My finisher’s medal from the 2014 Carlsbad Marathon

Last week I started the 18-week training program that will take me to my 8th marathon. On January 19th, I will be running the Carlsbad Marathon (just north of San Diego). I am beyond excited to get back into a solid training regime (remind me I said that at week 10…) Additionally, there are just a few things that make this race extra special.

For starters, the Carlsbad Marathon is the first marathon I ever ran. I completed this race in 2014. I had trained for it, but had trained on flat surfaces. Race day came and I had to face rolling hills that I was not prepared for. Of course, I finished (after a mini break down during miles 18-22). However, when I got out of bed the next morning, I immediately fell down. 26.2 miles of rolling hills had me so stiff and sore that I literally could not move my legs (big problem for someone with a small bladder). This may go without saying, but my training plan this time around is going to include significant hill work.

There are very few marathons that take place in the winter in Michigan. For obvious reasons, the majority of Michigan races take place in the spring, summer, and fall. This means, if you are training for a spring marathon, you have to train throughout the grueling winter. If you are running a fall marathon, most of your training takes place during our humid summers. If you are at all like me, cold weather training is preferred. I would rather run in -20 degree windchill (totally normal in Northern Michigan) than 80 degrees with humidity. I get unreasonably grumpy about running in heat and humidity. However, with a January marathon, I will be completing most of my training in fall weather. This is going to be amazing.

The most significant reason I’m heading back to the Carlsbad Marathon is my brother and his girlfriend, Bryan and Lauren. I ran the 2014 Carlsbad with Bryan. This past summer, I learned that Lauren had signed up for the 2020 Carlsbad. This is going to be her very first marathon and I am beyond excited to witness her complete it. So obviously, when I discovered that two of my favorite people are running an incredibly scenic marathon on the Pacific Ocean, I had to crash the party.

Additionally, this is the first time I have participated in a fundraiser for a marathon. The nonprofit, Still I Run, is something I am passionate about. I have a goal to raise $1000 for them as I train for and complete this race. You can read more about my fundraising efforts here.

Needless to say, I am stoked. My first marathon was literally life-changing. I’m an addicted marathoner and cannot wait to get back to where it all began. Plus, I have the added bonus of visiting Southern California in January.

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