My Story

Hi! Thanks for stopping by my blog! I'm Margaret, and I started this blog as a way to chronicle training for my first marathon, which was supposed to be the Chicago Marathon in 2010, but a tibial stress reaction put that on hold. Injury-free for the past year, I've run one marathon and am training for my second (New York City!). Needless to say, I caught the marathon bug and have already signed up for my third marathon (Rock 'n' Roll DC!). Some people think I'm crazy, but running's one of the things that actually keeps me sane!

Here's my story about how I got into running:

When I was younger, I was not active. Sure, I did T-ball and soccer and ballet when I was little, but I didn't do any sports in middle school, high school, or college (unless you count being a coxswain for rowing -- which involves no physical activity -- as being an athlete). P.E. was my least favorite class -- not math, not science, but P.E. In 7th grade I was told I had asthma (turns out I didn't). In 8th grade I was certain I couldn't run so in P.E. class I was graded on my walking mile instead of the running mile (yep, we got graded based on how fast we ran a mile). I tried to go for runs when I was in high school, but those always proved unsuccessful. I attempted the treadmill in college but it just hurt too much. I decided that perhaps I wasn't a runner, maybe I was an elliptical-er. I stuck with that for a little bit before I gave up on working out at all.

Then I moved into an apartment with a runner and started working at a different job where my boss was a marathon runner and my colleague had just started running, and my friend was about to run her first half-marathon. I was surrounded by runners! When my office offered a discount for New York Sports Club, I decided I should probably take advantage of it -- exercise is good! If I could go to any NYSC in the city, then I'd be bound to go more often!

Fortunately this proved true, but I didn't know where to start. I decided I'd try running -- if all these people around me can run, maybe I can, too!

I started slow and easy -- maybe 5.0 mph on the treadmill for a mile (if that) a couple times a week. The next day my legs hurt. I was sore. But I was determined to keep going. I'm really not sure what encouraged me to continue trying, but I am so glad that I did. Slowly a mile at 5.0 bumped up to two at 5.5, and three at 6.0. It was hard as a new runner not to have a "Learn to Run" guide that told me what to do to get better -- I was a total novice and needed guidance.

I knew I wanted to train for a half-marathon, but decided that perhaps I should start with a 5k before I got too ambitious. I did the GW Parkway Classic in Northern Virginia and clocked in at 29:25, and from then I was hooked.

Thank you, Brightroom, for this wonnnnderful photo of me. Can you tell how excited I am that I'm near the finish line and I'm going to break 30 minutes?! These were also the days before I had an armband for my much to learn.

After that race, I decided I'd sign up for a half-marathon sometime in the fall, and the Queens half-marathon fit the bill. Besides, I'd only ever gone to Queens on accident when I got lost so I figured, why not go there on purpose? I trained literally all summer -- the race was on September 20 and I started training on June 1 using a 16-week training program I got off the Runner's World site. As you can imagine, I burned out and got tired with about six weeks to go, but persevered.

Finally the day of the half-marathon came. It was ... awesome. I came in at 2:06:38, and my parents came all the way out to middle-of-nowhere Queens to cheer me on. To the right, a lovely shot that Brightroom was kind enough to take of me (please note the iPod armband -- progress!). Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately?) there are few pictures of me from this race. It was a gorgeous, sunny day, the perfect temperature for a race. I had such an amazing time and felt so so SO amazing after the race. The giant burger, fries, beer, and ice cream I devoured post-race might have contributed to this wonderful feeling as well...

After this half marathon, I ran two more before deciding to sign up for the big one -- a full marathon. I picked Chicago partly because it was on 10/10/10, partly because it was right after my 26th birthday, and partly because it was in Chicago, a city I still haven't visited. Unfortunately, a combination of overtraining and the wrong shoes sidelined me from this race and left me with a tibial stress reaction. But two months without running, the proper shoes and inserts, and as positive of an attitude as I could muster put me back in Central Park and even more determined than before to run a marathon. My first marathon was in May, with a time of 4:13:12, and it was a completely unreal and unforgettable race. Next up is the NYC Marathon, and in March I'll run the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in DC!

As you may have picked up, I'm hooked on running. That is a sentence I never dreamed I'd say, but it's one that's 100% true!

I've had a great time learning how to run from scratch and hope to keep learning more. I hope you learn something along with me while I work out the kinks and keep on trucking. Please leave a comment and feel free to shoot me an email any time --

Have a good run!