Operation Run A Marathon: SF Edition

I’m doing it. It’s (been) official. And I’ve been waiting so long to tell y’all! But let me start at the  beginning.

Last summer or fall (2013), my good friends Bill and Katie  started talking about doing a marathon. We’ve all done half marathons before, but never a full. So we started researching races and tossing out ideas. I still wasn’t convinced that I had it in me, but I entertained the idea for them. Then Bill moved to San Francisco. And Katie moved back to DC. And I moved from Carlsbad to Encinitas. Somewhere in that chaos, Bill asked what we thought about running the San Francisco marathon on July 27th, 2014. Highlights being moderate temperatures, racing across the Bay Bridge, and getting to see his new place. Lowlights being having to run 26.2 miles consecutively… up and down the hills of SF.

I balked at first, because signing up would mean that I actually had to man up and train for this. But once I thought about it, it just seemed to make sense… running a race with friends, getting it done while I’m still in decent shape, and getting to travel in the process. It would force me to commit to a training plan through the winter and into the summer. And it would get me closer to where I want to be in terms of race shape for triathlons later this year. So needless to say, when my Carlsbad Half race packet included a $10 coupon for SF, I caved and signed up!  This was the header of one of the most exciting and terrifying e-mails I’ve ever received.

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Once I was registered, I finally went to see a sports nutritionist/dietician. I can’t remember if I’ve talked about her before, but Andrea is amazing! She’s family friends with a couple I’ve met out here that are incredible. Basically, we talk about best nutritional practices for my every day life and training schedules. I’ve been seeing her every 3-4 weeks since January and have lost 2% of my body fat and 1.5 on the BMI scale. Another reason to start this program with her was that blood work in January revealed some areas of concern. Nothing too major, but my counts were low on a few scales. I’ve added some vitamins and supplements to hopefully counter that, as well as minor changes to my diet. All a part of getting healthier and fueling my body what it needs to thrive! I know I’m driving my friends here crazy because I’m constantly drinking water, but I’m also shifting around what I eat and when. It’s been really, really interesting so far and I can’t wait to see my progress continue as my training picks up.

After I sign up for a big race, I also start researching what kind of training plan I want to follow. I knew immediately that I didn’t want to burn out from running too much. That, and I just don’t enjoy running THAT much, and I want to work on swimming and biking for triathlons. So I looked at programs that only require three days of running a week. Essentially, I do an interval workout, a tempo or hill workout, and a long run each week. Because I hadn’t been running all that much, and I need the motivation, I went for a 24-week plan. The first few weeks were just building up my miles and getting my strength back. This was super helpful, especially after my knee fiasco, and I didn’t push too hard those first couple of weeks. I also swim and bike once a week each, go to yoga twice a week, and lift twice a week. With Fridays as my rest day. My longest runs will be 20,22, and 20 miles in three consecutive weeks. I’m already nervous about those, lol.

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Training has been going well so far, I just did 13.1 miles as a training run yesterday. Kind of intense, but it felt good to say I ran a half marathon just for fun! As runs get longer, I will have to constantly remind myself of the greater goal in July. Speaking of greater goals, the last piece of this marathon process is the most exciting for me! Sure, I want to check “Run a Marathon” off my bucket list. BUT I want to check it off while being able to say that I helped others along the way. I ran for charity last fall in a sprint triathlon to raise money for Girls on the Run and I loved the experience. So when my registration information for the SF marathon asked if I wanted to run for a charity, I got excited. After some research on various organizations, I have chosen a charity and cannot wait to help them help others!

The charity I chose was Hope For Young Adults With Cancer. They are based out of St. Louis, Missouri but help cancer patients ages 18-40 around the country. They were founded by an amazing couple who felt called to help this population of the cancer community who is sometimes overlooked. The Paymasters saw there was a need for patients who are not children, but who have needs and dreams just like the rest of us. They provide direct assistance on a case-by-case basis, whether it be with medical bills or a car payment or by providing a luxury patients can’t afford because of treatment. Billy and his wife want to help adults whose lives have been disrupted by the terrible disease known as cancer in whatever way they can. And I want to help too.

This organization seemed to fit my compassion for cancer patients and my determination to help young adults thrive in life. So I e-mailed Billy and signed up for their team! My goals are to help spread the word about this inspiring organization, raise as much money to help them as I can, and keep myself grounded while training for my race. I don’t want to lose touch with reality while struggling to race, but instead want to think of those who unfortunately don’t get to CHOOSE physical pain. If you want to help us help them, please go to my donation website and consider contributing!! There is more information about my fundraising goals and H4YAWC on that site. If you have questions or want to get involved yourself, leave me a comment 🙂 And THANK YOU in advance for even taking the time to learn more!

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Cara Paymaster
    Apr 07, 2014 @ 01:34:00

    So awesome! We are so excited and happy that you chose to #run4hope and hopefully we can make it out to San Fran to cheer you and the team on! Good luck with training!!

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