I Ran A Marathon With Only Ten Weeks Of Training And It Was Intense

It was fucking nuts.

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Hi! I'm Michelle! I love trying extreme sports, but running has always been something I've avoided. It's boring. It's painful. And to me, it seems like a waste of time.

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My coworkers challenged me to try and go from hating running to running a marathon in ten weeks. Because I'm competitive, I quickly said yes (and then quickly regretted it). Spoiler alert: This program somehow actually fucking worked. Here's how I did it:

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On week one, I met my trainer, Erik Steffens, an all-around speed demon and decorated runner. Tip One: If you can, I highly recommend finding and working with a coach that you trust.

A lot of new runners find online plans for working out, but having a person to talk to about my experiences, as well as someone to kick my ass into gear, was crucial to accomplishing this goal in such a short amount of time.

My training plan started me at 45 miles per week, and would go all the way up to 70 miles per week before the race. Every week included a "long" run (12-20 miles) and shorter runs on the other days. I ran 6 days a week and had Mondays off.

I spent my rest days icing, stretching, and foam-rolling. Marathon training is a damn full-time job.

Not only were the workouts hard, but ~interesting~ things started happening to my body.

In the process of training, I lost four toenails, got two blisters, and ~chafing~ occurred in ~places.~ The best part was that I noticed my arm and leg muscles getting more toned, and I could eat (within reason) whatever I wanted and didn't gain weight!

I realized that this wasn't sustainable, so I went to get a professional shoe fit. I learned that I was wearing an entire shoe size too small! Tip two: I highly recommend getting a shoe fit if you are running long distances; it really can transform your comfort and performance.

I recommend talking to runners at work or finding a community online to locate the best place to get a running shoe fit in your area.

Tip Three: JOIN A RUNNING CLUB SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO TRAIN ALONE! I joined the LA Road Runners running club.

This made the long, Saturday runs SO MUCH MORE BEARABLE. It also gave me a great opportunity to meet other runners, ask questions, and get motivated.

Tip Four: Do a shorter race before the actual marathon. I did the Pasadena Half Marathon midway through my training program.

Doing a shorter, lower-stakes race before your big one gives you the opportunity to practice your race-day routine before the big day.

What I wasn't expecting was how much my personal life would affect my training.

The training period was one of the toughest times for me personally. My apartment was broken into, my dog passed away, and my work was incredibly high-stress. I didn't realize how stressful it all was until I had to both deal with my personal life as well as complete long and arduous workouts. I will say though, that running truly became my saving grace during these times. It forced me to get outside, pumped serotonin through my body, and reminded me that I'm still physically capable of accomplishing goals.

When it was finally race day, it was an insane, cathartic rush.

I have never felt more pain in my life than I did through miles 22-26 of this race. To see the whole journey, be sure to check out the video above!

My final time was 3:30:09, qualifying me for the Boston Marathon, which I never would have expected to do in a million years. In the end, I learned a lot about myself. Running is an amazing sport that I have so much respect for and I seriously encourage anyone to try it.