hydration belt, I may have had some Gatorgum, none of those GUs like today. I just remember focusing on clipping off mile after mile and before I knew it I was wrapped up in aluminum at the finish line in 2:41 and some change. I'd made it.
Did that change my life? Yea, I think it did. More so now than along the way. I look back and am absolutely amazed and sometimes question if it was really me. I have no idea how I pulled it off, and recreating the feat 30 years later was so much more of a challenge than it was for that naive kid.
I ran Boston in 1983, not nearly as motivated as I was just to make it. Boston remains the only race I ever walked in, yes, Heartbreak Hill did me in, and also the first race where a female beat me Not sure how long I walked but I finished that in 2:43:46.
I figured I wasn't Olympic bound, so what was there left to do with running for a dumb kid? So, I hung up my running shoes and picked up drinking Moosehead and Molson. Those were the days.
Thanks for asking.
Hi Urbster....in a word...yes.
I ranked crossing the finish line for my first full last October right up there with my wedding day, and the birth of my children. I think for me the fact that I committed to such a huge undertaking and completed it made me feel like I could do whatever I set my mind to. I only wanted an official finish...no particular time goal. I'm training for full #2 (October 21st Atlantic City) and this go round I've pretty much committed 1000% to the race...even more than the first. Weight training 3x a week (twice with a trainer), nutrition, plan I paid for (McMillan did an awesome job)...none of which I'd have done if I hadn't done number 1.
Enjoy the experience...it is life changing.
TRUST THE TRAINING!
Not in the sense of having an epiphany. But my training changed, and my mindset changed. Each year now my main goal (for running) is the marathon. I'm not any kind of "marathon maniac". I only run one or two a year and I run a number of other races. But my preference now is for distance - half-marathons, 10-milers - to prepare better for those couple of marathons each year. I'm not single minded either, I have a lot of other interests. Just when it comes to running, it revolves around the marathon distance.