My First 26.2

It’s happening, folks. I always swore I’d never be one of those crazy people who runs marathons for fun, but now I’m taking the leap. Through my partnership with BibRave, I will be running the People’s United Bank Vermont City Marathon on May 29, 2016.


Of course, I’m feeling all the feelings; excited, hopeful, nervous, terrified… This could end up being either really excellent or really awesome, because depending on how my Mary Poppins audition in December goes, I may be in a show and marathon training at the same time. Yeah, I know. Glutton for punishment, right here. But it was just too perfect–free registration to my hometown marathon, which I will complete 20 days after my 30th birthday. It just felt like the right time for the attempt. And I also looked at the Hal Higdon Novice 1 training plan, and my longest runs (18 and 20 miles) wouldn’t be on the schedule until after the show is over, so it hopefully won’t be too insane.

I know I teased some thoughts yesterday about not being able to establish a running routine, and I still plan to talk about that later this week, but the short of it is, I think having a marathon to train for will force me to find and stick to a routine. Stay tuned.

What’s your best piece of advice when training for a marathon? 

40 thoughts on “My First 26.2

  1. Movin' it with Michelle says:

    I used Hal Higdon’s Novice 1 plan, and it’s great! My best advice is to really make sure you don’t miss your long runs. The mid week/shorter runs are often called “trash miles” so if you need to miss a run, those are the ones to skip. Best of all, HAVE FUN. You’ll never forget your first!

  2. werunforcupcakes says:

    Ah, congrats on committing to training for a marathon! It is going to be an amazing experience. I think my biggest piece of advice would be patient with yourself. But, do not be afraid to push yourself. The first marathon is such an unreal experience. Enjoy the training! Like Movin’ It With Michelle said, the long runs are the most important. 🙂

  3. charissarunning says:

    YES!! So exciting! What a great deal and I’m so excited to follow your prep for your first marathon! Training for my first marathon was really tough because I was doing it alone. The biggest thing that helped in my following marathons was finding a group of people to do long runs with. It seriously made a world of difference! I know you run with a club so see if someone else will be training for a marathon as well and maybe work out a long run plan with them. It also makes you less likely to skip a long run because there’s someone counting on you to run with 😀

  4. Run Colby Run says:

    GET IT GIRL! I’m so proud of you already!!! And maybe I’ll see you in Burlington! My biggest piece of advice….hmmmmm….Commit to your training, and trust it. I can’t wait to read about your training! That’s such a great race- perfect first one! I’m excited for you! 🙂

  5. dgobs says:

    Whaaaaat this is so exciting!! A bunch of people from my run club have run this race in the past and they all love it. You’ll do awesome!! 😀

  6. Caitlin B. says:

    Way to go, Rachel! There is no better feeling than when you cross the finish line of your first 26.2. (Well, maybe the first sip of beer post-race. Or getting to finally sit down.)

    – Listen to your body. In order to train injury free, I’ve found that I can’t do more than four days of running without really feeling it. Use rest days wisely!
    – You will always be hungry.
    – Podcasts and audiobooks have been my savior on the long run. I have an Audible account to keep myself entertained – celebrity autobiographies are my guilty pleasure. (I also may have listened to the entire Hunger Games series.)
    – Develop a stretching/foam rolling routine, especially for before and after long runs. Working on core strength really, really helps maintain your form on long runs as well.
    – Icy Hot lower back patches are awesome.
    – I usually like to throw in a couple of races during my training to liven things up, especially a half-marathon about 6 weeks out to check on my progress. The Unplugged Half works well for Vermont City timing, but it fills up quickly!

    I could talk about this for hours, so if you ever want to chat, I’m all for it! (I don’t have any runner friends so it’s nice to be able to nerd out.)

    • DarlinRae says:

      Thanks, Caitlin, this is all REALLY helpful! I’ve never listened to an audiobook before, but I have nice wireless headphones now, so I think I should look into it. I will most likely pick your brain some more about this. Are you doing the marathon this year?

      • Caitlin B. says:

        I think I just might be! I ran the NYC marathon this past weekend – my first marathon in three years – and came back totally energized (metaphorically) and pumped about running again. My training for it was less than stellar, so I’d like to properly train for Burlington and see what I can do. I’ve run Burlington twice before, so I’d be happy to share any info I have!

  7. Brittany says:

    Running a marathon was the best thing I ever did for my training.
    My advice? Do NOT skip your long runs, trust your training, enjoy the ups and the downs, and remember that you CAN do it! :0)

  8. dnardi710 says:

    Yay! So exciting! I’d love to do this race, I’ve heard great things about it, but like I told Julia, some of the PT programs I am applying to actually start the end of May so I can’t commit to anything around that time right now.

    Looking forward to following along on your marathon journey!

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