The Marathon On My Mind

After months of debating about a fall race, I finally bit the bullet and decided to run a marathon at the end of November. I knew that if I did a full it would be the Route 66 Marathon in Tulsa, because Rob had already signed up, and we were planning to incorporate it into a trip to visit his sister’s family in Arkansas. The question had been if I would sign up for the half or the full. 

route 66 marathon

So after weeks and weeks of slowly building my mileage and feeling good, I decided to commit to the full. Obviously I could always switch to the half if I feel like that is a better option as I move forward with my training. 

As I started to think about my plans and goals for this race, I began getting really overwhelmed. I stared at a blank excel sheet (that I usually use to start drafting my training plan) and had no idea where to begin. I wanted to do things better this time around, but I wasn’t sure what that would look like.

I think my training for Philly went really well, but I wasn’t sure what changes I would want to make in order to have an even more successful race this time around. I knew I wanted to keep doing the strength training and core work, but wasn’t sure exactly how to work that into my running. I had other questions floating around my head such as if it was worth continuing the little bit of yoga I was doing, what my goal should be, and how many 20 milers I should do. 

long run

Previously, I felt really comfortable making these decisions for myself, so I’m not sure why this time around I was so indecisive. I think part of it has to do with coaching others. As I have gotten more experience making these types of recommendations for others, I no longer feel like I am capable of making them for myself for some reason. 

Which is why I decided to work with a coach! After considering this for about a month and weighing my options, I contacted Kristy. I had been following her blog since before I had my own and had always been impressed with her running and training expertise. We spoke on the phone last weekend and I already feel so relieved about having someone to guide me through this training cycle.

long run

I’ve always heard that in order to be a good coach it’s important to know what it feels liked to be on the other end, so I think this will also help my own coaching. In the past it was always a matter of feeling like I would be paying for a service that I could do on my own. However, I have come to realize that it is much different to have an outside perspective helping you through the training process. 

So I’m taking this week to relax and prepare for training to begin on Monday. I haven’t run since Saturday, and with each day that goes by I become more and more excited for training to begin. I believe that my eagerness is a sign that I made the right decision. 


Here we go again!

Have you ever worked with a running coach?

How do you usually decide on a training plan?

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59 responses on The Marathon On My Mind

  1. First, yay for the marathon! It’s awesome that you and Rob are running he same one, you guys will be able to train together at least a little and have someone to talk running with :)
    Second, I know what you mean about feeling more indecisive as you gain experience, I felt that way this time around too. Working with a coach will be a great experience, no doubt. I’m curious for myself how it would help, at some point I’m sure I’ll go for it.
    Michele @ paleorunningmomma recently posted…WIAW Breakfast Salad, Fudge and Me at 8pmMy Profile

    1. I think you will know if and when the time is right. No need to force something like that if you have a good thing going on already!

    1. I’m definitely excited! It’s nice to not have to make a lot of decisions for myself and to have someone tell me what I should be doing:)

    1. Thanks! Yes, I think its probably good for most coaches to have a coach at some point. I also think I will learn a lot of new things which I am excited about!

  2. I’m working with my first running coach to train for my first marathon (a lot of firsts) and it’s definitely helping to reassure me that I can actually do this! Even though you’re a coach yourself I’m sure you will still learn a lot and help you stay motivated! Enjoy your week off of running!

    1. Thanks! That’s what I am hoping. Good luck as you start training for your first marathon! I think a coach will be a huge help in that process.

  3. YAYAYAYAYAY! I can’t wait to follow along with all your training :) I’ve never worked with a coach before, and I think that’s just because a little bit of my type-A personality always liking to be in control. But I have definitely given it some thought and am trying to figure out a time to try one out. I’m so excited for you :) Hope you have a fabulous week !!!!
    Jamie recently posted…Groceries for Days WIAWMy Profile

    1. It will be much different to not be in as much control- but I think that’s I good thing! I need someone else’s expertise helping me make smarter decisions.

  4. Oh, this is great news! I’ve never worked with a coach but I’d love to one day. I think this is going to be your most epic marathon ever just because you train so smart now after dealing with your hip stuff, plus having a coach will keep you in line too! So exciting!

    1. That is what I am hoping! I feel like I have learned a lot on my own but hopefully a coach will help me pull it all together while also being a voice of reason.

    1. Thanks! It definitely makes sense to just enjoy the experience considering its your first marathon.

    1. That definitely makes sense! You’ve been running for long enough that you have no problem training on your own.

  5. = ) !!!! So stoked for you! And excited to follow your experience. I am toying with the idea of hiring a coach for a marathon next year – so far, my training plans have been for beginners just looking to up their mileage and finish. This training cycle is (knock on wood) going pretty well, so I’d be interested in seeing what I can do next year with real training.
    Hilary @ Embrace the Neon recently posted…Thinking Out Loud No. 6My Profile

    1. It is a bit overwhelming to think about which is why I am happy to have a coach!

  6. love this! sad a Minnesota race didn’t make the cut though! come visit anyway? pleeease.

    when I used to blog & went to Healthy Living Summit one year, I hung out with Kristy a lot. She’s fantastic.

    1. We might still do something for that race, just not the full! We will definitely try to visit soon though. I remember you talking about Kristy back then!

  7. Nice!!! Very exciting that you’ve officially chosen your fall marathon! Looking forward to hearing about your goals for the big day.

    I like working with coaches – I think it helps me grow as a runner. One day I might train for a race without a coach, but right now I am really enjoying learning about different training philosophies. I could read about the different training styles online, but I like hearing why a coach really likes one style over another and what success his/her clients have seen from using the recommend style.
    Kristina recently posted…The Part of Training I Love the MostMy Profile

    1. I think that is such a huge benefit to having a coach! Its awesome that you have had such success with coaches too!

  8. Congrats on finally biting the bullet. I am thinking about a fall Marathon as well. I just don’t know which one and what my schedule will be during that time so I can’t commit yet. I have never had a running coach. Good luck with that. I’m sure it’ll be a nice change then coaching someone else that you have done in the past. Seeing that you are excited about this makes you know you made the right decision. recently posted…Have you got Recomendations for Runners and Women ?My Profile

  9. Wonderful that you are running the full! I know exactly what you mean by it seeming overwhelming. I ran 7 miles today and THAT seemed overwhelming. Am contemplating a half… but I am scared! Who am I??? haha. I have never worked with a coach but I have often asked fellow runners who I trained with for input and guidance. I usually develop training plans on my own based of what I know, researched, etc. It doesn’t mean it is the perfect way to do it but that’s how I have rolled.
    Megan @ Meg Go Run recently posted…Our Day in D.C. – a “rest” day…My Profile

    1. Now that I have gotten to 11 miles the half seems way more manageable….the full will take some time to wrap my head around!
      Ive always made key own training plans too, I’m just ready to try something different this time around!

    1. The start of a new training cycle is so exciting! I also love hearing about others’ race plans!

  10. Congratulations on taking the plunge! I decided this year that I really do want to run a full marathon once in my life and am aiming to get in to NYC in 2016 through the 9+1 program. I know I will need to have a coach or program for this, unlike my solo winging-it for my first and subsequent halfs, so plan to do some research now that the bar is over into all that fun stuff :) Can’t wait to see how you go on your own journey to 26.2!
    Alyssa @ Renaissancerunnergirl recently posted…Birthday Weekend Eats and TreatsMy Profile

    1. That would be awesome if you could do NYC next year! I would love to do that one some day as well!

  11. How great that you found a coach to work with for your marathon training! I have a coach who I have been working with for a few years who has coached me to a BQ. It has been so helpful to have someone help me with my training! Good luck and happy running!

    1. I’m so glad to hear you have had so much success working with a coach! I am definitely excited to see how this experience can help my training.

  12. How exciting!! It’ll be so much fun to follow your journey with a running coach. I love having the flexibility of making my own schedule and plan, but the more I think about it, the more I realize I may need to consider working with a running coach in order to achieve my big goals!! I am thinking about taking this on next winter/spring :)
    Charissa recently posted…Steamtown Marathon Training Week 1 (7/13 – 7/19)My Profile

  13. Yay! That’s an exciting decision! I’m so excited to read all about your training leading up to it and I’m sure I’ll be even more in tuned to picking up tips along the way as I’ll begin my own marathon training in October!

    And I absolutely think it’s a great idea for you to have a coach to see what it’s like from an athlete’s perspective. My philosophy is that a lot of people can string together a good training plan, but you can pick up a lot of great tips from a coach that don’t necessarily involve running itself like knowing when to hold back, knowing when to change the plan, etc. And you can use tips you find helpful to help your clients :) It’s also a big time saver, life gets busy and sometimes it’s nice to have someone take a little bit of the work out it for you. I haven’t had one since college, but I’m considering getting one again, especially if the marathon ends up being a distance I like. My coach in college told me that I never needed a coach to motivate me or to tell me what to do, but I needed one to keep me from going overboard haha. The most important tip I do have for you with having a coach for the first time though, is to be honest with them, and by that I mean let them know when something isn’t working for you or when you’re hurting. That’s what they’re there for. I learned that lesson the hard way when my coach asked me why I didn’t tell him I was hurting at times until three weeks after the fact. I’m excited for you!
    Hailey recently posted…School, training, and ice creamMy Profile

    1. That feedback is so helpful! I have a feeling I will be the same way, with not necessarily needing a coach to motivate to get me to run, but to keep me from going overboard! I definitely think there will be benefits to having a coach, and I am excited to learn alot from her!

    1. That makes sense! I think its important to be able to be flexible with your training, but also get in enough mileage to be ready for the race.

  14. Yey!! So glad you are feeling healthy enough to do a marathon!! That’s awesome! I totally agree about the coaching thing…it’s hard to take your own advice. My husband asked me why I was using a coach since I was one, but it’s a totally different ballgame when it’s you! Can’t wait to see how your training comes along!
    Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes recently posted…Lilytrotters Compression Sock Review: Where fashion meets function!My Profile

    1. Its definitely different to coach others! It has already taken alot of pressure off for this race:)

  15. I am so excited for you Lisa!! I think having a coach will make your training easier and you won’t have to think about the details.
    I always get so excited to start day one of marathon training. I hope you had an awesome first day! Can’t wait to follow along!!
    Natalie recently posted…Friday Favorites!My Profile

    1. Thanks! Its always so exciting to start following a new plan, and I am definitely looking forward to having a coach to guide me along the way!

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