Hit the Ground Running with Help from Your Friends

I’ve been running now for a little less than two years, I’m going to be 35 this year, never been particularly active before this journey, could never stick to an exercise program, and yet, here we are marathon training.

Of course, as I discussed in my previous blog regarding injuries, all the best plans often get derailed a little bit and this session is no exception. Coming back from minor, nagging injuries proved to be more challenging than anticipated, and then just when I started to get back into running after the holidays, I got the flu. My natural reaction was to panic and worry that my training was ruined before it even began, I was going to fall too far behind, etc. This is why I’m a big proponent of joining some kind of running group though, it helps calm the nerves. After my initial freakout, I contacted our group’s coach, Coach Brian, and he wasn’t concerned in the slightest, confident that I’ll catch up quickly, I’ll just need to adjust my schedule a bit.

I’d be lying if I said the schedule wasn’t intimidating. I’ve trained for two half marathons now and once you get into nine, 10 and 11 mile Saturday morning runs, it’s almost showtime for your race, but those nine, 10 and 11 mile runs are where I’m starting for full marathon training. That’s the biggest mental hurdle in this training: all that hard work I did for the Flying Pig last year, all that preparation, the race itself and I have to do double that this year.

But here’s the good news if you’re like me and want to get that 20th anniversary finisher’s jacket at the Flying Pig this year: everyone in my running world has assured me that if you can do a half marathon, you can do a full. And really, it makes sense, everything else is the same: you’re running your same pace, you’re running the same (very steep) hills throughout this city, if you’re like me, you’re training with people who are or will be your friends. The only difference is the distance. And hey, I ran 13.1 miles last year, so I’m in good enough shape for that, it’s just a little extra work. Right? RIGHT?!

I also have the added benefit of not worrying too much about time (I want to be done before they make me move to the sidewalk), but the concerns are far more mental than physical, even with all of my recent setbacks. So, if you’re thinking of making this huge leap as well, I can’t recommend a running group enough – the structure and sense of camaraderie have done more for my confidence than just slipping on a pair of running shoes and going ever could.  

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​If you listen to Mix 94.9, you've probably heard Ray Anderson on air from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. In 2016, Ray took up running and completed his first 5k with the help of the app Couch to 5k. Later that year he completed his first 10k. Ray is now busy training for his first 15k and half marathon. Ray is happy to partner with Healthspirations to share his running journey and what he's learned along the way.