My Bucket List – Running a Marathon and Advice for Novices

by Carrie with Children with 23 comments

This morning was the 115th running of the Boston Marathon.  The winner crossed the finish line at 2:03:02.  How cool is that?!

Wanna know a secret? I’ve always wanted to run a marathon. The catch?   I’m not a runner….I’ve probably never run more than a mile at one time.  I’m not even sure how running a marathon ended up on my bucket list, except that I think it would be an amazing accomplishment. And even though I’m not a runner – one day I want to run the Walt Disney World marathon that takes you through all the parks.

A few years ago, I set my goals small and decided a 5k was a great way for a non-runner to get their feet wet.  I even went as far as buying fancy, running shoes and a “how-to” book for non-runners in need of a training schedule.  I think I lasted two weeks.  I really wish I had stuck with it.  Maybe I’ll pick it up again now that the seasons are changing and it’s starting to warm up outside!

Are you a runner?  What advice do you have for a novice like myself?

And…the most important question of the day…have you ever run a marathonTell us all about it!


  • Ashley @ Mama of All Trades

    I’m training for a Disney Half Marathon, but I am not a runner. In fact, I hate running, lol. But, it’s something I can do for just me and is an excuse to get back to WDW.

    If you’re looking for some inspiration Run Like a Mother is an amazing book. I use Galloway for training. The run/walk/run method is exactly what I need to motivate me to go 13.1 miles.

    • Carrie with Children

      Thanks for the tip Ashley! I’ll have to look for that book! I’ve heard a lot of great things about the Galloway training stuff too!

  • Beth

    I am not a runner. Like, at all.

    But, I have a treadmill (bought because it’s cold outside, and I jiggle too much to run in public).

    I have the couch 2 5k app on the ipod, also have the nike one. Just need the energy to use it every day. Heck, I’d be happy with every other day.

    Good luck!

    • Carrie with Children

      Beth – I’ve never heard of the couch 2 5k app! I’m going to have to look for it! Sounds like it might be just what I need! Thanks for the scoop!

  • Jenny @ Crash Test Mommy

    I’ve done about 5 weeks of the Couch to 5K program two times. I’ve had to stop both times due to knee issues. I’ve pretty much permanently resigned myself to power walking.

    My cousin recently ran a half-marathon at WDW, and she was in training for her first full marathon but had to cut back because of tendonitis and other overuse injuries.

    Marathons take such massive mental and physical fortitude! My hat’s off to anyone who does it!

    • Carrie with Children

      I had tendonitis in my knees years ago from my years growing up as a dancer. I’m hoping that it’s been so long, that maybe I’m past it now!? Maybe? (A girl can dream!) If not, maybe you and I ca power walk together! 🙂

      I think I’ll start small with a 5k. Good to know about the Couch to 5k program!

  • MomofTwo

    I recently ran my first 10K after beginning running only 9 months ago. I started out with a group and we met weekly and did the C25K. It worked well and at the end of the program we were signed up to run our first 5K. We were signed up after 3 weeks of training. After we completed that, one of the people in the group kept running with me and we signed up for our 2nd 5K a month after that. As winter set in, we lost motivation, but I set the goal to run a 10K and asked her to train with me and she accepted and we came up with a training plan and schedule completed our first 10K. We have another 5K coming up in almost 2 weeks and are not working on increasing our 5K speed.

    So, three things I hope you take from this:
    * Find someone to train with so you can motivate each other
    * Have a plan/schedule of what you will do, there are lots of websites out there that have plans already made up
    * Have an end goal

    For me it helps that I have paid to participate in these races because I don’t want to throw away my money.

    Also, 9 months ago I took my weight and various body measurements and every 3 months I would do it again. The last 3 months when we kicked it up to a 10K I really saw some change and that is really motivating me to keep it up.

    Hope this helps!

    • Carrie with Children

      Wow! Thanks for the great advice! Congrats on completing your first 10K – what a huge accomplishment!

      I agree with you – I think it would help me if I paid to participate in advanced. I wouldn’t be throwing money away!

      I appreciate your thoughts – so helpful!

  • MomofTwo

    I meant we were NOW working on increasing our 5K speed.

  • Mary

    1 – Set specific dates as goals. For me, I have to set race dates as my goals. Once I’ve paid the entry fee, I know I’m committed to doing it.
    2 – Get a friend to commit to doing each “small” race with you. Once you finish a race, you want someone to discuss it with. (Trust me on this – runners are boring to non-runners!) If none of your current friends are runners, sign up for a running class. Your classmates and teachers will be great motivators as well.
    3 – Bring your ego with you. This sounds odd, but it’s what keeps me going during races. I know that I don’t want to be last, and that helps me set my pace. Even during training, I make it a point to run in populated areas (good rule of thumb anyways), and I want others to notice that I’m sticking with it (it’s just accountability for me).
    4 – Start small, and vary your route. I hate running on the treadmill and will only do so in dire situations. I also hate seeing the same scenery on every run in my neighborhood. You may even want to drive to a different neighborhood to alleviate boredom.
    Good luck!

    • Carrie with Children

      Mary – This is fantastic advice! I especially like the part about runners are boring to non-runners! 🙂

      I’m not sure I’d be cut out for treadmill running, I need to see scenery and a change of pace!

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing with us!

  • Tara@ThatsaWrap

    I have to admit it would so be part of my bucket list to but I am not a runner at all! No matter how hard I have tried my body just says No. I figure my goals need to be to do walks, like fund raising walks or awareness walks. As bad as I want to do it I think for me I have to be realistic and it is not worth the pain or injury each time I try. So as you cross the finish line one day turn around and wave at all us power walkers. 🙂

    • Carrie with Children

      At least you can say you are exercising! That’s much more than I can say for myself lately! Power wallking is just as good! 🙂 And I’m sure I won’t be a fast runner, so I probably won’t be too far ahead of you!

  • Kimberly

    I’m not a runner either but have always wanted to be. I’m starting to run (sort of) now, I’m just starting out small and working up to bigger goals.

  • Krafty Max Originals

    Hop’pin by from ‘Fun Tuesday Hop!’. I’m following your blog now, wont you please come and follow me back?? ~KM

    Krafty Max Originals

  • DIStherapy

    Hi Carrie-
    Hopping over from the BM April Blog Hop. I know EXACTLY how you feel. You might want to read about my first run (just a 5K, mind you) at
    If I can do it… Good luck!

    • Carrie with Children

      Thank you so much for sharing your story! That is such a great accomplishment! Maybe one day I’ll be writing my own post about finishing a 5k! I hope so 🙂


    Good for you for wanting to do it! That’s the first step, you know 😉

    I did my first marathon with Team in Training. They are a great organization and do an amazing job fundraising for leukemia and lymphoma AND training you for a marathon! You might check them out.

    I blog a little about my running… I am doing a 7.5 mile (12K) race on May 15th. Wish me luck! lol

    • Carrie with Children

      Oh thanks for the scoop! I’ve never heard of Team in Training! I’ll have to check it out!

      Good luck on your first 12K – that is exciting! You will be awesome!

  • Peyton

    Carrie – I’m just catching up! Just so you know, First Place Sports offers some local group running groups to train for specific distances and events. I was nervous the first time I did them because I am slower speed for longer distances, but they are great. Normally early evenings so after work (or when spouse is home) and they divide you in to groups based on your speed, so you do push yourself each week with speed and distance, but you are with others your same pace/level, so you don’t feel out of place. I was doing one for the half-marathon until I hurt my knee!

    • Carrie with Children

      Hey Peyton – Thanks for stopping by and sharing the scoop! We have one of their stores not far from my house – I’ll have to check it out! I didn’t realize they did running groups!

      Boo to hurting your knee 🙁 I’ve got terrible knees from my years of dancing, so I’m not so sure this whole running idea is good for me, but I want to give it a try! Hope your knee is healing okay!

  • Andi

    I’ve now completed five marathons – one while 16 weeks pregnant – but I am a total couch potato! I am obsessive about my training plans, but the real key to the marathon is motivation. Motivation will get you through the miles of training and the race day. Visit my blog sometime and click on the tag “running” or visit my (mostly dormant) running blog, MarathonAndi(dot)com to see what I mean.

    • Carrie with Children

      Andi – That is so awesome! Five marathons and one while pregnant – you are my hero!! I’m definitely going to check out your running blog – sounds great! We just rejoined the YMCA this week, so I’m hoping that will help motivate me too!