I started running, admittedly quite inconsistently, in January 2012 after getting a place in the ballot for the Great North Run in September 2012 but my interest in and journey to a marathon and marathon training didn’t really peak until early 2017. We moved to Dubai in July 2014 and over the next few years I ran a little and infrequently before signing up for and running the RAK Half Marathon in February 2017. You can read my race recap here and I enjoyed this run so much I was dying to sign up for a marathon which had been a far off “I’d like to run a marathon one day” kind of goal.
My hunt for a marathon started March – May 2017 and for various reasons I was aiming to complete one by the end of 2017. The Dubai Marathon takes place in January so it was out of the question and after many visits to the AIMS running calendar, Rhys and I decided to register for the Dublin Marathon on 29th October 2017.
Honestly, our marathon training was far from perfect. I tried to follow the training plan from the Dublin Marathon website and Instagram and planned my run distances around their calendar however I didn’t follow it fully and was averaging between 20-30 miles per week. In addition, I was on business travel every month and 5 weeks before marathon day we climbed Mount Kilimanjaro!! Looking back, it was crazy to travel so often and have such a break from running close to the marathon but I really wanted to run in Dublin and thought it would totally be achievable. However, after returning from Kilimanjaro and feeling how hard it was to pick up running again I was starting to have serious doubts, I was ready to cancel the whole trip when I struggled through some sloooow 4 mile runs in weeks 18-20 but Rhys kept us going and was constantly encouraging me that our goal should be to finish (and maybe even enjoy) it… and I had long forgotten my unrealistic ambitions of a sub-4 hour and sub 4.5 hour marathon (set after too much time following much more advanced runners on Instagram!).
You can find my weekly running recaps below and my Dublin Marathon race report here.
Despite being inconsistent I always tried to follow my runs with 20-30 minutes of yoga to help my hips and legs recover, I battled with the foam roller and committed to my long runs during 50 degree Dubai summer weekends by running 13 & 16 milers on a 400m indoor track and running my longest training run of 18 miles on the treadmill!
Overall, I enjoyed running more than I have previously, especially those sunrise miles and know how much more disciplined I will have to be and how much harder I will have to work next time in marathon training, but yes there will be a next time! What lessons did you learn in your first marathon training cycle?