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Gettysburg Marathon Runner’s Journey

Gettysburg Marathon Runner's Journey

Meet Katie, who is getting ready for the Gettysburg Blue-Gray Marathon on April 30, 2023. She is already an accomplished runner with a half marathon PR of 1:48. In college, Katie struggled with an eating disorder that caused her long periods of injuries. It wasn’t until her late 20s that she decided she enjoyed working out, and that running was a contributor to her joy. Katie balances a time-intensive job in the school system with marathon training. This is the latest article in this Gettysburg Marathon Runner’s Journey.

The previous three articles are here:

How Has Training Been Going?

Training has geen going well. I missed maybe 2-3 runs in the 16-week training cycle and cut one short.ย But I only missed the runs because I was being cautious about pains that I was afraid would turn into injuries. Since I’m running on Sunday, that didn’t happen, but I erred on the side of caution.

My plan was conservative โ€“ it only prescribed distances to hit on each run and didn’t include workouts. However, I did opt to do a workout almost every week. I alternated between speedwork and hill repeats as my go-to workouts. There were a few weeks where it didn’t happen, and I just hit some steady/easy runs. I’m usually guaranteed a workout once a week, even if there isnโ€™t a race to train for. I could tell that there were weeks when my body was too tired, or I felt on the brink of hurting myself. So my motto the last 16 weeks was: “err on the side of caution.” If I had a specific time goal in mind perhaps I wouldn’t have been so relaxed, but I want to cross that finish line.

I have also been going to my chiropractor every other week, which has been a lifesaver.ย 

What Was Your Longest Run? What Made You Feel The Most Confident?ย 

My longest run was 20 miles and it sucked. I had one great 18-miler, one crappy 18-miler, and one crappy 20-miler. Obviously, I didn’t want the 20-miler to be bad, but it was. Getting dizzy and nauseous wasn’t on the plan. I had to walk more the last few miles than I would have liked. I had eaten plenty before my run, drank water and Gatorade, and took five gels. But it was humid that day โ€“ to the point where I was wringing out my shorts โ€“ so I’m sure that had something to do with it.

Training over the winter months meant running in almost no heat and humidity (which is the way I like it!) so perhaps my body wasn’t ready for that drastic of a change in weather. But it got done. The good 18-miler certainly made me feel confident, and then last Sunday was my last “long” run (nine miles) and I felt GREAT. I was running easy/based on effort and my pace was nearly 45 seconds faster than my 20-miler. Obviously I expected to be faster when I was only running nine miles, but everything felt easy last Sunday, so I’m hoping that will be the case this Sunday.

I know the marathon is NEVER easy, but I’d prefer not to feel like trash for the last few miles. Tired? In a bit of physical pain? Sure. I just don’t want to be dizzy, nauseous, and hating my life like the state I was in for the 20-miler!

How Has Fueling Been? Do You Have A Game Plan For The Marathon?ย 

Fueling has been good. I will have a bagel and Gatorade with a side of Immodium before the race. Then I’m alternating Maurten gels (caffeine, non-caffeine). I get thirsty during my runs, so I am definitely going to make a point of stopping at every water/gatorade station (located every two miles).

Have You Had Any Struggles In The Last Month?

No struggles, minus some bad long runs. I’ve had a few twinges and aches, but honestly, I am more than shocked that I will run a marathon on Sunday. I’ve run three half marathons but each time I’ve tried to train for more than that, I always got hurt.

So merely being at the start line on Sunday is a BIG deal for me. I don’t think I strength-trained enough โ€“ I had hoped to hit two full-body strength sessions a week but dropped that to one whole body and one upper/core workout somewhere in the middle of my training. I was physically so tired the last month. Unsurprisingly, my legs were tired, and I just wanted to nap every day (which was sadly not feasible). Consequently, the strength training took a hit.

How Do You Feel About The Marathon?ย 

I’m nervous and excited. But I have no idea why I thought one hotel room for myself, my husband, and my two stepdaughters was a good idea. I’m cheap, so I know why I did it. But that was not my smartest decision. So I will prioritize sleep on Friday night and do the best I can to get adequate rest on Saturday night. I figured I’d be nervous; the rest would be hard to come by anyway. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself to make myself feel better for making the poor decision on one hotel room!



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.