Never Say Never

I’ve always said I’d never do a full marathon.

“26.2 miles? Oh, that’s just crazy.” I said. (Yeah, it is, but maybe I am too?)

“That’s SO far.” I said. (Also true, but my mom reminded me that in 2009, after signing up for the Army Ten Miler for the first time, I was saying how 10 miles was so far and I wasn’t sure I could do it. How far I’ve come!)

“That can’t be good for you to run that far.” I said. (Yeah, but… I do like a challenge…)


The first time I really started to think I might want to do a full marathon was last fall, when spectating Marine Corps. Watching all those people cross the finish line, some of them stumbling, some walking, some running – but all of them smiling with pride – it planted a seed in my mind. Maybe I could do a full marathon, I thought. And even more importantly – maybe I actually WANT to.


That seed has been slowly growing in my mind throughout every run over the past few months, watered by marathoner friends who have started asking: “What’s next?” For years, I was fine with sticking to the half marathon distance. I’ll always love that distance – the Nike Women’s Half Marathon over the weekend was my 6th, and I’ll be doing my 7th in June – ZOOMA Annapolis. I’ve really enjoyed throwing myself into training for them, especially this season, where I’ve been breaking PRs left and right. Don’t get me wrong – running 13 miles will never be easy, but I’m getting more comfortable with the distance for sure, and lately I’ve started to feel like I want a new challenge.

Ever since my brother signed up for his first full marathon (and ran it a few weeks ago in 3:22:03 – insane), he’s been putting the hard sell on it to me. “Come on,” he said. “Don’t you want to just try a full marathon once? So you know what it’s like?” He told me he had signed up for the Savannah Marathon in the fall – November 9, to be exact. “Come on – run it with me!” he said. “You’ll have plenty of time to train.”

On Monday, riding high from the excitement of the Nike Women’s Half, I gchatted Theodora. “So… I may or may not be thinking about signing up for a full marathon in the fall,” I said. She immediately freaked out and sent this tweet. Her enthusiasm (and the enthusiasm of those who responded) was contagious.


The next step was to email my running buddy Karen. Maybe I do want to do a marathon… but I certainly don’t want to do one (or train for one) alone. “So… I’m thinking about doing a full marathon,” I wrote. “Would you want to do one with me?!”

A few hours later, and I had my response: “Um… YES!!!!!!! I’ve been really wanting to do another marathon for the last couple years – and with an awesome training partner like you, I can’t say no!!!! Let’s marathon!!!”

Well, in that case… :) Marathon it is!

But first… I need your help:

  • Have you heard anything about the Savannah Marathon? Is it a good course? I hear in 2011 it was a hot mess but that last year they improved it a lot. Thoughts? Are there any other fall marathons you’d really recommend? I don’t want to sign up quite yet before doing some research about options! Marine Corps is already full… although I suppose we could run with a charity or try to buy someone else’s bib?
  • Do you think it’s possible to train for a marathon doing 3 days a week of running? Or is more necessary? I’ve always stuck to 3 days when training for halfs because I love cross training and mixing it up, plus I feel like it helps with decreasing injury risk. Thoughts?

And while we’re on the subject of marathons, I wanted to give some love to the Virtual Peace Marathon. I received an email about it earlier this week and thought some of you might want to get involved, too:

The Virtual Peace Marathon an initiative run by Jenny Hadfield of Runner’s World. They have partnered with the One Step Ahead Foundation, which is a charity that is committed to taking care of the kids hurt in Boston throughout their long road to recovery. 100% of the funds raised will go towards prosthetics and rehab for the children who lost limbs in the Boston bombings. The goal is to raise $25,000 by the end of May… which is the average cost of a prosthetic.  The official kick off date is May 1st.

The idea is rather simple… register for the Virtual Peace Marathon, run, walk or waddle 26.2 miles by May 31st and log your miles on the Peace Marathon Facebook page. 100% of registration fees, which start at $15, will go to the One Step Ahead Foundation. Prizes will be awarded for best photos and most creative ways to honor Boston. The idea is to get people moving, start the healing process and raise money for an amazing cause along the way.

Amazing idea for an amazing cause. I’ll be doing it and I hope you guys will, too!


  1. 1

    Hi Anne. My first full marathon was the marine corp marathon last year. It was amazing and challenging. Since then I have run others (it’s only now may, yes I am crazy) and the mcm is by far my favorite. If you can get a bib somehow, I would highly recommend it, you will not be disappointed. Make it your first!

  2. 2

    I am just now playing with the idea of training for 10 milers/ halfs. The marathon distance is still nuts for me. But so perfect for you ;)

  3. 3

    Ahh, awesome Anne! Good for you!! I have zero expertise to offer considering I’m suffering thru training for my own first 5K, haha :) but yay can’t wait to follow your training journey!

  4. 5
    Lindsey says:

    I definitely recommend Marine Corps for charity! I ran in 2010 for the Wounded Warrior Project and had a blast. The fundraising minimum pretty easy to accomplish and attending the dinner the night before was really inspiring. Plus – it is really nice to not have to worry about flights/hotels in addition to your marathon!

  5. 6

    Marine Corps allows you to transfer bibs, and a lot are offered on their facebook page as the race approaches. MCM was my first and only marathon, and it was a fabulous experience. I highly recommend it!

  6. 7

    I am so glad my social media campaign worked.

    Re: 3x/week. I did that for my first marathon. It will definitely still get you to the finish, especially since you are already a strong runner, but I think 4x/week helps you get more mileage in and feel much stronger and more ready during the race.

  7. 9

    How fun! I’ve said the same thing about marathons, but now I’m running my first marathon this fall, too! (NYCM.)

  8. 11
    Shannon says:

    I have done 2 marathons and both times I did two short runs during the week and a long run on the weekend (usually Saturday). I rested or cross trained with walking, yoga, spin bike, and a lifting class the other days.

    So to answer your question yes you can do only 3 days of running a week.

    Good luck and enjoy every moment.

  9. 12

    You will LOVE marathon training. If you’re looking for a fall marathon kind of close to DC, Richmond is great (I mean, they hand out gummy bears at miles 16 and 22). I’m doing Philly, which is the same weekend this year, because I’ve also heard that people love that course.

    Regarding running frequency, for both my standalone marathons, I ran 3 or 4 times a week – and usually 3. That said, I was mad cross training – biking 2-4x/week and swimming 3-5x/week. This may not get you the fastest time ever, but as long as you get in your long run on the weekends, you’ll be fine for the marathon.

    SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. 13

    Good luck! Just emailed you the training plan I used and some other thoughts.

  11. 15

    Congrats on this decision! Don’t think you need any luck though!

  12. 16
    Lara ZP says:

    I’m so excited for you! The high you will feel crossing that finish line is unparalleled!

  13. 17

    1) Congrats on taking the marathon plunge!
    2) I’ve always wanted to run Savannah, but then I get lazy and just sign up for Chicago instead bc I am cheap and don’t feel like paying to travel. I looked into RnR Denver as a back up to this year’s NYCM – It looks pretty sweet and has relatively cheap registration fees.
    3) I only run 3 times a week (1 weekend long run, 1 speed workout, 1 middle distance midweek run) when training – it’s all my old lady hips can take without getting injured. Plus I love to cross train, so it’s hard for me to give up my gym classes. I’ve also never run faster than a 4:48 marathon, sooo take the 3x/week advice for what it’s worth. :) Good luck!

  14. 18
    Lara ZP says:

    Also, MCM transfer opens up sometime in June…people will sell on Craigslist and through the MCM facebook page.

  15. 19
    Margaret says:

    yay! Marathon! woo woo! always so fun, get ready for the endorphin train. Being from Atlanta, I hear alot about the Savannah Marathon. I wouldn’t recommend it, especially for your first, and especially because there are so many exciting ones out there, with huge fan support, and lots of excitement. Like Chicago, NY, Marine Corp, Philly, etc. Personally I think the larger ones are good for the newbies, bc the more support and excitement the better. I just haven’t heard anything good about Savannah. and you’re first should be special

  16. 20

    I am doing my first this fall, too! MCM, hooray! Excited and terrified, all at once.

    I have been reading blog recaps of MCM and found one of a girl who refused to run back-to-back days in training for her first marathon; her reasons were the same as yours. She made it to the finish in 4:30 or so (and, unlike you, she was not a runner before this). So, I think it can be done!

    I haven’t decided my training route yet, eek!

  17. 21

    WOO HOO! I promise you you’ll be a convert. I’ve run one full, and have my second this fall (Chicago) and I love everything about it – the race, the training, all of it!

    One word of advice – don’t buy someone else’s bib. It may just be me, but I feel like you’d want your first marathon time to be “yours” and not under someone else’s name. Running for a charity is awesome too. The California International Marathon (CIM) is in Sacramento, CA in December and was my first full and I LOVED IT. Flat, fast and net downhill. :) I’ve heard good things about Savannah too though – and what’s not to love about being in that adorable town for a long weekend?

    Good luck! Can’t wait to follow your training and compare notes!

    • 22

      Oh I definitely wouldn’t run under someone else’s name! I’d only do that if I could officially transfer it to my name. That would be such a bummer to not have it really be mine! :)

  18. 23
    Krysten says:

    I’ve heard GREAT things about the Savannah marathon – and if you haven’t been to Savannah yet you will love it.

    It is possible to do your training on 3 days a week of running, but probably advisable to do 4 or 5, with 1-2 days of cross training if possible. If you’re consistent with your cross-training (strength and functional training especially) your injury risk will stay low. Just remember the 10% rule with your increased mileage. Lots of good training programs out there – let me know if you want suggestions.

  19. 24

    Such an inspiration! I’ve only just done my first 10k road race and now I’m gagging for a half marathon!!!! I’ve gotten the bug!

  20. 26

    Congrats! What a fun and exciting decision:) There is no reason you can’t accomplish it with 3 runs/week. My last marathon I did with 2 – a long and a speed – with an occasional ‘easy 3-5’ thrown in there bc I was riding and swimming a lot. And I felt ‘great’ for all 26.2 miles. Good luck – can’t wait to follow along!

  21. 27

    YAY!! Training for a marathon was the hardest thing I’ve ever done- probably harder than the actual race itself! But so worth it :). I would HIGHLY recommend running the Richmond marathon. I’ve run the half twice and it was just amazing. Super well run and such great crowd support. They have a contest for the best cheer squad so there are always tons of people out being loud! I hear the marathon is just as good. They bill themselves as America’s Friendliest Marathon, and I believe it. They were the ones that opened up extra spaces for NYC marathoners after it got cancelled. I did 4 days of running a week, but with cross training you might be ok and keep your risk of injury down. You might start to question your commitment once your mileage starts to get up there on your weekend runs, but knowing you had the discipline to train for it and get to the starting line is the best feeling! Having a cause to run got me out the door for every run and kept me going through the toughest parts of the race, so maybe that’s something to think about too. Good luck!!!

  22. 29

    Hi Anne! So happy that you have decided to run a marathon! I actually signed up for my first one a few weeks ago (Marine Corps!) and just posted about it on my blog earlier today–happy coincidence! I just started recently reading your blog when I realized you were in the DC area as well–always good to read about things and places I know about!

    I did the Savannah Half last year and loved it. Great spectators, flat and fast course, and you can drink on the streets of Savannah when you’re finished! My friend who i made the trip down there with did the Full and she really liked it as well. There are portions of the Marathon that I guess are out on the highway? but you gotta get those 26.2 in somewhere I suppose. Overall, I would definitely recommend the race!

    As for training, I am sure three days a week is doable–esp if you are active the other days of the week. I love this concept, as I really get burnt out doing so many runs a week. Good luck!!

  23. 30
    Amanda says:

    3x a week for a marathon is perfectly reasonable. It’s what I’ve done and it’s worked for me. As for marathons, check out the Richmond Marathon – I do believe it’s the same weekend as Savannah. It’s a fantastic one – it’s been called “America’s Friendliest Marathon” and it lives up to that – on course candy and wet wash cloths in addition to drinks and snacks. Great spectators and an awesome course – both urban and through beautiful, peaceful scenic areas. I’m doing it again this year.

  24. 32

    I’m so excited for you! It’s a huge push when you decide, “Okay, I’m going to do this.” I’m a relatively low-mileage marathoner (topping out at ~40 miles/week), so I think you can do it on 3 runs a week. You might also want to look into Run Less, Run Faster which I believe has you do 3 runs a week and then supplements with cross-training. I’m thinking about RLRF for my fall marathon – Indianapolis.

    • 33

      I’ve never heard of the official Run Less, Run Faster approach but I’ve found that doing less running and more cross training has made me a stronger half marathoner, at least!

  25. 34

    I had a feeling you were finally going to cave! Seriously, every one does. I too once said I would never run a marathon and now I can’t wait to run my next one.

    Savannah was the first (and so far only) marathon I’ve done and…hopefully they’ve made some changes? I did it the first year and it was not my favorite. The first half of it was great, but the 2nd? Not so much. I heard they changed the course last year though. It was just a lot of running on highways against a headwind (I can send you my review you’d like – but like I said – I HOPE they made changes so it’s now irrelevant).

    As for training – definitely find what works for YOU. I have a different mindset after running one and the experience itself is such a learning opportunity – I don’t necessarily think I could recommend one program that works for everyone. If you end up changing training plans and expectations half way through? That’s OK!

  26. 35

    Congrats on making the decision to run a marathon! I ran my first half the first week in April and can’t even imagine doing a full. However, I’m sure it’s only a matter of time until I’ll go crazy and decide to do a full marathon, haha.

  27. 37

    I just signed up for my first-the Baltimore full ( ! I think I’m joining the local running store’s training program and am anxious about only running 3x week too because I’ve committed myself to doing crossfit right now. Good luck!

  28. 39

    Congrats on the decision! I’ve been toying with it as well. I live in Charleston and have tons of friends that run Savannah, they seem to like it. There is also the Kiawah Marathon that they seem to like a bit more. It’s a bit smaller, and a gorgeous course.

  29. 40

    I’m so glad I RT that tweet! Yay…I can’t wait to follow you through this experience. Some fall marathons that I can recommend from my friends experience: Twin Cities & Milwaukee!

  30. 41

    Hi Anne! First, I am so excited for you. I too thought 10 miles was a crazy distance a few years ago and now I’m addicted to marathons and training for my fourth. I haven’t heard anything about Savanna but highly recommend Philly. I’ve run it twice and it’s a great, relatively flat course with awesome spectator support. Plus it would be easy to get to from D.C.

    As for number of running days, I usually do 3 or 4 a week with 1-2 days of cross training. I find that it’s a good balance for me between running enough and not getting injured. So I would say you could get away with 3.

    Good luck! Can’t wait to read about your training


  31. 42

    Yay! You can totally do a marathon only running 3 days a week. Use 3 days to cross/strength train and take one full day of rest. I just finished my 6th and am training for my 7th doing just that. I just bought “Run Less, Run Farther” and am using their training plan. I’m shooting for a BQ in September! Eeep!

    Have fun!! And good luck!

  32. 44

    I may not have enjoyed my one marathon (MCM), but I definitely think its worth trying for the experience. Savannah might be a really great choice because its so close to the water (= flat!). I think Charleston (I’ve run the half) is an awesome course for the same reason. I have no knowledge of the run less thing, but if I ran another one I would probably run more than I did. I would say two 6-8 mile runs (one fartlek), one 10 mile run and then one long run (with at least one over 20 mi) per week. But, that is what would be best for ME- you know your body best!

  33. 45

    This is awesome news Anne! So excited to read along with you in the journey.

    C’mon though…you’re such a DC girl; you HAVE to make MCM your first! Plus the military ties! I think you should run with a charity and do MCM!

    Also I’ve totally never run a marathon, so take this with a giant grain of salt, but my understanding is that you can definitely train for a full marathon on three days a week of quality running. I think the general thought (besides a few specific schools that say three days a week is optimal) is that to _improve_ on your marathon time, you probably want to run slightly higher mileage that means 4-5 days a week of running, at least. But for your first, when you are probably just more aiming to finish, I think three days a week is totally reasonable!

  34. 46

    Congrats! I did my first marathon in 2011 (Chicago), running 4x a week during training. For me that was the perfect amount and I felt really prepared! I’m not sure if I would do 3x a week.. I’m sure it’s possibly.. but even if 1 run a week is a really slow, short one.. I think it’s helpful. I was generally following Hal Higdon’s marathon plan, in case you were wondering. Loved it for a first-timer plan!

  35. 47

    I did Walt Disney World as my first full in January–it was 80 degrees by the end and 100% humidity at the start but I loved every minute of it–and Marine Corps will be my second in October. I remember watching people at MCM last year and thinking, “I can’t believe I seriously want to do this…”

    I did the Hal Higdon basic beginner plan which was 4 days a week and ran totally alone. Now that I’ve done a couple long runs with a group, though, I can’t imagine doing the 20 miler solo again.

  36. 48

    I’d say three days of runs + long run is probably your best bet, even if one of those weekday runs is just a short tempo or recovery (lower distance).

  37. 49

    Good for you!! I’m glad you waited until you were absolutely sure and ready. I found that I jumped into the marathon distance before I was truly ready to tackle the training, and ended up having two awful experiences! I’ve decided not to even attempt another one until I really, really want it. And after I’ve got a few more years of running experience under my belt. I read an article today actually that said it takes years to train for a marathon, not just the 6 months or so leading up to it. So all this running you’ve been doing must have set you up with a really solid base. Can’t wait to see which one you decide on!

  38. 50

    I’m glad I happened to be part of the Twitter chat ha! I ran the LA marathon running 1X/week. You can totally do it with 3X, you are in insane running shape already.

  39. 51

    I did the Savannah half last year and LOVED it. There is a great energy in the whole city and people came out of their houses to cheer everybody on. I’d say do it! And if you’ve never been it’s one of my favorite cities to explore. You’ll love it!

  40. 52
    Bobbie McKinney says:

    I love the Disney World Marathon. I have done it several times including this year (which was really hot and humid for a SoCal girl). Jeff Galloway’s training plans are 3 days a week. He has them on the RunDisney site or on his website. You can use it as a guide even if you don’t the the run/walk/run method that he promotes. Good Luck!!

  41. 53

    I signed up for my first half marathon today so a full is still crazy to me. But I have no doubt you will rock it!

  42. 54

    GREAT decision– I’ve run lots of races, but nothing stood up accomplishment-wise to finishing the Chicago marathon. I think 3 days a week is definitely do-able although if you go to 4 I would definitely make the 4th day something other than a straight run (speed work, hills etc) to avoid overuse injury and mix it up. Also… registration for the NYC marathon lottery is open right now if you’re willing to take an $11 gamble on running one of the World Majors!

  43. 55

    Mar-a-thon! Mar-a-thon! MARATHON! I’m chanting for you. MOST incredible experience of my life. I want to do another so badly. MCM was my jam in 2008 and I know nothing about Savannah, but you must do it! You’ll be great! And it will be fun to follow! AND Hal Higdon says you can do it running three days a week:

  44. 56

    I did my first half marathon in October in Atlantic city and it was the best decision I made. Best feeling in the world crossing that finish line. If my year wasn’t so busy, I’d be doing another one this year. Hopefully 2014 will be calm and ill be able to do my next one :) (they’re kind if addicting!!)
    I ran three days a week and cross trained the other days for my training .. Always took a rest day after my long run day.
    It was probably one if the most amazing experiences in my life thus far – you show yourself you can truly do anything you put your mind to and work towards – crossing that finish line will be a great feeling, I can assure you that ;)

    Good luck and I’m excited to read along your journey to 26.2!!

  45. 57

    OH that’s awesome!!! When is Savannah??? I’m going to run Baltimore this year and will need someone to slog through the longer runs with :) So great you’re going for 26.2!!!!

  46. 59

    I just took the leap and will be running my first full marathon this weekend in Pittsburgh!! I’ve stuck to three days a week of training (one easy/hill run, one speed/tempo run, and one long run) and two to three days of cross training (strength training, yoga, etc.). It’s been a challenging journey but I’m hoping it’ll all pay off on Sunday!

  47. 61

    You seem to be an absolutely fantastic runner, so I definitely think you could rock a full marathon! Last year when my boyfriend ran the Army Ten Miler I thought the same, “that is outrageously far, no thanks.” Now one year later, I plan on signing up for it myself! What’s life without a challenge!?

  48. 63

    Awesome! Definitely try for the MCM – I ran last year and am running again this year. The atmosphere is amazing and you can’t beat a DC race!

  49. 64
    Melissa R. says:

    Haven’t read the comments– but I ran the Savannah marathon last year — it was a fine course, no complaints but not my favorite…and a week later I ran the Richmond marathon and it was a LOT better for many reasons. If you had a choice, I’d go with Richmond. I did MCM and it was too crazy crowded for my taste. It was an “experience” for sure. It is definitely a marathon that should be run at some point, though.
    However, everyone is going to have different ideas on what a good marathon is, esp for a first marathon!
    I’ve done 10 marathons and my favorites are the ones where I personally FELT the best (and the weather cooperated!) during, no matter the city or course….
    Good luck! You’ll rock it, of course.

    • 65

      Why did you like Richmond so much better? It’s down to those two for me now, so curious to hear your thoughts!

      • 66
        Melissa R. says:

        I enjoyed the Richmond course so much more — not that Savannah is bad. I didn’t have the best race there and it got quite warm and I cramped up. Richmond was beautiful, an easy drive as opposed to a flight, etc and the weather was cooler. The finish was fun, too. I just had a really good race that day. It’s one of the few I’d do again.
        Also, at Savannah, like many RnR race, you split off so mentally going on to the marathon was harder. At Richmond, the half is a totally different race starting at a different location and time. So, you were running with JUST marathoners. It mentally made a difference to me.

        • 67

          Yeah, I’ve thought that during races I’ve done in the past where they had us split off from the full people – I always felt bad for them!

  50. 68

    Hal Higdon has some great marathon plans for first time marathoners and beyond. I think you might get to squeeze by with 3 days of running, as most plans have a day for cross training, but you might have to bump it up to at least 4 with a day of cross training. Your mileage is going to increase alot compared to half marathon training, but if you increase slowly it shouldn’t cause any injuries. If you train well you’ll race well!! marathons are so fun!! I love them!! I am so excited to hear about your training and marathon experience!!

  51. 69

    Ah! I *almost* signed up for Savannah as my fall full marathon this year. It came down to Portland, Albuquerque, and Savannah. I mean, you get Leopold’s after Savannah, great beer in Portland and um….what in Albuquerque? That was the only place I haven’t been so that is the one I chose. But I did a lot of research, and the Savannah Marathon looks like a great race.

  52. 70
    Margaret @ Have a Good Run says:

    I had run 2 marathons, 4:13 and 4:06. For those I ran 4 or 5 times a week. I got a stress fracture training for the 4:06 (which my doctor said was probably because My running volume was too high) but wanted to break 4 hours BADLY. I’d heard about the book “Run Less, Run Faster” from Runner’sWorld and decided to give it a shot – run 3x and cross train 2x a week? Totally doable. I followed the plan to a T, maybe missed three runs over 16 weeks. Needless to say I crushed my marathon goal, surprising myself with a 3:47. You can absolutely train for a marathon by running three times a week! Go for it! (And I’d definitely recommend the book!)

    • 71

      That’s awesome – I need to get that book! I’ve definitely found with half training that running less and cross training has made me a better runner… I know fulls are a totally different ball game but I still think I’ll take a similar approach! Don’t want to burn myself out.

  53. 72

    Congratulations on your decision!! I trained for the first marathon that I completed using Run Less, Run Faster (running hard workouts 3x a week) and crossfitting twice to three times a week. I finished the marathon but got injured during it (ITBS) with a time of 3:57. My second marathon I ran a little bit more, dialed down the intensity of the runs, put in a little more distance, crossfitted three times a week, and PRed during a near monsoon in 3:42(though missed my goal). In my opinion it is possible to run three to four times a week and still be ready for a marathon and I was definitely happy that I had a lot of crosstraining involved in my training. Good luck in deciding on a plan and going after that marathon!

  54. 73

    Congrats!! It’s funny, because I was thinking “hmm I bet she’ll move on to marathons” after reading your Nike half recap! Because seriously, you’ve been rocking these’s time for a marathon! So excited for you!

  55. 75

    SO, SO exciting! I’m tempted to start training for a full again – it got delayed a couple of years ago due to some “health hiccups” but after running R’n’R and Nike [ZOOMA coming up soon too], I’ve definitely been bit by the running bug and loving it!

  56. 77
    Monica says:

    You won’t regret it!!! I ran 3-4 times a week when training for MCM last year. My goal was strictly to finish, not to break any records :-)
    With that in mind, it is totally possible to train running only three days a week. The key is the long run on the weekend, in my opinion.

  57. 78

    My 4th and most sucessful marathon training program was running 2-3 days a week and two days of strength training. It made a HUGE difference. Stronger legs= happier 20-26.2 miles!

  58. 79

    I’ve only done one half and am training for a full, I wish I had waited and done a few more halfs, but I totally think you should and can do this!

  59. 80

    My first marathon was Marine Corps this past fall. You should do that one! I HIGHLY recommend it. I live in DC also, and it is to do your first one where you live. It was a great race. I ran for a charity (there are lots with pretty low fundraising bars). It was great- do it!!

    • 81

      I’m dying to do MCM but after looking into it (because everyone was recommending it) I realized it’s a week after I’m scheduled to do the Tough Mudder – yikes. Bad idea! :(

      • 82

        Oh bummer! I don’t know anything about Savannah, but I do think having your brother there for support would be really fun too. One thing to consider though- I would NOT want to run my first marathon at a marathon with a half option. Seems like it would be much harder. Maybe try to find a race that is just a marathon?

  60. 83

    While I am fairly confident that I will never run a marathon, I can’t count how many times I’ve made declarations about things I’d NEVER do, which turned out to be false: I’d never get into yoga, I could never be vegan, I could never give up cheese, I could never be a doctor. Well…

    Congrats, Anne. I think embracing the crazy is good sometimes. Life is short, and we have to keep it interesting and intense. I’ll be cheering you on! <3

  61. 84

    Congratulations, Anne, that’s terrific. Let us know about Savannah, I will come and cheer you on. It will be a good excuse for a seaside vacation.

  62. 85
    Christy says:

    I’m seriously considering signing up for a full marathon either in the fall or next year. Will you write a post recapping advice you’ve received from this post? It would be really helpful! Best of luck with your training!

  63. 86

    Aw, good luck to you!! I spectated at the MCM last year and it was such an incredible experience. Nothing beats the look on a finishers face – certainly put a smile on my face too. I don’t think I’m ready to tackle a marathon distance, but the idea is growing on me. I used to say never too.

  64. 87

    I’ve trained for and run 2 full marathons on only 3 days of running a week. So, is it enough to get you to the finish line? Definitely. Would running 5 days a week make you faster? Maybe. You’re pretty quick already, though, so I’m sure you would be fine.

    As for Savannah, I had some friends that went and they were pretty happy. I was thinking about doing the half this year. It’s definitely flat, so that’s a plus.

  65. 88

    Good luck! I’m sure you’ll do great. You and your brother are quite speedy. :-)

  66. 89

    YAY! Good luck! I have recently joined this bandwagon too! I am going to be running the Marine Corp Marathon in Oct (SO happy that I got in with the hot mess that was registration!). Excited to read about your journey!

  67. 91

    I’m in the same boat as you! I just signed up for my first full marathon. I’ll be doing the Philadelphia Marathon in November! My training program has me running 4 days a week with a little strength training (which I already do). Good luck!

  68. 93

    Richmond was my first marathon, and it has been by far my favorite. Then again, you always remember your first, right? :) The course was really pretty, there was good crowd support, and I didn’t think the “rolling hills” were bad at all. Plus, I ran that race with my brother, which was awesome…even though he finished an hour before me. When I turned the corner to run down the chute to the finish I heard him call out my name and it was the greatest feeling in the world. It still gives me goosebumps to think about it! Above all else, I’d recommend running your first with someone you know – either running as well or cheering for you. You’ll want to talk about it all weekend!

    • 94

      Knowing my brother would be running one this fall definitely made me want to do it much more! We’re definitely going to do the same one… leaning towards Richmond now!

  69. 95

    Congrats on taking the plunge!

    After a bad IT band and hamstring injury from overtraining for my first marathon, I limited myself to 3 days a week of running (and no more than 30 miles/week total) for my second marathon. Throw in a little cross training and you’ll be well prepared.

  70. 96

    Yay!!! How exciting!!! I’ll be running the MCM this year as my first marathon. I’m really excited!

  71. 97

    Pike’s Peak marathon! JUST kidding :) I’m excited to read about your journey, Anne!!

  72. 99

    Wow I am in awe of you! I think that one day I will do a marathon but first step is a half marathon maybe this year :)

  73. 100

    Echoing in with everyone else. I’ve done a few marathons and you can totally do it on 3 runs a week. You’ll do great!

  74. 101

    How exciting! I’m thrilled for you. It’s definitely a life changing experience, and it’s something that will cement your bond to the running world for all of eternity. Running a marathon turned me into a different person, and I learned so much more about myself during the training and the actual event.

  75. 102

    How exciting for you Anne! I trained for the London marathon with only 12 weeks notice, running 4 days a week. With much more notice than that, I reckon you could do it running 3 days a week but it depends what your goals are for the race really. 4 times a week is very manageable. Get yourself a good coach or a support team too, that really helps you feel prepared. You can’t really expect to be training for a marathon and not have it take centre stage in your life, particularly as the date gets closer, but actually running one, if you’ve trained right, will be one of the most amazing things you’ll ever do. I really am tempted to do another one, but the wonder and joy of your first is just beyond words…..I wish you all the best with it!! xx

  76. 103

    First – congrats on the decision. I’m (almost) sure you will love it. Second – do Marine Corps. It is fantastic! I did it two years ago and m registered again this year. I grew up in NOVA (seeing all the monuments) and it was still really special for me. BTW – just started following your blog and it’s great.

    • 104

      I really wanted to do Marine Corps but I had a conflict on timing! Hopefully next year if I get addicted to full marathons. :) As for this year, I went for Richmond – super excited! Thanks for reading!


  1. […] you all SO much for the enthusiasm and helpful tips on my “Never Say Never" post – your excitement was contagious. Let’s do this – bring it on, […]

  2. […] Never say never, but I always said never. Never 26.2. That’s insane, and bad for you, and not fun at all. Insane? Definitely. Bad for you? I’m sure that much distance isn’t great for these knees. […]

  3. […] When I first signed up for the marathon (remember that whole “Never Say Never” post?), I asked all of you whether it would be doable to run a marathon only running 3 days a […]

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