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Category: Running

My First Marathon – The Gear And Fuel I Used

When I was a kid, I always thought we were either capable to play a sport, or not. If you weren't very good at the sport, felt uncomfortable, chaffed, got a stomach ache, experienced soreness, anything that was feeling great, it meant you shouldn't be doing that activity.  Even if I really enjoyed it, if it didn't feel euphoric in every moment, then it wasn't for me. So I started, and quit, a lot of sports. Tennis, volleyball, track, basketball. I loved playing those so much, but I wasn't good at any of them, I experienced side cramps quickly, dealt with chaffing and soreness, and I didn't see anyone else experience the same. In my eyes, everyone else playing could wear, eat, do anything and still feel 100%. I just wasn't meant to do those things. So I became a very experienced quitter. 

I wish I could go back and shake young Jessica. Let her know that everyone feels those things at some point, and almost every one of those things can be helped. With the right tools, supplements and recovery methods, you can feel great and have fun. And if your legs are sore after a long run? They're supposed to be! You're doing something new!

I can't go back in time and help my younger self, but I work hard to teach my kids these lessons. And now, after completing my first marathon, which I always was certain to be impossible, I can move forward with a different outlook. So here are all the things I found to be most helpful for my marathon, as well as some things that went awry. I've also found new items in my current training that I'll share. I hope this helps any of you who are starting your journey. Or, if you're feeling defeated in any way, maybe try some of these things to get you feeling like your happy, running (or walking) self again.

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First Time Marathon Training – The Exercise

The questions I was asked the most when sharing my running journey on social media were "How do you know how to train? When do you run? How much do you run? Do you do other exercise as well?".

So let's break down the exercise portion of marathon training. I'll be honest, this is only part of the training. There's more than just becoming physically strong enough to do 26.2 miles. 

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I Ran A Freaking Marathon! Why?!

On July 27th, 2021, I signed up to run my first marathon. While sitting in a pirate themed restaurant in Legoland Florida, I obsessively debated with myself about whether or not this was an awful idea. Finally, the fear that the decision could be made for me if it sold out before I had the chance to book, pushed me over the edge, and I submitted the registration for Derek and I to run the Walt Disney World Marathon on January 9th, 2022. 26.2 miles of running (and walking) through all 4 parks at Disney World. The farthest I've run before this? 13.1 miles. 3 half marathons of the last 5 years, 1 of them great, 2 of them very not-great

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