My journey back to the marathon

Well, it’s official.  I’m registered for a fall marathon!

Thanks for all the great suggestions.  I decided to go with the Richmond marathon for a number of reasons.  I’ve had several friends recommend it, my sister lives in the area, and I like that it’s in November so I can limit the summer 20 milers.

My husband and I had a long conversation flushing out what the deal is with the marathon. Immediately after pretty much every marathon, I’ve told him that I’m good- no need to do another one.  The poor guy is so confused every time when I’m suddenly back on the marathon train!

I think it’s kind of like giving birth- something that is a big enough challenge in the moment that you don’t think you need to go through it again.  Months later, your memory softens the tough parts and you know you are capable of it.

I think there is a second reason, too.  I’m only a few years away from 40, and I feel like the inevitable slow down is coming.  I know I’ll continue to run, but I can see myself sticking to shorter races and doing more trail running and becoming a little less competitive with myself.

Maybe it’s some sort of mid life crisis, but I feel like these are the last few years I have to really see what I can do, and then I’ll move on with the marathon phase of life.  I don’t want to miss this chance to push while I still can.  Does that make sense?

There’s still plenty of time to join me- I hear Richmond is an amazing race!

What drives your running?

Do you have age-related goals?

40 thoughts on “My journey back to the marathon

  1. For awhile I felt like I really want to BQ before I got to the next age group. I think its because I was pretty close and I didnt want to take the easy way out by qualifying with a slower time. But now Im ok with it, hopefully it will just give me more of a cushion. Ive heard great things about Richmond- thats so exciting!
    Lisa @ Mile by Mile recently posted..Month in Review: April 2017My Profile

  2. Congratulations! And my husband and yours could talk because every year I’m like “Oh I don’t need a big goal race,” and then I immediately have a big goal race. It’s just who we are.
    I also want to let you know that once 40 hits, there is no automatic slow down. I know you know this but at 42 I’m living proof. I just did 3 miles at 6:30 pace yesterday during a 5 mile run and after a 2,200 yard swim.
    I know you will continue to do whatever you put your mind to, now and 10 years from now.
    Allie recently posted..The Rundown – Allergic ReactionsMy Profile

    • Thank you for this- I definitely could have worded the 40 slow down better, ha! It’s true… you totally inspire me, and one of the main reasons I chose Tia as my coach is because she has also continued to get faster at 40 and beyond. So I know it’s possible… I guess for me, I feel like my body has limited time to push this hard… so it’s not 40 as much as it is giving myself a few more years and then backing off and being a little more low key with my workouts. The marathon is tough on my body and I feel like my recovery will only get harder as I get older and now is the time to make it count, if that makes sense.

      And I love that you’re with me on the big goal! I really don’t mean to give such conflicting messages, I just change my mind a lot… ha!!
      Laura recently posted..My journey back to the marathonMy Profile

  3. I am also planning to run Richmond this year – much more slowly than you will be running 🙂 But I am well past the 40 slowdown!!
    This will be my 4th Richmond and 7th time running any of the Richmond races.

      • I think you will really like it. It is pretty easy logistically. The marathon starts one street south of where the 1/2 starts. Even from the very beginning, runners are not too crowded together. The part of the course south of the river is rolling hills, and the bridge back to north of the James is long and can be windy – it’s mile 15-16. Nice crowd support, almost always good weather (not too hot which is my marathon hope each year), and probably the best downhill finish ever!

    • Thank you, Hollie! It’s definitely not something you can force…. with all the training involved, you have to be pretty excited going into marathon training in order to last! I’m sure your body will let you know when it’s up for the challenge and you will rock it.
      Laura recently posted..My journey back to the marathonMy Profile

  4. The marathon has an odd allure that just keeps pulling us back! I already signed up for my fall one as well – it’s hard to say no! I’m trying not to set big age goals for myself (right now, pre-30 goals), since I notice that most female runners are fastest in their 30s. Fingers crossed that’s true for me! And I don’t think you will slow down at 40 – some of the runners I coach are running their PRs in their 40s!
    Laura @ This Runner’s Recipes recently posted..Mile Markers: Love of RunningMy Profile

  5. Very exciting, Laura! Richmond (2013) is the only full that I have done but I thought it was a fantastic race. Great course, great volunteers and random people out of the streets to cheer you on, great after party – I couldn’t have asked for a better marathon. We also picked it because of the time of year – loved not doing long runs in the hear of the summer – and we traveled from Canada to do it. We made a getaway of it (without the kids). After I finished I swore never again, now 3+ years and one baby later I am starting to think I could do this again. My hubby also thinks I’m crazy jumping on and off the marathon bandwagon. I am excited for you and I’m looking forward to following along on your journey.

    • I’m glad to hear that it was a good experience, Alison! I had a similar reaction after my first marathon… and subsequent marathons, as I mentioned above. If you get to a point that you really want to do it and look forward to the training, go for it! If you’re not mentally 100% there, it’s not worth it.
      Laura recently posted..My journey back to the marathonMy Profile

  6. Oh you dear younging…lol. I am 44 and while I have never been into marathons, I do love reading blogs by marathon runners, yours included. And something tells me you are a long ways from your slowing down phase. 🙂 For me running is about finding my limit. After my 20s I was not very competitive so I started running because I love it. But once in a while I get an itch to race which is why I am running the Twin Cities 10K in September. But you girlie, have a long ways to go! Keep rocking!

  7. Yes! I don’t know what it is about the marathon that makes us all keep wanting to go back for more. Can’t wait to follow along your journey!

  8. Oh dear, I am only two years away from 40 and was hoping my peak running years were ahead!! Lol! I ran a marathon two years ago and can’t seem to sign up for another one. I have also been injury free for two years because I haven’t trained for a marathon. I guess it’s just fear holding me back. Good luck with your training! I know you will do great!

    • I follow a number of 40-something runners who are still pr-ing left and right! There is definitely hope… I just don’t see myself pushing that hard for that long, but we’ll see. I definitely understand the fear of injury! I’m a little nervous about that too but hoping to train smart!
      Laura recently posted..5k Training and Meal PlanningMy Profile

  9. You are such a strong runner, I think collecting those memories while you can is perfect! Your accomplishments will actually help you to enjoy it when the time to comes to step back or slow down 🙂
    Richmond was my first and only marathon I did for age 50 as a gift to myself. It is a great course. I am signed up for the half, so I will looking for you. I hope the weather is perfect, makes it more fun lol

  10. So exciting Laura!! I have heard awesome feedback about the Richmond Marathon! I always love following along with your training and with Tia as your coach you’ll be unstoppable! Go get it!! xoxo
    Natalie recently posted..Friday Favorites!My Profile

  11. I did the half a few years back. It was most definitely one of the friendliest crowds I’ve ever seen. My husband & a few buddies did the full. It was wonderfully organized. Marathons Bahamas should be the next. It’s how we spent our 15 year anniversary. Nothing says loves like 26.2 miles. 😍

    • That’s awesome, Jennifer! Thanks for the encouraging Richmond report. And wow, you both ran the Bahamas marathon for your anniversary?! I don’t know if I could get my husband to do more than 5 but maybe someday!
      Laura recently posted..5k Training and Meal PlanningMy Profile

  12. Richmond is an amazing race! I have run the marathon the past two years and hit huge PRs both times. I just can’t say enough good things about it. I seriously considered doing it for a third year but I wanted to do something different, so I’m running NYC for charity. Let me know if you have any questions about the course, etc! I was the blogger last year, so I have a few good posts on my blog about the race 🙂

    • Thank you, Jess! That’s awesome… congrats on your prs at Richmond! And I think I actually came across your reports when I was searching for race recaps to get a sense of Richmond! NYC will be so much fun. I ran it this past year and the energy and crowds are incredible. I may take you up on that offer for questions and ditto… I’m happy to answer yours about NYC!
      Laura recently posted..5k Training and Meal PlanningMy Profile

  13. Congrats on doing the Richmond Marathon! Its an awesome course and a great crowd. Its challenging but a fun race. I will be running the half this year (because I am doing the Marine Corp Marathon in the same time frame). If you need any crib notes about the course please feel free to contact me directly by email. Have a great run!

  14. Richmond is a great place to run a marathon. I know how you feel about the decision to run and train for that long. It’s such a big commitment. I will be 40 in July. I have 4 kids (ages 2,4,6, and 8). I qualified for Boston after baby #3 but didn’t get to run in Boston because the race was a few months after I had baby #4. For some odd reason, I’m feeling the urge to run the Richmond marathon again. It did take a while though to feel the urge to want to do it again knowing the work and commitment ahead.
    But hey… by November I will be 40… so that will put me in a different age bracket all together anyway. Maybe there could be a slight chance of a BQ again.

    Good luck to you. RVA is amazing. The community will cheer you on every step of the way. You got this Laura! Rock it!

    • Thank you so much, Christy! I’m already getting a sense of the amazing RVA community from these comments! Congrats on qualifying for Boston between kids, that is not easy, especially when they’re only two years apart!! It sounds to me like you definitely have a shot at another BQ!
      Laura recently posted..5k Training and Meal PlanningMy Profile

  15. We, in Richmond, welcome this being your return! Hope that our fair city and this race put on by the great gang at #Sportsbackers lives up to your expectations. Enjoy the river, draft on Lee Bridge and revel in the downhill finish!

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