Columbus Marathon, Round 2

And so it begins again – in a few weeks I’ll start my second marathon training cycle.

Post-marathon celebration
Post-marathon celebration

First thing’s first, why I chose to run Columbus again. I actually didn’t even consider any other marathons for my fall goal race. I ran the half two years ago and ran the full last year and had a good time both races. I wanted another go at Columbus and there are so many things I love about this race, but I won’t bore you with the details.


What I’m really here to talk about is my upcoming training. I enjoyed training last summer and the new challenges it brought. I have been looking forward to starting marathon training since the end of half marathon training last month. But then there’s the uncertainty. I don’t think a runner can go into marathon training care-free. As of right now I know very little about my training plan (I haven’t yet received it).  These things will come with time and I’m not dwelling on it now. I’m going into this training one workout at a time, one week at a time.


I am excited about working with my coach, but also nervous. A huge benefit of working with someone I know and who is retired from coaching is that I’m not restricted to any ridiculous “one phone call a month” or other weird communication restrictions. I understand coaches do this in order to balance their time between athletes, but I like that I will have completely open communication with my coach. This was one thing that had held me back from hiring a coach, dumping out money with restrictions. My coach also goes down and watches the marathon, riding his bike around the course to different spots. He missed me last year as he happened to be a little behind for the pace I was running, but I love knowing that he’ll be there again.

I also had a hard time justifying hiring a coach for really no reason. Training for a marathon may be a reason enough for some, but I saw hiring a coach for more of something big like trying to BQ or break 3-hours or get over a plateau. I know I can get across the finish line healthy and with a decent time on my own, I don’t have any issue getting up and getting my workout done without anyone to answer to other than myself. I’m very competitive with myself and also thrive with structure, but when the offer was made I couldn’t say no. I want to be clear: I am not working towards a BQ. Though I don’t yet know what my coach wants me to work towards time/pace-wise, a BQ is not a realistic goal and not something I’m even interested in trying to hit right now.


Something else I’ve decided to add to my training routine this time around is a HIIT class specifically for runners/athletes. I mentioned this in my post this past weekend, but it’s a class offered in combination through my training group and a local fitness center. It will be a good way to combine cross training/strength and since it’s a series class I will be working with the same group every week. If you missed this weekend’s post, it’s something I wanted to do this winter and skipped out on because driving conditions can be so unpredictable here in the winter. I did some running-specific strength work during my half marathon training, but I love HIIT workouts (I used to work with a trainer whose sessions were HIIT) and having the right tools and equipment to get the most of my sessions will be a big plus.

My hopes for this training cycle are no different than those of past cycles. I always look to stick to my training, stay injury free, and continue to push my body and see what it’s capable of doing. The marathon is a beast and I am well aware that unlike most distances a second marathon (or a third or a fourth) does not guarantee a PR. It doesn’t even guarantee a finish. I am more terrified of training this time around than I was last summer and it has nothing to do with “knowing what to expect,” but rather not knowing what to expect the second time around. Marathon training can’t be the same every time. Training for any race is a very personal experience for me and I don’t tend to share a lot of the “deep” stuff on here, but my blogging during marathon training is going to look a bit different than it was during half marathon training or even my last marathon training cycle. Hopefully you’ll still follow along!

More coming soon!

Photos from the Columbus Marathon Facebook page.

9 thoughts on “Columbus Marathon, Round 2

  1. I’m excited to hear that you hired a coach and I’m looking forward to following your training! I had a coach last year, but he was the wrong coach for me so I decided to continue training myself. What you said is key: he is going to be readily available to you. I always felt like mine was a true business transaction and the clock was ticking each time I called him or met with him.

    I have considered hiring someone again now that I’ve gotten closer to that 3 hour mark, but I am nervous. There are two local coaches that I really like and have been quietly following since I began training myself again, but it scares me. Perhaps watching what your coach does with you this summer will inspire me to take a leap of faith and try it again!


    1. There are so many things that make hiring a coach scary especially since it’s such a big commitment. Being certified doesn’t mean someone will be a good coach! But this couple is like family to us so it really wasn’t a question. Just doing something different for training will be fun and challenging so at least there’s that. I can’t even imagine being close to the 3 hour mark… maybe I need to get myself to some pole classes! (My coworker actually mentioned one a few weeks ago and then looked at my weird when I got excited about it.)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hanna @ TheMillennialNextDoor

    Whoo hoo!! I think it’s normal to feel nervous. Honestly, I’d be more worried if you weren’t feeling nervous. Marathon training is always a big deal. The 26.2 distance is scary no matter how many you’ve done. There is this idea that only first-timers tremble in fear of the race, but everybody does. And I think that’s a good thing. It shows that you have a healthy respect for the marathon and all the work that goes into just being able to finish the darn thing. The fear, the hard work, the long miles – it never gets easier. But that’s what makes it so rewarding. You’re taking a risk in this training cycle by doing something out of your comfort zone (hiring a coach), and it may or may not pay off (although I’m sure it will), but either way, you’re better off for trying.

    Also, I hear you on not really wanting to BQ. Don’t get me wrong, I’d happily accept one and run Boston if I could get it, but that’s never really been what motivates me. In my next marathon, 18 months from now, I have my eye on a lofty goal of breaking 3:30. Not because I want to BQ, but because that’s just a “life goal” barrier that I want to break and I feel like if my training until then goes well, I can do it. The BQ is just icing on the cake. I’ve never been one of those runners who defines her running career by a prestigious marathon in a city I’ve never even been to.

    I’m curious what you mean when you say your blogging will look different this time around. How so? More or less training recaps? More or less “deep” stuff? I’m intrigued. But, DUH, of course I’ll still follow! Haha sorry for this novel-length comment.


    1. As always I agree with you on all of this and I love your novel-length comments 😉 I’ll still do training recaps, but I want to respect the fact that my coach is making my training plan for me and not broadcast every detail of what I’m doing so I plan to try to write more about the experience than “this is what I did this week.” Plus, marathon training is so long it’s kind of repetitive to read the same type of recap every week. Last year I only wrote every other week, but this time I hope to write every week and bring some more insights to my training process.


      1. Hanna @ TheMillennialNextDoor

        I love it! That sounds awesome! I really enjoy when people talk about more than just the workout recaps. It makes it more interesting in relatable. I know that not everyone wants to or is comfortable going into more detail, but I feel like there are a million running blogs I can go to if I just want to read rote training recaps. Everyone does it. It’s the reason I stopped doing them midway through marathon training (that and how time consuming they are). It just got kind of stale. But, again, that is just my personal preference. There are some people who have a talent for making workout recaps really interesting but in general, these days I’m more apt to just skip them if I know it’s just going to be a big training log.


  3. Jennifer @ Dashing in Style

    I’m excited to follow your training! I’ve heard great things about the Columbus Marathon. I’ve also never worked with a coach before and am excited to start for my training. The program I’m using has unlimited access to your coach, but I actually wasn’t sure why I’d need that? I guess I’ll find out once I start training! The main reason I want to work with a coach is for the mental aspect. I have a big problem with confidence and doubt, so I think working with her us really going to help with that. Anyway, I’m excited for you! I’m also looking forward to hearing about that HIIT class. It sounds great!


    1. You’re using the Hanson coaches, right? I’m looking forward to seeing how you like that. I would be interested in using Hansons with a coach, but it just wasn’t the right training plan for me right now and I didn’t have that kind of $$$ either! I think all of us runner struggle with confidence and doubt. I know I’ll be doing a lot of Yasso 800’s and I’m hoping that will help build up some confidence for me.


  4. Don’t you love how one season ends and you’re already looking forward to the next season? 🙂 I am looking forward to hearing about your HIIT classes. I want to add in some speed work this session (I’m just finishing up Week One of training for a September marathon) but I’m having a hard time fitting it in with everything else I want to do! Enjoy your training!

    Liked by 1 person

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