After signing up for the New York City Marathon 6 months ago, I had no clue where life would take me.  I just knew come November 3rd I would be running my guts out.  Little did I know that I would move from NY to VA to Tx and be enroute to NJ all in that time frame.  It’s funny because I’m constantly asked if I’m more stressed with the amount of moving I’ve done…and I’m not.  I’m the least stressed I’ve been in years.


Would I have not signed up for the race had I known that?

No.  I still would because I live life on the edge.

As you know on Sunday I am running my first marathon.  For some people a marathon isn’t a big deal but for me it is.   After all the training and life turmoil I have gone through, I’m happy to make it to the starting line injury free (knock on wood since I’m scheduling this post for Friday…).  Since my cyst and cortisone shot just over a year ago I have manged to stay injury free.  The only two exceptions were when a cyclist hit me and when my knee bothered me (which lasted three days with rest…). I have learned a lot about myself and training in the last year to manage this.  When I signed up for NYCM in May, I didn’t truly believe I would make it to the starting line without any injury or niggles.  I have learned when running is and isn’t worth it.  Why push the pace or run now when I can save it for the marathon and be well rested?

My goal for my first marathon has always been to finish injury free.  I don’t know how I’ll feel after that 20 mile point and I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself.  There will always be other races, other marathons that I can says yes 3:10 is a perfect goal.  Or yes X:XX is a great concrete goal.  Right now my goal is to finish and in my dreams being close to 3:10.

With a morning wake up 5 hours before the race as well as standing in the cold, the hidden hills and not so hidden bridges as well as the crowd (1000 people in the same corral!) I can only imagine what will happen.  I can guarantee I will give it my best shot and go from there.

Finishing your first marathon is a great accomplishment and should never be taking lightly.  As dad told me once (while training for one of his Shamrock Fulls), You should always enjoy the process and training cycle as more then the actual race.  You put so much time and life into that training that you have to enjoy it.  Your race is a single morning.  If you can walk away from the race you are fine.

So that has always been my goal.

I want to finish the same way I finished the Plattsburgh half marathon two years ago.

I want to finish the same way I finished the Plattsburgh half marathon two years ago.

I would also like to take a second to thank everyone that has supported me (in real life and blogging). 

First my parents and family.  My dad drove all the way up to NY with me to watch and my brother came from school to watch and support me.  Also my dad for taking about 100 pictures when I say “it’s for the blog”.  I have asked my dad for advice along the way and I know I can always count on him for real advice.  Though my mom doesn’t run she supports me and my training. I am truly lucky that I have a strong backbone of support from my family.



Tim, of course, for running a large amount of my later miles with me and supporting me.  I was very lucky that most of my 20 milers he either ran with me or rode his bike alongside of me.  That made them go by so much quicker but also pushed me to do what I needed to do throughout the run.  He put up with my whining, complaining, several girl cry runs and several near attacks by dogs.  I also get extremely angry while running sometimes and things escalate quickly…in my mind (as to why I’ll probably never join a running group.).  For those who don’t know Tim drove back to East with me two weeks early so I didn’t have to alone, flew back to Texas and is now driving back again.  He is doing the same two drives I did…in the matter of two weeks.


Next, for everyone that helped and gave me advice.  There are far too many people to mention but I found myself constantly asking for advice from people I truly admire and that inspire me.  Jen, Kris L, Jason, Kevin, Andrew H., Shannon, Kailey and Mollie are a few people that come to mind.  Seriously thank you for putting up with my 100 questions and thank you for just being you…ie inspirational and awesome.

Tim’s family has always been so supportive of my running.  They are always asking how I’m doing, supporting me and it’s so nice to be so close with them too.

Oiselle for being a great backbone of support.  The Bird really is the word.  I can honestly say the company, the people and everything about them is genuine and so supportive.


Next are Hampton Roads runners who I have grown so close with as well as dailymile friends supporting me.  I try to give up dailymile but I’m too invested in your training and each of your journeys to do that.

Finally I would like to thank some of my closest friends and without you guys I would be a mess in real life and running life.  I know this is sappy but I never thought I would make it to the starting line of a marathon without the support of you guys.  Laura A., Laura S., Heather, Theresa and Marie thank you for your constant support.  Though Anna is in China, she routinely checks up on me and I cannot wait to see you next summer!




I know I missed a lot of people but seriously I could not have made it to the starting line of my dream race without each and every person in my life. 

I am truly blessed (proper blogging technique) and happy.  All that is left to do is pick up my number, relax and make it to the finish line as happy as I am right now.  If it’s a 3:10 I’m happy.  If it’s a 4:10 I’m happy.  As long as I make it through my dream race happy and injury free my goal of finishing my first marathon will be accomplished.  Sappy LOLZ out. 

 So thank you. 


52 responses

  1. I’m SO excited for you!!! Have an amazing time! I’m sure you’re going to love it (more than I thought anyone could love running for that long…) GOOD LUCK! 🙂

  2. What a sweet, thoughtful post! I’ve said it before, but your dad is a wise man! His advice (and humor) always seems dead on! NYCM is going to be a great experience because you will make it that way! Can’t wait for you to become a marathoner!!

  3. XOXO Mr. H said it best, you have to enjoy the journey and you did! Now the race is your reward. Go have fun running through screaming fans in NYC 😉

  4. You will do great, Hollie! In terms of Ironman training, the official statistic says triathletes spend 95 percent of their time training and 5 percent racing (like doing the actual race), and I’m sure it’s close for marathoners as well. Sending you speedy and positive vibes, and I’ll be on the lookout for you at mile 17.5! 🙂

  5. So much thanks! I think you are an amazing person. How lucky am I to have shared some of those training miles with you! Rock that race! Enjoy the energy from each person cheering. Revel the finish.

  6. You’ll do great in the marathon, Hollie. It’s good to have realistic expectations because I trained really hard and the last 6 miles were so tough (I even went to 22 in training), and you are so right, you never know how the last 6 miles will feel. Either way, you are running a marathon in NYC so regardless of what the finish clock says you will have a great time.

    It’s awesome you have so many supportive people in your life and aren’t taking it for granted. My mom’s still fussing at me for running a marathon and it was last month (parental problems!).

  7. Your first marathon is most definitely a big deal! You trained for months, and put everything you have into one morning. I ran my first marathon a couple of weeks ago and what seems like such a long race will be over before you know it, soak up every second!! I went into my race the same way you did, with a dream of a finish time but no bearings to it, just wanting to finish standing up, and I ended up meeting my goal. You never know what can transpire, stay positive and relaxed (easier said than done!) and have a great race!!!
    Can’t wait to hear all about it after 🙂

  8. Good Luck! Have fun with it! I also have the dream to run a full but haven’t developed the courage to actually sign up for one, you are an inspiration to me! Can’t wait to read about how it goes! Enjoy it!

  9. I think finishing is a huge accomplishment in itself like you said! So no matter the time you have a right to be proud and really happy with your performance! I didn’t have a chance to comment on your post yesterday but I just wanted to let you know I really enjoyed it and I think your attitude about the taper and your whole race in General is very admirable.

  10. Good Luck this weekend!!!! I’ll be in NY watching the race (in true running nerd fashion, my husband & I plan trips around marathons….) I’ll be sure to cheer loud if I see you!!!

  11. I don’t comment much but read your blog every day and follow you on instagram and twitter…I really respect and admire you as a runner (and a person 🙂 and hope you have an AMAZING race experience!!!

    And if you ever run a race in Pittsburgh again I will come cheer and make a sign for you, I am in the general Pgh area! 🙂

    Best of luck!!!

  12. You’re going to be amazing Hollie! I’m beyond excited for you and cannot wait to read all about your adventure!!! This will be a race to remember, and being able to see all of your loved ones at the finish? Beyond cool! 🙂 Have a blast and best of luck!!!

  13. You will do great, regardless of your time! I’ll be proud of you for finishing even if it takes 16hrs (but I don’t think it will)! Good luck!

  14. Awwr too sweet! I really am excited for you, and I’m wishing you all the best in NYC! I’ve never been too interested in most people’s training or races, but I’ve always enjoyed reading about yours. Good luck, Hollie!

  15. Good luck Hollie!! I actually think you are going to BLOW that 3:10 goal out of the water….I feel like I know you too well, and you will be closer to 3, if not under. I will be thinking of you! XO

  16. i am so excited for you. I’d kill to be in NYC and watch the marathon…. and to see you finish strong. I love your approach to finish happy most importantly. I truly believe you have a 3:10 in you though. Best of luck and GOD SPEED! <3

  17. Just enjoy it and take it all in. Your first marathon will always be special. Crossing that finish line is something amazing. My first, and only, marathon was almost four years ago and I can still picture crossing that finish line.

  18. This is better than any Oscar speech 😉

    Naw, you never come off as sappy – you’re too sincere for that. And you’re going to have a fantastic race in NYC – I’m so excited for the recap already.


  19. You know I will be thinking of you from the second I wake up and all through my run. I think the best thing is to know you have others running, whether a race or not. Takes the pressure out of the course that you are one. Whatever it is, I know you will give it your all. Whatever the outcome may be. Can you believe it is here/

  20. First of all, I hope you get the house! Fingers crossed for you! And, good luck this weekend. I hope to finish an hour after you 🙂

  21. Hollie-
    I have no idea how I’ve come to “follow” you over the past year, but I suspect I echo the voice of all the random people you inspire. I never comment (as I’m guessing the 100x of your inspirees don’t), but tonight I want you to know that we (all the randoms), will all be following you on Sunday. Tuck it in your sports bra and remember it at 22. We are all behind you! Someday, perhaps we’ll meet (Boston 2015?….assuming I reBQ). Until then, thank you for the levity… in running and life.

    Relish it and kill it Sunday (hopefully, in that order).

      • Boston is next full with a few 13.1s in between (Austin in Feb…but ur not in TX anymore are you?). If I can ever get my training act together, I hope to qualify for ING at one of them. I prefer to tri. With your swimming pedigree, I imagine you’ll eventually succumb to the lure too. I also REALLY hate to bike, but am learning to embrace it as part of the challenge. I’m 40yr old mom of 3, so no blog. Not that being old[er] is a reasonable excuse for that, but I’m going with it. 😉

        Enjoy Sunday. I’m cheering for you from Indiana!

  22. Hollie! GOOD LUCK- Glenn & I will both be cheering for you from Indiana tomorrow! Your training has been tough and you have a 3:10 in you! But like you said- no matter what happens, you are finishing your first marathon and that will be an amazing experience. I’m really excited for you!!

  23. I’m so glad we’ve become friends over this past year. I can’t wait to see what you do tomorrow, and in the future. This is just the start of your journey 🙂

  24. So sappy… I love this post though, it’s pretty humbling to think of all the people in your life that have contributed to helping you get where you’re at (especially before such a big race). Thanks for the shout out, Hollie 🙂

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