Monday, June 4, 2012

Marathon Tips Monday: Bridget Hughes Graber

Welcome to my new feature: Marathon Tips Monday.

I've invited marathoners to share their marathon stories, tips and advice with my readers. As runners, we can learn so much from each other. Yes, books and web sites and coaches are important, but reading about the experiences of everyday runners can provide you with that extra dose of motivation to carry you through your 26.2 miles.

Each Monday, I'll feature a different runner and this week, I bring you Bridget Hughes Graber.

Bridget Hughes Graber after finishing the New Jersey Marathon, May 2012

Bridget is a 38 year old mother of two -- Madeleine (7) and Aidan (3) -- and wife of Brian. She lives in upstate New York and blogs at Gabby Graber. In just over two years, Bridget has gone from not running at all to running a marathon -- proof positive that if you want to achieve a lofty goal you just need to get out there and do it!

How many marathons have you run?
One. Isn't that enough? Ha!

What was your favorite marathon?
The only one I ran...New Jersey Marathon

What is your marathon PR?

What is your favorite part of marathon training?
I loved that feeling of coming back after a run and going right to the training plan and crossing off the run. It was done! Check. It made me feel so accomplished.

I also loved having a different perspective of what was considered to be a "long" run and what was considered short. It always made me chuckle when I would say, "I only have to do 10 or 12 today." (As opposed to 15 or 18.). Isn't 10 or 12 long enough?

What is your least favorite part of training?
It was time consuming. I hated knowing it was going to take 3-4 hours to run the 18 and 20 mile runs. I would say to my husband, "Okay. I will be back in FOUR hours." I felt guilty. Call it mommy guilt. Luckily, my husband was supportive. But I still felt bad.

How long do you typically train for a marathon?
I started training in January for my marathon and the marathon was on May 6th. I think it was a 16 week plan. Looking back, I think that was a good amount of time. If I had trained any more I would have felt burnt out. I ran 3 or 4 days a week. My weekday runs were 5 miles. Then I did my long runs on Friday or Saturday.

What advice would you give to runners setting out to train for their first marathon?
Take it day by day. Don't look weeks ahead on your plan, or you will get overwhelmed. 
Break each run down into smaller segments. That makes the long runs feel manageable.
Run with friends.
Eat. Eat a lot. After all - that's the reward from all that training!

Are you currently training for a race and, if so, which one?
I am running the Boilermaker in July and then it will be time to start training for the Hudson Mohawk Half Marathon that is in October. I hope to do much better than I did in my other three half marathons. My goal is to run it in 2:10.

Do you have a "dream marathon" on your list that you'd love to run some day?
I would like to do Philly. But really - any dream marathon is one where I do it with my friends. I know that sounds corny - but my friends are what makes the race. Sharing that experience with a group of women is special. And that is what makes it feel like a dream come true!

Anything else you'd like to share?
Two years ago, I couldn't even run for 1 mile. Now look at me. I have come a long way. Thanks to the Happy Runner - I found a new passion and a great way to exercise. It's amazing what we can do when we train and when we put our minds to it! If I can do it - anyone can!

*   *   *

Great job, Bridget! Thanks for sharing your marathon story -- and I look forward to running the Boilermaker with you!

(Yup, Bridget and I are friends in real life so we'll both be running the Boilermaker for the second time this year. I can't wait!)

Do you have any questions you'd like to ask Bridget about her marathon experience? 
Want to send her fast running vibes for her upcoming races? 
Leave a comment and I'll pass it along!

Thanks for stopping by!

~ Felice

PS: If you would like to be featured on Marathon Tips Monday, send me an email at felicehalf at yahoo dot com.


macnic said...

Awesome job Bridget! We ran our first marathons on the same day and I agree with so many of your tips AND the mum guilt! Congrats and best of luck in your upcoming races!

Paulette said...

Great job on the marathon! I have run one so far and am doing my next one in 19 days. Ahhhh so close! I enjoyed reading your answers, and love the one about running one with friends. That really would be great!

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