About 2 months ago, Melinda Hinson Neely, blogger and author of Finding Life’s Little Sauce, announced that she was working on her new book.
As a part of her new book, she was soliciting participation from new marathon runners (that’s me!). She asked us to write a little about why we wanted to contribute and participate in her book, why we were running or planning on running our first marathon, etc. So, I decided (on a whim) to write Melinda describing my reasons, challenges and hopes for my first marathon participation this coming October. I wrote her:
I read your blog and saw your post about first time marathoners. That is me, to a T. I am a 23 year old Midwestern girl. I’ve run some races — 10k, 8k, 1/2 marathon, but not yet a marathon. I signed up this past spring with a friend of mine to run the San Fran Women’s Marathon this fall (the same one I see you’ll be running for your 13th) as my first marathon ever. Maybe it wasn’t such a smart idea, I wasn’t thinking about the San Fran hills when I signed up, but the men in tuxes handing out Tiffany’s necklaces definitely upped the appeal 😉
A little about me: I grew up in Minnesota, where I was athletic most of my childhood: ballerina, water skier, downhill skier. Then, later in my teens, I added to that soccer and cross country skiing. At 15, I tore my ACL, MCL and cartilige in my right knee. I was told to be extra careful about what I did in terms of endurance exercises. Playing soccer again was out of the question (according to my doctor) and I was advised to avoid running at all costs. Fast forward four years, and I finished my sophomore year of college, and I found myself out of shape and unhappy with the way I felt in my skin. So, I started running. I was afraid at first, running slow and timidly, but since that first day running in July 2006 I haven’t looked back. Literally. After visiting with a few physical therapists, I was told I could run, but shouldn’t overdo it and should never do a marathon. So I ran medium distances, and was happy, but I’m not one to sit back and let someone else dictate what my body can and cannot handle. So after much pre-training and long runs without pain, I decided to sign up for my first marathon ever. I am running the San Fran marathon to prove to myself, and those around me, that nothing is impossible, no matter the circumstances, if you put your mind to it — and train appropriately. And for the men in tuxes. Let’s be honest 😉
And, my current training plan: I’m adopting the Run Less, Run Faster book mantra of running only 3 days/week and crosstraining the rest of the week, to keep my knee healthy and in good form.
I love your blog and I think that what you’re doing with this is exciting! Best of luck!”
A few weeks later, Melinda notified me that, while she hadn’t chosen me to be one of the 6 featured first-time marathoners, she loved my excitement about the men in tuxes with Tiffany’s necklace (and that I had her in stitches with my description!), and decided to include my experience in a part of her book. She announced it soon after on her website.
With the marathon coming up quickly, I’m getting excited, nervous and anxious about the 26.2 miles, but I’m excited about the finish line and the small piece I can contribute to Melinda’s new book (even its just a picture of me with the men in tuxes, my Tiffany’s necklace and a triumphant smile). Its exciting to be a part of something so much bigger than just me.
Anyways, I’ve been meaning to share that for weeks, but with Europe, the move and starting grad school, it kind of got shoved to the back burner…until I was reading Melinda’s blog this evening and the lightbulb turned back on. But, many thanks to you all for the support in my marathon training! As a PhD student, its proving to be even tougher than I imagined 🙂