No Turning Back

From Guest Blogger, Andy Richardson – This is the second post in an ongoing series with the Marathon Training Academy where Andy discusses his personal journey of training for his first marathon.

Ready to Rock!
Well, it is official! I just signed up for my first marathon. I am going to be doing the Rock and Roll marathon in Savannah, Georgia – which happens to be close to my home in Beaufort, SC.

So, now that I have signed up there is no turning back! And, I am certainly not going to let the readers here or my family down either! I will be running the marathon on November 5, 2011. They will have bands set up throughout the 26.2 mile journey, which will be pretty cool. Who knows, maybe a power song at mile 18 will be just the thing I need to keep going.

The registration form requested that I give my expected completion time, so I had to come up with a guess. I filled it out as 4 hours and 45 minutes. I tried to keep my time on the high end, but I am certainly hoping I can finish better than that. After all, according to the MTA Official Guide Will Ferrell, Oprah, P Diddy, and George W Bush all did better than that! But I am apparently not the caliber runner of P Diddy (4:14:54), yet.

Running is Becoming an Expensive Hobby
If you have never signed up for a marathon, I want to give you fair warning. You may have to give up a couple trips to the steakhouse in order to pay for the registration. My registration was around $100. When I mentioned it to my wife, she jokingly said ‘That sure is pricey just to run on a public road’. I must admit that it probably does seem funny from the outside looking in for someone to put themselves through this kind of extreme regimen, on a public road, and pay around $100 to do it.

Obviously, there are costs involved in doing it, and money goes to charity and profit as well, so I understand the costs. And that reminds me… I also need to get some new running shoes, too. This sure is becoming an expensive hobby!

What is My Biggest Reason For Wanting to Run a Marathon?
I have started to read the Marathon Training Academy Official guide. Chapter Three (Unleashing Your Marathon Potential) discusses the motivation for running a marathon. Angie notes that running a marathon can be difficult at times and that it all begins with the mind. I need to know why I am doing this so that when I am halfway through the race or training I will have something to keep me going.

Achievement – The biggest reason that I want to run a marathon is that I want to prove to myself that I can do it. I want to find out what my mind and body are made of when they are put to one of the ultimate tests.

Here are just a few of the other reasons that I am running a marathon. You may share some of these reasons as well.

  • Conquering Fears – I heard one time that if you are afraid of something, then you should do it, and then you will not be afraid of it anymore. Sounds like a good reason to run a marathon.
  • Change is Good – Trying new things makes life interesting. One of the reasons I am doing this is because I just want to experience it.
  • It’s on My Bucket List – I think running a marathon has always been something I wanted to do, but for whatever reason I have not committed to doing it. Here’s to striking this off my bucket list.
  • Races Can be Fun – I have done other races, and I enjoy running with the crowd, meeting new people, and yes drinking free gatorade afterwards. (But I must tell you, there are some easier and cheaper ways to get sports drinks than running a marathon).
  • Competition – Something inside all of us wants to be a winner. I do not think I will take the crown for the whole race, but I want to do pretty good.
  • Stay Fit – I enjoy being fit and active, and running a marathon will help to continue to do that.
  • Lose a Few Pounds – I would not mind dropping a few pounds by November, so what better way to do that than train for a marathon
  • I am not Getting any Younger – This year, I am turning 35. I am realizing that I cannot procrastinate forever.

Here is a quote from Mark Twain that is also printed in the motivation chapter of the MTA Official Guide:

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” –Mark Twain

Health Hurdles
My training was going well until just recently when I got a case of bronchitis that gave me a painful and constant cough. I had to take a few days off completely, and also take it easy for a while in order to improve.

Then, last week I sprained my knee while playing frisbee with the kids. My son and I were both going for the frisbee when we collided, and he hit my knee. I did not even know you could sprain your knee by playing frisbee, but trust me – you can.

Fortunately, after a few days, some ice, and pain-reliever, my knee was fine. These health hurdles have caused me to fall back a bit over the past couple weeks. I have not been able to build up my distance, and I have even lost some of my fitness. I will have to work hard to get back on track, but I am happy to get back to running and my marathon training again.

Next time, I will go over my goals for training and my goals for my first marathon. Hopefully you are working on your goals as well, and making good progress with your marathon training.

What Do You Think
Have you signed up for your fall marathon, yet? Are you doing one of the Rock and Roll Marathons? Also, what is the biggest reason that you want to run a marathon?

About the Author: Andy Richardson is the author of Start Running For Beginners.

14 Responses to No Turning Back

  1. Trevor May 20, 2011 at 4:15 pm #

    Right on Andy!

    I’m not getting any younger either. I just turned 31 today.

    Time to run a marathon! (St. Louis, Oct 23)

    • Andy May 23, 2011 at 8:08 am #

      Sounds good Trevor. I guess you can relax the day I am running b/c you will be done. But we both have a lot of work to do until then

  2. Sara B May 20, 2011 at 6:25 pm #

    Hey! I will be running my first full Marathon in Savannah too. Although, I signed up with a goal time of 5:30, so it sounds like you’ll be speeding past me 🙂

    • Andy May 23, 2011 at 8:07 am #

      Hi Sara, I am not so sure I will be speeding by anyone! But, look forward to running in Savannah with you…

  3. Ryan May 21, 2011 at 1:02 pm #

    Good luck Andy. I am thinking about signing up for the Savannah race too. It will be my second marathon, if I do it. My first was in Atlanta in March and was pretty hilly. I’m hoping Savannah’s course will be pretty flat.

  4. scadbee May 21, 2011 at 8:39 pm #

    I will be doing the half. My first. I also live in Beaufort County, SC. Good luck and who knows, maybe I’ll see you there. 🙂

    • Andy May 23, 2011 at 8:14 am #

      Sounds good, see ya there…

  5. Darren May 22, 2011 at 3:53 pm #

    I’m signed up for the Dublin(Ireland) marathon on 31st October so very interested to see your progress. You should include your runs and times to let everyone see your progress and compare. Eg 24 weeks to go, did two 5 mile runs at 7min average pace and cross training this week….. Just a thought! Good luck.

    • Andy May 23, 2011 at 8:18 am #

      Thanks Darren, and I hope the best for your race in October. Maybe I can post a running log here or on my site.. I will definitely post a summary of my status here. Right now I am trying to just get back to a routine again, though after the bronchitis and knee sprain.

  6. Michael May 24, 2011 at 2:38 pm #

    Signing up for a Marathon is a great motivator. I looked for pictures of the finish line and tried to visualize myself crossing the finish line on a regular basis. Hope the knee bounces back for you.

  7. Anna May 25, 2011 at 9:49 am #

    Hi Andy, G
    Great post, thanks!! Good luck with your training and marathon! I am getting ready to start my training for my first as well. NYC Marathon in November. And you’re right, not getting any younger, I will be 49 next month!!!
    Weird to see that number in front of me!!
    Hope your sprains heals quickly.

  8. Latosha Jenkins May 25, 2011 at 11:02 am #

    Love your wife’s line about expensive to run on a public road…I like to think of the registration fees as donations…since most times they support a cause….in the future you can even get sponsors….happy running.

  9. Kate May 25, 2011 at 12:18 pm #


    Haha I like your wife’s take on paying to run on public roads. I like that you said it was “on your bucket list” because that is a lot of the reason why I was even interested in the first place! I will be running my first one on Sunday and I am freaking out about it. But if I can do that…..I can do ANYTHING right?!

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