By Ambassador Heather Foley
So…you’ve signed up for the Chevron Houston Marathon…YAY! What now?
1) Be really excited and tell everyone you know. Post your “In Training” badge everywhere!
2) Go get fitted for a really good pair of shoes. You will be in them a lot.
3) Train hard.
How much time you spend on #3 may be a huge factor in how much you enjoy your day come January 17th. My opinion on the best way to ensure you train properly, and even enjoy it along the way, is to join a running club.
Think you aren’t the running club type? Think again! There are all types of running clubs, in all parts of the city, with all types/levels of runners and there is one for you. A marathon is hard, don’t go at it alone. One of my favorite proverbs is “Shared joy is double joy, shared sorrow is half a sorrow.” When training for a marathon, you might go through some sorrowful parts. They may only last a few miles during a long run or they may last a few weeks/months if you have an injury or issue to deal with. If you have buddies to share that road with you, you will be so much more likely to stick it out and cross the finish line on race day. Now onto the joy! The marathon will make you feel happier and more accomplished than you’ve ever felt and if you have a group surrounding you, well, I’d argue the joy is more than doubled!
I’m going to be honest with you. Pretty soon you’re going to have to start training and it’s going to be hot and really humid. You’re probably not going to want to run on some days. But you know what you will always want to do?
Catch up with a good friend.
Chat with someone and learn about something new.
Vent to someone about what’s been going on with you.
You can do all these things and just so happen to knock out a few miles at the same time. It’s glorious.
When I signed up for my first marathon I had no idea the incredible community I was entering into. Marathon runners are some great people and whether you are about to become one for the first time or reaffirm your status as one for the 25th time, give yourself every advantage possible to get the most out of your experience.
My running family is with Runner’s High Club (www.runnershighclub.com) and I would love for you to come join us! But choose for yourself, Houston has no shortage of warm and welcoming running clubs for you to join. Check out the Houston Area Road Runners Association’s Training Club page (HARRA is like the United Nations of running clubs and keeps us all connected as one big, happy, endorphin chasing family).
About the Author: Heather Foley
After graduating from college, affordable access and time for team sports was harder to find so Heather picked up running to keep in shape. She joined Runner’s High Club here in Houston in 2008 and a new family and passion was discovered! She has run over 30 marathons/ultramarathons (including back-to-back finishes at the Comrades Ultra Marathon in South Africa), but loves all the other distances as well. To keep in the best running shape she can be in, she also regularly does crossfit and yoga. Running motivates her on a personal level, but it also gives her the opportunity to interact with the incredible and vibrant community that exists among runners, and all people who love an active healthy lifestyle. When she does sit still, she likes it to be on a patio on a nice day with live music and friends. This is Heather’s third year in the Ambassador program.
Twitter – @haf811
Instagram – @haf811