Hey everyone! Guess what y’all?! I’m finally a marathoner! On today’s episode, I will tell you how it went and what my next big adventure will be!

Where to start? So much I want to say about this large undertaking. First, I want to thank Justin for putting up with me and my 4 am wake-ups for the past few months. And my BRP (best running pal) Brittany for being my sounding board and allowing me to quit about 724 times. I could not have done this without either of them!

I’m also grateful to the running companies that got me through this. I put many miles on my shoes and hydration vests. And I ate a bunch of chews and gels. Nice to have a break from those now!

Let’s start on Saturday, the day before the planned marathon attempt. I woke up in a minor panic thinking it was Sunday and I had nothing ready! 

Thankfully it was only for like two seconds.

Saturday was a very east three miles. I took my dog and she goes on her own schedule. The rest of the day was getting all my gear charged and fuel ready. Once that was done, I relaxed. Well, relaxed for me!

So now for the actual race day!

I woke up earlier than planned so I took my time eating breakfast then got ready and headed out around 5 am. My goal had been to be out by 6 am at the latest. So a pretty good start!bAs it was dark out, I made sure I had my headlamp. Safety first!

I had most of my route figured out so I stuck to the plan. The only part I didn’t really plan was about the last 5k. I figured I could head home, and circle a few blocks as needed but wanted to make sure I’d be close to home when I finished.

The first half went by pretty quickly. I had my podcast going and I just allowed myself to settle into a conservative pace. I passed a few people out running or walking so I would pretend they were doing the same race I was. 

At about 12 miles, my crew showed up. And they are the best! Justin and Shadow met me at a wetland area to take my headlamp and swap out my Skratch bottles. I ended up walking with them for about a mile through the wetland. I was feeling strong at this point. I didn’t need to walk. It was a nice way to include my family and biggest supporters while I was running my marathon. 

It did feel a little lonely when we first split up but I turned my podcast back on and started to run again. I felt pretty good for miles 13 through 20. My hips started to tighten up around mile 20. I did stop a few times to stretch them. I also walked mile 23 and 25. I probably could have kept running them but my hips were tight and my feet were tired. It was nice to have a little break.

I was looking at my watch during mile 25 and going, “I need to run the last 1.2 miles to try to not roll into six hours”. I even thought I should start running now but there seemed to be a disconnect between my brain and legs. I kept walking.

As soon as I hit 26, I ran. I pushed as much as I could but I didn’t make it under six hours. BUT I finished. And that was the important part. It took me six hours and two minutes. I know I have more in me. I know I could do much better time-wise especially if it was a live, not virtual race. 

It’s hard to run 26.2 miles alone. Everyone always says the last 10k is run with the heart. That it’s the hardest part of a marathon. They aren’t wrong but for me, it was mentally hard, not physically hard. At mile 23 I kept thinking I should quit and just go home. But I had run 23 miles and there were only 3 to go so I needed to keep going. I had to pump myself up. I did have a music playlist ready but didn’t use it. I kept with the podcasts.

I ran slow and took walk breaks because I wanted to make sure I finished. I stopped to stretch a few times. But I know I have more to give. I was able to push myself for the last 1.2 miles. I was tired and my feet were tired but I wasn’t completely exhausted. 

I made sure to fuel with gels or chews every four miles. I did skip mile 24, I’m not sure if another gel would have made a difference at that point. Maybe it would have helped me run in mile 25, maybe not. I sipped water at mile one and every even mile after. Each odd mile I sipped Skratch. I think my fueling strategy has always worked well for me in half marathons and helped immensely for the full. 

Whew! That was a lot! Let’s take a quick ad break.


So what’s next for me?

I decided to hire a coach. She had me take two weeks off after the marathon. The first week was fine. I was sore the first few days. The second week was harder. I was going a little stir crazy. What do non-marathon runners do with all this spare time?!?

The first day of official coaching is the day this podcast will be released. Maybe November’s podcast will talk about how my first month of coaching went!

My next big goal is a 50k in March 2022. Then I think I’ll attack an in-person marathon in February 2023 to see what I can do with a coach and a live race to push me. 

What are your running goals for 2022?


For spooky szn I read Psycho by Robert Bloch. I give it five stars. I’ve seen the moves and recently watched Bates Motel so figured it was time to read the source material. Despite knowing the story and what was going to happen, Bloch created suspense that made me want to keep reading. 

Currently, I’m reading The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. I once started watching the 1999 movie but do not recall actually finishing it. I haven’t watched the 1963 movie or the Netflix tv show yet so the book is all new to me. The book starts off a bit slow but it’s building the background of the characters and the house. So far I am really enjoying it and would recommend it. 

Lastly, I finally gave in and signed up for Hulu. I really wanted to hop on the bandwagon of Only Murders in the Building (we haven’t watched yet) and all the other shows I’ve missed out on over the years. Like the rest of The Mindy Project. 

I did start Superstore! I had wanted to watch it when it came out but forgot to set the DVR and then couldn’t find it anywhere but Hulu to catch up with so I never watched. I started it on my rest week and got through most of season two. It cracks me up! It is definitely not realistic but whatever. It’s hilarious. Plus all of the actors are so great!

I’ve started filling up my Hulu list. What should I add? Are there any hidden gems I can’t miss out on??


And that’s all for this week. I’m a marathoner now. I feel so relieved to finally have all those did not starts behind me and know that I can do this! 

If you enjoyed this podcast, be sure to give it a follow. New episodes will air monthly on the last Monday of the month. I plan to keep this schedule for a while since I have so many other things going on. In the meantime, you can find me on Youtube, Twitter, and TikTok at runs on espresso and Instagram at runs_on_espresso.

If you like this podcast, I’d appreciate a rate and review wherever you listen. And be sure to share it with anyone you think might enjoy it. 

If you have a show idea, something you’d like to hear more about, drop me a message at anchor.fm/runsonespresso or email jenna@runsonespresso.com I look forward to hearing your ideas! 

Until next month, I hope your runs are as strong as your coffee!

Categories: Podcast


Jenna Volden has a degree in business and has spent the last 10 plus years working for others. She believes it is time to start her own photography and writing business. She enjoys running, coffee and helping others achieve their goals. Gluten-free foods are a lifestyle, not a choice, for her due to celiac disease. She is currently based in Phoenix, Arizona.