I’m currently training for my 7th and 8th marathons, Chicago and New York back-to-back, October and November 2012, respectively. These races are in addition to the Malibu Triathlon I’m racing on September 15th. Doing back-to-back marathons is a challenge for anyone, and quite frankly 12 years ago when I was training for my first marathon, I would have thought me, attempting to do these races 12 years later, was absolutely INSANE. I have become one of those annoying, healthy people that now says annoying things like “The L.A. Marathon was my personal best with a time of 3 hours 29 mins. My 5K pace is a 7 minute mile”. Seriously?! But this was not always the case.
My first marathon was the Dublin, Ireland marathon, 2000. I trained with Team in Training and raised money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma society. I literally went from running on the treadmill in my 1986 L.A. Gear cross trainers (which I called La Gear, who knew?) to four and half months later running my first marathon. It was exciting, thrilling, and TERRIFYING. I had absolutely NO IDEA what I was doing, and I was convinced I was GOING TO DIE.
Many of my fellow teammates had run track, cross country, had dunked a basketball, heck had played ping pong, something athletic…not me. Growing up, I was an orchestra geek, and was pretty convinced I would meet Jesus during this ridiculously long race. And I must say, somewhere around mile 22 I’m pretty sure we did meet. We fist bumped, he told me my perm looked a mess, but I had to keep going. I finished the race and would go on to do 5 more marathons, countless half marathons, and about a dozen triathlons. I had gotten the endurance race bug.
Although it’s been over a decade since that critical turning point in my life when I crossed the finish line in Dublin, it seems like just yesterday, when I was about to embark on this journey to achieve what I thought was an impossible feat – impossible for me, given my historical asthma, my fighting the specter of being an overweight child, and the emotional scars from battling an eating disorder for over a decade, challenging it, having only recently conquered it and come out the other side. But I did it, and crossing that finish line was MAD COOL for me, my race, my story, my victory.
Whether your marathon is your first 5K race which, which is a tremendous accomplishment and is a marathon to a new runner, or an actual marathon, here are a few tips to help you get started and help you to reduce the probability of injury so you have a great race. You want this to be an amazing life changing experience. With these tips, you’ll be safe, have a blast, and may even inspire someone around you to be active as well, the greatest thing that could happen.
(The views contained herein are solely the views of their respective authors, and do not express the views of TV One. TV One does not take responsibility for their content.)
By day, Jennifer Turner is a high-powered media executive. By night, Ms. Turner is a self-proclaimed, “Fitness Activator.” This is to say that her life’s mission is to empower others to “activate” their innate ability to have a healthy lifestyle and achieve happiness.
Visit jenniferturner.com to learn more about Jennifer and follow her team of fitness enthusiasts at Mad Cool Fitness.