I never started running thinking I'd want to run a marathon. I didn't even think I would run a race period. That didn't last long since I ran my first race 7 months after my first run. Then, about 14 months after I started running, I ran my first half and I was happy with that distance. It was challenging but not so long that I felt like it was a never-ending race. Still, I said I had no plans to do a marathon. I was listening to a couple of running podcasts (Two Gomers and Runner Girls) that had people tackling their first marathon but it wasn't interesting to me. Hearing about their training was interesting because I could apply that to my half training but running for 26.2 miles sounded absolutely loony to me.
And then I signed up for the Loony Challenge, 19.3 miles, three race, two days. And that was the beginning of me thinking "maybe I could do a marathon". It didn't help that Meagan (one of the Runner Girls) was training for her first marathon and both my fiance's sisters and about four of his cousins were running the Twin Cities marathon that year.
It was during the TC 10 mile, the last race of the Loony Challenge, that I did a lot of thinking about running a marathon in 2017. Specifically, the Twin Cities Marathon. Both races start an hour apart, from the same location, and the last part of the marathon lines up with the 10 mile. Which meant I saw the markers for miles 19-26 for the part of the 10 mile. And I saw the great crowd support, the literal wall at mile 20.
The TC 10 mile was a great for me, I was just running comfortably and not racing for a time (but still managed to set a PR). But as we crossed over into St. Paul, I started seeing the markers for the marathon. And, as one does when they are in a groove and just feeling great while running, I started thinking more about running a marathon. And as I got closer to the end, and the crowds got louder, I pretty much had convinced myself that I could train and run the Twin Cities marathon in 2017. One of the first things I said to my fiancé when I found him at the finish line was "What do you think about me running the marathon next year?"
Luckily, my fiancé is supportive of whatever running I want to do and is totally in support of my marathon training and helping me out in whatever ways he can. It's crazy that in a little over a month, I'll start training for my first marathon after saying I wouldn't be running one.