My September training did not go as plan.

We left off in August still feeling optimistic and that the marathon was achievable. I could not get in a long run the weekend after I wrote that. I had to look realistically where I was, how long I was sick, and the time until the marathon. I decided this wasn’t my year either. I kept trying to convince myself I could still do it but there wasn’t really an option.

So, I switched to the half marathon.

trainingAnd I even emailed the race to make the switch official. I looked at a few different plans and settled on a Hal Higdon one. I am not 100% happy with it but it best fit where I was fitness and mile wise. I also went to four days a week of running instead of 6-7. My body cannot handle that much running apparently. I was constantly exhausted and run down. Sometimes you have to listen to your body.

I also switched back to evening workouts the last week of September. I had hit the wall of how many weeks in a row I can get up at 4 am. I am in no way a morning person and can only force myself to wake up that early for so long. I was going to sleep at 8:30 and still struggling to get through the day. Funny how I get up at 5 am and go to bed at 10 pm but am still tired going to bed at 8:30 for 4 am. Bodies are weird.

I was extremely disappointed and upset that I yet again failed to get to the starting line of a marathon but I am starting to find the positives. With a half marathon, I will be done in half the time which means my favorite Vegas restaurant, Joe’s, will still be open when I finished and I can go eat a yummy steak and gluten-free brownie. Even if you don’t have to eat gluten-free, you should try this brownie. I am *kind of* an expert on brownies and this is one of the best! I will be less sore after and the trips to National Parks the next day won’t be as bad. I will be more relaxed and able to have more fun because I am not focused on a momentous moment.

The marathon dream is not going away.

I started thinking ahead and want to run a marathon in 2020. I will turn 40 that year. I will have plenty of time to train and build an even larger base. My plan is to hire a coach for 2019 to help me train for the task of 26.2 in 2020. I have my eye on the New Orleans Rock n Roll marathon. It’s another one that is recommended for beginners but has a much bigger time limit than even the Rock n Roll Arizona so I don’t have to worry about time.

I think a coach could help me be a better runner and work more with my fatigue issues than a generic plan. I’ve been running for long enough to know myself and I have made my own training plans before but the marathon is proving to be difficult for me to master. I believe four days a week with a slower ramp-up in long runs might be what I need. A coach could help determine my long run schedule better than me.


My journey to 26.2 isn’t over yet… it’s just beginning.

What is your biggest challenge in running?



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.