By Grace Shon

It has always been on my bucket list to run a marathon. Every year, I told myself that I would run one but failed to do so– until now! This year, I am registered to run in my very first marathon in Hartford, Connecticut.

I must admit that I had to gather up all my nerve to register. For me, actually signing up for the marathon was the first step to fully committing to running 26.2 miles. Making the decision to run a marathon is a huge commitment that requires a lot of time, energy and hard work. If you tell yourself you will run a marathon and start “training” without signing up, chances are you won’t follow through. Trust me, I’ve been there, done that. You have to take action and do it.

The next step in committing to running the marathon was to tell people. After I registered, I didn’t tell anyone for about two weeks until my colleague Keith asked me if I had gone through with registering. It was hard for me to tell other people that I was running a marathon, because once you say it out loud it becomes real–and the people you tell will hold you accountable. Not to mention you will let them down if you don’t go through with it!

The final step was finding a training schedule that worked for me. There are hundreds of different schedules out there, almost all of which make you run 5 to 6 days a week without any kind of cross training. Luckily, Daniel and Keith from Nimble Fitness had run the NYC Marathon last year and recommended the book “Run Less, Run Faster.” The book calls for a 16-week training program with 3 days of running and 2 days of cross training a week. By running 3 days a week, I am running with fresh legs and able to optimize each run. And by cross training, it helps me to strengthen and prevent injury. I did my first 18 miler last week and felt great!

With the help of the Nimble guys, I feel like I am making great progress. Don’t get me wrong, the first few weeks of training were rough and there are days when I don’t feel like running and have to tell myself “I love to run” over and over. Getting used to running on a set schedule and getting myself to actually do the runs, no matter how tired I am or how hot it is outside, is not always easy to do. What has helped me to actually do the runs is to have people around me keeping me accountable and picturing myself crossing the finish line!

I am eleven weeks into my marathon training and the big day is fast approaching. Now, I actually enjoy each training run! There were a few times where I had to listen to my body and rest, but that’s all a part of the training process. With each run I’m feeling stronger and faster. I will keep you posted on my progress throughout the process of getting to the finish line!