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14317 Views 33 Replies Latest reply: Nov 8, 2010 2:25 PM by lmurray410 1 2 3 Previous Next
tattooedangelwings Amateur 38 posts since
Nov 7, 2007
Currently Being Moderated

Feb 26, 2010 2:27 PM

What motivated you to run your first marathon?

Why did you decide to do your first 26.2? Which one did you do? And what was your thought as you crossed the finish line?


I ran my first marathon, the Richmond Marathon in Virginia in 2007. Up until that point the thought of running 26 miles was daunting, but I couldn't seem to shake the idea of finishing my first 26.2 while I was 26 years old. I guess that was enough to make me want to push and see if I could do it. Crossing the finish line I thought to myself, that was awesome, I'll do it again, but not for awhile. I had no idea that decision to try 26.2 would change my life the way it has!


Run Strong!


  • MNrunningchick Expert 40 posts since
    Feb 24, 2009

    I haven't ran my first yet but am 2 weeks into training for Grandma's Marathon here in MN.  I always thought distance runners were CRAZY. I was never a runner growing up because I "wasn't built to run".   My sister convinced me to run my first 5K in 2008.  Then we agreed to run the same race in 2009.  I wasn't planning on running until I needed to train for that race but in the mean time an opportunity came up to run a 5K with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law that supports the Nat'l Guard and I decided I ran a 5K once, why not again.  Then another opportunity for another came along for Children's Heart Clinic with a co-worker.  Before I new it I had run 5 5K races in 2009 and somewhere along the way I became hooked on running.  I was going to turn 30 and thought what a great time in my life to achieve something HUGE......I want to be one of those CRAZY people and run 26.2.  I ran a 10K in January and this solidified my drive to achieve something my family now thinks is crazy!  :-)  I am so excited to get to the race but also sososo scared to death.  I look at my training schedule and I see a long run of 20 miles and I'm at week 2 and a 5 mile long run and get so nervous but I keep telling myself to take it one day at a time and I will be ready.  I know that I will be one of those people that continue to run long distances because I am just that CRAZY!! LOL


    BTW, I have been reading your blog and you are very inspiring to those of us just starting out.  If you can run 26.2 every weekend than by golly I can do one too.  Thanks!   Naomi

  • crl8686 Legend 1,313 posts since
    Nov 11, 2007

    For me it was a combination of getting older and looking for a different type of running challenge. I've been racing shorter distances since 1986; until a few years ago, I had little desire to run anything longer than 10K or an occasional 15K. Then I ran my first two half marathons in 2007 (age 51) and 2008 (age 52). The logical next step was a full marathon, especially since some midlife crisis was creeping in as I approached 53. At first I thought of doing the 2009 LA Marathon - the big local flagship - but given the timing, I would have to run it on minimal training. Then I came to my senses and decided to instead train properly for a fall marathon. I trained 18 weeks for the Long Beach Marathon, finished up with long runs of 20 and 21.8 mi, and ended up running the marathon in 4:43. It was the hardest race I've ever done, the only race where I had not done the full distance in training, and the only race where I had to contend with hitting the wall. But I finished physically and mentally intact. Although I was about 15 min slower than I had hoped, as I crossed the finish line I was smiling ear to ear and gleefully waving my arms in the air, realizing I'd just run over eight consecutive 5Ks.

    Did it change my life? Well, not really, but I think it has made me a more complete runner.  I learned firsthand about a very different type of running goal, style and discipline - very different from 5K/10K.

    2015 highlights...

    @ 5K: New Balance Palm Springs 5K, Palm Springs, CA, 24:32

    Angels Baseball Foundation 5K, Anaheim, CA, 24:24

    Pride of the Valley, Baldwin Park, CA, 24:28

    @ 10K: LA Chinatown Firecracker 10K, Los Angeles, CA, 52:15

    Great Race of Agoura - Old Agoura 10K, Agoura Hills, CA, 51:40

    Fiesta Days Run, La Canada, CA, 49:57

  • chrisbennett Rookie 2 posts since
    Nov 9, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Feb 26, 2010 4:55 PM (in response to crl8686)
    Re: What motivated you to run your first marathon?

    This race motivated me to run period.


  • NeverQuit64 Amateur 14 posts since
    Aug 1, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Feb 27, 2010 7:14 AM (in response to chrisbennett)
    Re: What motivated you to run your first marathon?

    For me running a marathon was something that was always on a Bucket List of things to do, and as I got into my 30's I figured it was one of those things I would never get around to.  Two years ago I met an amazing woman who ran marathons and she and her friends, now our friends, reintroduced me to running.  They reminded me of the amazing feeling one get after a morning run.   in 2008 they were training for the New York City Marathon and were planning to use the Hartford Marathon as a training race.  I originally planned to run the half marathon that day, but as our training progressed I decided to run the full marathon.  So at 44, I ran my first marathon and now I'm hooked.  I'm am currently training for my third marathon, the National Marathon next month in Washington D.C.


    Good Luck this weekend Dana.


    One step a time and see where the road takes you,




  • Steve Carton Legend 369 posts since
    Oct 11, 2007

    I was slow, overweight and on blood pressure meds, just increased dose for the second time. Always been a runner, but not much running later. Turned 50. Decided I wasn't ready to start down towards the "end". Read about a 4-month program to train for your fist marathon in RW. Never got past 12 miles in training before the marathon I'd chosen was starting. But it had an advantage of being a half and a full and no decision until the half-way point, so I decided to go for it and if I felt crappy, I would only do the half. Well, I ran very slowly but got to the half and felt fine, so kept going. Met others who helped me along. Really started flagging at mile 19 (what wall? never heard of that before!). But struggled through to the end. Managed 5:21 which is an awful time, except it was a great time! That was March of 2007. This Sunday (3/7/2010) I'm running my 10th. Not as much as some. But hey - I'm not a Kenyan - my goals are to stay healthy and keep doing this well into my 80s.

  • caesar_august Pro 85 posts since
    Aug 3, 2009

    I have had friends that have run marathons before, and it would make me jealous. I would ask for tips from various people about running, but it wasn't until I saw the biggest loser do the marathon, that really got me motivated to sign up for it. That and the last tip I received from my friend was - How do you run a marathon (asking a person that wasn't in as good of shape as myself) - their advice - was to take it one step at a time, and if you feel that you'd go over the time requirement for the race, then bring your own water and run on the sidewalk and complete the distance on your own.


    The rest was history after that.

    Click Here To Download Your Free Body Fat Calculator

    Personal Running Blog: Photos And Running

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  • Rich Tuttle Amateur 15 posts since
    Jun 26, 2002

    Boston. I didn't want to just finish, or experiencemy first marathon like all the books and blogs say one should. Ignorance being bliss, I wanted to qualify.


    Bitten by the 5K racing bug on my very first, I looked at the race pace prediction charts (more than one should) and dreamed.


    More 5Ks, 10Ks, and 2 "halfs" (at 1:27:something) later, I registered for Disney.


    How sweet was it to look at my watch at mile 25, do some quick math, and realize I could run an 8:00 minute mile and still beat 3:10:00? Very sweet indeed. Finished in 3:09:something. Registered for (and ran) my second marathon, Boston 2005. A favorite running memory come to think of it.


    What to take from this? Don't aspire to merely complete 26.2...set your goals higher.


    What inspired me to run my first marathon?  NOT bragging rights, rather a personal challenge made to myself.


    Go get it!

  • JMSalsman Amateur 11 posts since
    Feb 18, 2010

    I'm in the middle of training for my first marathon and I'm SCARED!  I decided to do this because they always do it on the Biggest Loser and I felt like I should be able to do it too.  I ran XC in hs, so I figured it wouldn't be so bad, but the closer it gets, the more nervous I get.  I'm just hoping to get through the first one without walking.  No time goal officially... just finish.

  • Steve Carton Legend 369 posts since
    Oct 11, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    10. Mar 16, 2010 5:28 AM (in response to JMSalsman)
    Re: What motivated you to run your first marathon?

    For what it's worth, I ran my tenth marathon in 3 years last weekend - I started because I was overweight and had high blood pressure. I think, of the 10, I'm managed to run all the way on only 2 - have had to walk at least a little on every other one. Don't be scared - embrace it - it is an amazing experience and you will never forget your first!

  • gquick Amateur 8 posts since
    Feb 8, 2010

    I just finished my first marathon this weekend - The National Marathon in DC.


    I started my running life as a sprinter in Australia. When I came to DC a year ago I found it difficult to balance sprint training with work and there didn't seem to be a lot of competitions. Then one day I went for a jog through the woods (something I rarely did) and liked it so much I decided I was going to have a go at some distance races, afterall there are a plethora of them in this area! I started with a 5k, but had already started thinking about marathons before then. It had always been on my bucket list but I just figured it would be something I would do later in life. As my 5k training got into swing I thought to myself why not now?


    I've always had a lot of respect for the marathon distance but now I am simply in awe. Hitting the wall in a 400m is nothing like the marathon wall. In a 400m your body is saying slow down, in a marathon it just says stop. It hit me at the 21 mile mark, but I figured I could still do another 5.2 miles easy enough. It was slow and painful and the heat was scorching, I stopped on a couple of occasions and let out a loud moan. It was a humbling experience. I made it to the end and could barely walk after crossing the line, but remember thinking "I did it!" Soon my fiance and the medic were helping me to the medical tent for an IV, but once that was finished with that I was feeling pretty good. I hope this will be the first of many, but I will take nothing for granted and will be forever thankful that I got through this first one!

  • taweber2 Amateur 9 posts since
    Oct 12, 2008



    Great question and lots of personal replies! I've always been a runner but never raced at a distance longer than 10 miles. In looking at the marathon, I didn't think it would mean as much to me or be as big a challenge if I did it when I was young. So, I did my first marathon just after my 50th birthday in 4:06. Not a bad time, but not Boston qualifying either. Due to the heat and humidity in the summer, as well as my work schedule, long training runs never went over 14 miles. I hit the wall at around 22 miles and run on willpower the rest of the way to the finish line. As hurting as I was, the pride made it well worth it and it wasn't long before I signed up for something more painful, the Goofy Challenge!


    Now, like many on this board, I am a marathoner! If you want that title, there's the motivation to run your first.




  • klacy15 Rookie 5 posts since
    Apr 18, 2010

    I have played soccer my entire life, ever since I was 5.  I was never big into running and never thought I would ever run distance; I am short with very short legs.  I ended up going to college for soccer where I was introduced to the 5K test which was required by our coach.  I started training and my runs started becoming longer and longer until I was doing 5 miles no problem, and I loved every minute of it!  I proposed to myself that I would run a marathon after I was out of college and done with soccer.  I love the fact that running is all about you; you don't have to rely on anyone else to be in shape, all you have is your PRs and your motivation to beat yourself.  Anyways, my soccer career ended on a very bad note with a very inconsiderate coach so I figured there was no better way to get over it then with a half marathon.  I met some great people which inspired me to train harder and set high goals, so I did.  I finished my first half marathon two weekends ago in Lake Placid, it was amazing( p.s. most of the women there were around my height and some even shorter, I felt at home )!   I am on my ways in training for the full in Rochester in September, I can't wait!!  This has always been a dream of mine and I am very happy it is coming sooner rather than later!

  • kchilds Rookie 6 posts since
    Feb 18, 2008

    I am running my first marathon in October, the MCM. What motivated me?  Thats a good question! I was an athlete in high school and running came easy for me,  years went by after high school and two years of college and I never really ran anymore. I walked and biked, but running nope! In 2008 I saw a friend of mine running who had never run in her life and I guess you could say she started the process for me...I thought if she could get out there and do it..what was wrong with me! To answer the question about the marathon, my running partner and friend Cathy motivated me and myself..because I do love challenges and hate to not be able to do something I used to enjoy.

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