From Average Joe to Runner

Back on February 22, you may have come across my Follow Friday #FF post, where I listed 5 people who I follow on Twitter and recommended you follow to give them some kudos or motivation going into the weekend. One of those people on the list for that particular day was listed as follows:

@bertaam She will be running her first ever marathon this weekend at #RnRNOLA. Follow her and give her some cheers as she goes after her first 26.2 miler!

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Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Bling

I am always interested in following first time marathoners on Twitter and join in as their support team to wish them luck and give them a few tips that have been passed onto me as I have gone into each marathon. Well now that Andrea‘s first marathon on February 24th at the Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans has come and gone I wanted to catch up with her via Twitter & email to see what that first marathon meant to her and what got her to think running 26.2 miles was something fun and exciting. After this journey that Andrea went through she felt that she went from an Average Joe to a runner. She couldn’t be any happier with her finish and has felt that this experience provided her with an empowering feeling and a sense of accomplishment.

Why did you want to run a marathon?

Andrea & her mom

Andrea: Insanity! haha jk My mom is a runner and has run 35ish marathons in her 58 years of life.  This is how she actually plans her vacations.  I have always been active playing sports in high school, working out and running a couple miles a week in college and then I settled into adulthood post college.  I wasn’t working out as much as I liked to and decided that the only way I could make time was to force myself to stick to a training schedule. After training for my first 10K I just wanted to reach new goals and see what I could push myself to do.  Not to mention that I wanted to make my mom proud. 

How did you pick which marathon would be your first?
I wanted my first and possible only marathon to be an adventure that I would never forget so I decided on the Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans marathon since it is only 2 hours away from my home in Mobile, AL making it very convenient and familiar but not in my own backyard.  Plus living in the south I would much rather train in the mild winters than in the hot and humid summer months. 

How many miles a week were you running / training?
I trained for 15 weeks using the Nike+ coaching programs and averaged 30 plus miles/ week. 

When you decided to run the marathon what was the first thing you did?
Found a training plan and mapped out my life for the next 15 weeks.  I began to drive my long runs to map my course and tried to figure out how I was going to juggle a life, running and a career. Shortly after training I began to tell everyone and follow other marathoners on Twitter to surround myself with positive reinforcement.

What was the hardest thing about preparing for the marathon?
Finding the time to fit in all of the miles/ hours of training following by the training brick wall.  I also got a cold around week 13 which wasn’t the must fun either.  

What kept you motivated through the training?
Knowing that I couldn’t back out b/c I had put it on FaceBook and Twitter for all of my friends, family, coworkers and the world to see! Best motivation ever!! 

the final stretch

Most enjoyable moment of the marathon?
Best moment was crossing the finish line, but some of my most enjoyable memories was seeing my mom at mile 13 where she met me to run the rest of the distance with me, and hearing the spectators along the course cheer on complete and total strangers, offer them jelly beans, donut holes, pb&j, martinis, and reading their signs (favorite and most memorable was a guy holding a sign that said Free Performance Enhancing Hugs). Also I’ll never forget when I was at mile 22, knee was killing me making me slow down, and as I was talking to my mom I said something along the lines of the next time I run a marathon… and my mom just burst into laughter.  For the longest time i told her she was crazy and that I would never do a marathon and was doing it right then with her and just said I was going to do it again! A marathon is really just about enjoying the distance.

Again a big congrats to Andrea for taking on her first 26.2 mile race. Like most runners Andrea is already looking for her next marathon. She is open to any suggestions and recommendations to races she should consider running. Follow her on Twitter and let her know which should be her next race.

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