I’d hoped to celebrate my 45th birthday by running the Pittsburgh Marathon with two readers turned friends (Marilyn and Juanita), but life took over my planning. Because of my sudden trip to New York two weeks ago, I’ve had to abandon the idea of another adventure to the East Coast. Instead, on May 6 (my actual birthday), I’ll be here in Washington training in the rain (I presume) for my next marathon, the Estes Park Marathon in Colorado—June 17.
But I’ll feel like friends all around the country will be celebrating with me as they run their scheduled events. Besides Marilyn and Juanita, Melissa, Julia, Jennifer, and Beth are all running May 6 races! And, yes, I’m aware they’re not actually running in honor of my birthday, but I’m excited for them nonetheless!
Many of those on my 2012 virtual training partner list have their races right around the corner. And for most, this is their first marathon or half marathon ever. For those of us who are veteran runners (I can hardly believe I put myself in that category, but I suppose I must at this point), it can be hard to remember how incredibly difficult and painstaking the training was, how frightened we were that we wouldn’t make it to the starting line (or even if we made it that far, could we get to the finish line?). It may have slipped our minds how we fought for every step during that first race and then how we cried crossing the line for the first time. Do you remember the sweet smell of the first medal ever hung around your neck? Or the way you searched the website after the race to find your name, just to prove you’d really done it?
May and June are heavy marathon months. What are your words of advice or encouragement for those undertaking their first big race? And if you’re doing your first marathon, half marathon, 10K, 5K, or even your first mile, what are you thinking, worrying, and excited about?
Cami! I’m running a May 6th race also. Obviously not my half-marathon but I am running Bloomsday (7.46 miles) in Spokane.
Happy birthday to you (my legs will be screaming)!
Yay, Sam! Bloomsday should be a blast. Let us know how it goes. I’m so proud of you for stretching like this. How are you liking running (or not)? Hugs!
cami, i am running a half marathon on 5/6 too – the OC Half in Newport Beach/Costa Mesa. happy birthday! in training for my first half in chicago in october 🙂
Nan! How cool. I’ll bet the Newport Beach half will be beautiful. Be sure to let me know how it goes.
Ah Sam! Bloomsday is one of my favorite races ever! I came to school over here 4 years ago and this will be my fourth Bloomsday! Good luck I know you’ll do amazing!
As far as addressing the question posed, advice to new runners. Simply enjoy yourself! That is probably one of the hardest things to do in running. Learning to enjoy the time you spend running. It gets easier as you progress and keep doing it for a while. I know that during my first marathon a year and a half ago I wanted to just bawl after I hit the proverbial wall. I met up with my brother, sister in law and mom at this point and the emotions ran so high, I wasn’t sure I could make it. I did though and there was no greater feeling!
So while you’re running just take a moment to smile to yourself, and maybe those around you! They’ll enjoy it, and you’ll feel better too!
As far as my race plans this weekend in honor of Cami’s birthday I will be running Bloomsday as well! It’s the kickoff race for my season of marathons. 3 weeks later I will be in Coeur D’Alene, followed 4 weeks later by Seattle Rock and Roll, and then Missoula two weeks after that! Such an exciting time for running!
Good luck everyone!!