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First-Time Marathoner Gina: Training Update

First-Time Marathoner Gina's Journey To The NYC Marathon

First-time marathoner Gina has been training and fundraising for the New York City Marathon in November. This will be Gina’s first marathon, but she is not just training. She is also fundraising for Eluna, an organization that supports children impacted by a loved one’s addiction.

Gina works as a program manager for an intensive children’s mental health program and runs an overnight camp for children who have been affected by addiction in their families. Some days can be stressful, and, along with being on call, this can affect her running. You can read her first interview here. Her second interview goes into trying to balance running, work, and strength training. Finally, the third interview talks about her current training plan as she marathon trains for the first time. With only a month left until New York City Marathon, we are excited to check in. 

How Has Your Training Been Going? 

I would say things are going okay! I hit a snag earlier in the month when I got sick for about ten days. I ended up skipping a run and then just running easy for about a few runs until I actually felt better. It is really nice to have a coach when figuring that out because I probably have tried to gut it out even though I literally could not breathe without coughing. I’m back on track now, as this week was a planned cutback week, which is nice after being sick.

The other piece is work has been a little wild. I was thankful for work getting slower recently because I’ve been so busy the last few months. I am a program manager for an intensive children’s mental health program and manage a team of 10 therapists, care coordinators, and peer counselors working with children. The children here have complex cognitive and behavioral health needs.

Work will continue to slow down soon, though. Due to the hours, I’ve been doing many more treadmill runs, which I hate, but it’s already too dark in the morning to run in the dark. I don’t play around with running in the dark around here. 

What Has Made Work So Busy Lately?

Honestly, I feel like work is always busy because we’re nonprofit, staffing is hard, etc. But recently, the start of school is always hard for our client population, so people tend to need more support. I also attended an overnight camp loosely affiliated with work (actually for the nonprofit in fundraising for, Eluna Network!).

Camp is great, and it’s such a good cause, but not ideal for marathon training since it was very little sleep and a couple of days away from home (I ran the morning I left, took the next day off, then did my run when I got back the third day). So in short, work is busy with lots of busy things, and also that’s pretty normal. It’s my first time balancing marathon training with it, which is a lot more time intensive than half marathon training. 

With The Marathon Just Over One Month Away, How Are You Feeling? 

I will say I feel like I’m finally feeling a little fitter. Runs are feeling better/stronger and I’ve been focusing on better sleep and nutrition since we’re getting closer to race day.

Even with work and life stress, my runs have all started to feel good. I’m hitting paces in long workouts and feel I’m recovering well. Easy runs are feeling easier. Even the definition of a “short easy run” is getting longer and faster. I definitely feel like I’m getting fitter even if my body is tired, which I hear is normal when training for a marathon.

With just a month to go, we are really looking forward to seeing how Gina’s taper and marathon goes. We are looking forward to seeing how she continues to balance a heavy workload with a time intensive sport. 



Hollie is a runner, hiker, swimmer, residing in California. She has worked in run specialty for nearly 8 years and has fit hundreds of people for shoes. Outside of the running world, she enjoys the general aviation world, her two cats, and spending time with her spouse.