Running & Fitness

2019 Marine Corps Marathon with Team in Training: What this is about for me!

Disclaimer: I received a waived $100.00 registration fee to Team in Training for the Marine Corps Marathon race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

To those of you who have donated to my Team in Training Fundraising page, THANK YOU SO MUCH! I am beyond grateful! I lost someone dear to me to leukemia over twenty years ago. The progress and research the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has done in the years since have been amazing  … and possibly could have saved her now, so again … THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!

Here’s a confession, though: Registering for Team in Training was beyond my comfort zone and I almost backed out. It has shined a light on my insecurities and caused quite a lot of panic and fear at first. But here’s the thing:

This isn’t about me.

It’s about raising money and bringing awareness to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding research, finding cures and ensuring access to treatments for blood cancer patients.

It’s about encouraging others who are also intimidated about running for a charity to take the leap, stretching out of your comfort zone and busting through boundaries. Check out this video to see why Team is Training is AMAZING:

I was so stoked to receive a message earlier this week from someone who had decided to take the plunge!

And if watching this makes your heart pound … if you’re interested in joining Team in Training but need an extra boost, here’s some codes to have your $100.00 registration fee waived. (You’ll still have to fundraise.)

  • Marine Corps Marathon: MCMBIBRAVE, expires 08/01/19
  • Chicago Marathon: CHIBIBRAVE, expires 07/24/19
  • NYC Marathon: NYCBIBRAVE, expires 08/31/19

And lastly, it’s about how the Marine Corps Marathon with be Kimberly’s first marathon, (my youngest son’s girlfriend,) and we’ll be running together with Bob and Cooper cheering for us! Kimberly and I did a fantastic six-mile run at Ocean City a couple of weeks ago, discussing training plans, nutrition strategies, and our goals. We’re both excited!

So I’m glad I registered for Team in Training. I’m thankful to BibRave for the opportunity, I’m grateful for any and all donations, I’m excited about raising more, and I hope to inspire others to take on the same challenge.

Before I get into my own training plans, I wanted to chat about some things that happened right after I registered for those of you who are thinking of doing the same.

Welcoming Email

Almost immediately, I received a welcome email from Team in Training with links to my personal fundraising page and my password. It also informed me of how I would soon receive an email invitation from SixCycle, where I can communicate with my coach(es) … yes, we get coaches!! … and teammates! It’s also where my training calendar will be posted. (By default, they placed me in a beginner’s program that is similar to Hal Higdon’s Novice 1 plan, but other BibRave Pros were able to have that changed to more advanced plans.)

In this email, I was also given a link to order my free training shirt. IT’S SO CUTE!!! I can’t wait to receive it!

You get a Fundraising Partner!

Within a few days, I then received both an email and a phone call from my Fundraising Partner for Team In Training, who’s responsibility is to provide support in all aspects of my goals, from fundraising to crossing the finish line! This included a “Get Started Guide” which walked me through all the necessary steps to begin this journey, from setting up my profile to many fundraising tips.

Gotta say. The communication has been INCREDIBLE and having step-by-step guides and my own fundraising partner … someone I can ask questions, however dumb I might think they are… has really made this process quite smooth and relieved tons of anxiety.

Training Plans and Camaraderie

Sometime the following week, I was invited to join a SixCycle group where I was able to meet my coaches and teammates – those who are running the MCM through Team in Training! So far we’ve received some fantastic running advice ranging from nutrition to heat warnings and ways to avoid injury. Our coaches also organize group virtual training runs and I’m loving seeing pictures from teammates! So if the notion of running a long race intimidates you …. know that you will NOT be alone!! They will guide you every step of the way!

There’s also a SixCycle app that makes it super convenient to catch up with the forums and check off runs in your training plan.

MCM Team in Training Facebook Group

Registered Team in Training members can also join closed Facebook groups full of other TNT runners who are doing the same race! It’s a fantastic place to interact with others, asking questions, sharing fundraising tips, and posting training accomplishments.

So really, when I mentioned earlier who you’ll NEVER be alone once you join TNT … I wasn’t kidding!!! Everything so far has been AMAZING between the training plans, coaching and advice, my fundraising partner, and so much more.

My own training plans and goals!

For those following an 18-week plan, training for the Marine Corps Marathon officially began on Monday! I’ve been wavering on which one to follow for a while now.

Seriously, it almost came to this. ^^

As much as I do appreciate SixCycle and having the ability to track online or on my phone, I’m a paper planner gal, so I’m sticking with Hal Higdon’s Marathon Novice 2 plan. I’ve followed this for all my previous marathons, so it feels right to me.

I am going to be doing some modifications, however, like substituting one mid-week run with cycling every other week due to a previous foot injury. I’ll also keep up with 80 Day Obsession’s strength training workouts since I love the way it makes my body feel strong. Following the program perfectly would be too much, however, so I’ll do only three workouts a week.

One thing I am trying new for this race is speed work, tempo runs, and hill work … although ignoring hills in my area has always been impossible. 😉 Kimberly has a goal of finishing the marathon at 04:30. I did finish the 2015 Baltimore Marathon in 04:30:02, so I’m hoping for a repeat so we can finish together!

Bob and I are also biking the Great Alleghany Passage again in early July, doing around 180 miles in four days, so I’ll have to work my training plan around that. And flexibility. Oh, Lawd, I really need to improve my flexibility and do more rolling and stretching! Mentally, I still feel like a younger gal but my body is saying hold on, there, toots, this rubber band is starting to deteriorate. One of my FAVORITE workouts to fight this is PiYo Lower Body that has great stretches and poses for runners, so add this to the list!

So to recap: Run lots, bike lots, lift, stretch, PiYo, repeat. No problem!

Right??? Right. Which means …. I have a lot of work to do! So again, thank you for your support and for reading this rather long blog post.

If you’d like to donate to my fundraising page, here’s the link and thank you, THANK YOU in advance!

And if you do register for Team in Training for either the Marine Corps Marathon, Chicago Marathon, or NYC Marathon, be sure to let me know and best of luck!!

Take care and have a joyful day!

Laura Bowers

Laura is a writer, runner, reader, runDisney addict, blogger, vlogger, wife to an amazing guy for 26 years, mom of two wonderful boys, excellent chili maker, and obsessive list keeper. She still thinks Spice World was an awesome movie and feels no shame about that plus she can quote most lines from Talladega Nights. Shake and bake!

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