The Beginnings of a Plan

Ok – Now that I have decided I am actually going to do this, the next step is to put a plan together. 

What do I need to do to accomplish this impossible goal? 

I think if I put my shoes on right now and began seriously training from this exact moment, it would take me at least 2 years to get in the physical condition required to accomplish this distance. Given what you already know about me from my previous post, I am a procrastinating non-runner, so I will add 2 more years to this training schedule. 

4 years to reach my 50-mile goal. 

I will be 45. Waaaayyyyy before I turn 50! Yes! That leaves 5 more years to accomplish other “50” goals before I turn 50 (visit 50 countries, run 50 individual races, visit all 50 states…the possibilities just go on and on. Big smile here! Although my husband probably just had a mini-stroke reading those words. What the hell else is she going to put me through, he is thinking!). 

The scary thought is my oldest kids will almost be finished with high school by the time I run this race. Yikes! 

I have started browsing 50-mile training plans. Immediately, I want to throw up. I have to be running 40-50 miles per week consistently for a long time on these plans. Most of these plans start from a 20-mile run base. That seems impossible. I’m lucky to run 15 miles spread out over one week now. 

Ok Shannon, don’t get overwhelmed with the impossibilities, I tell myself. Start with what you can do now. You can run a half marathon. Start with that. 

Step 1 – Register and train for the Long Beach Half Marathon, October 2020

After that, train and run a marathon. 

Step 2 – Register and train for the Big Sur Marathon, April 2021

That’s it. 

That’s all you have to do for now. 



One foot in front of the other. 

Put down your second cup of coffee, drink some water, get dressed and go for a run. 

That’s all you have to do. 

We’re taking this one (literal) step at a time. 



My fingers are shaking a bit as I type out these first few words. Am I really going to do this? Am I really going to set this random – almost bizarre – personal goal and put it out there for the world to witness?  Am I ready to commit to the possibility of this journey? Am I ready for the physical, mental, and emotional strength and pain it is going to take to get me there?  

I am a 40- year old mother of four pre-teens (yes, you read that right. A grand total of FOUR hormonal adolescents.) A wife, sister, daughter, friend and aunt. I am a decent cook (my husband is better) and not so decent tennis player (my husband is lightyears better). I host great dinners and parties. I volunteer passionately at my kids’ school. I am a workout enthusiast. I am a traveler. I am a book lover and an avid Audible listener. I am a Pinterest-worthy cheese platter creator. I am a 4+ cups of coffee a day drinker and red wine lover. I am an overindulgent cookie and chocolate eater. 

I am all these things. And more. Lots more.

I am NOT a runner. 

I really am not. 

Even though I have completed over 15 half marathons, one full marathon, a handful of mud runs and a Spartan race. I do not consider myself a runner. 

First of all, I am slow as molasses. I do not have a runner’s body (opposite of long and lean) and I run flat footed with a heavy, lumbering gait. I have also never enjoyed a run while I am doing it. Running is hard. I get out of breath quickly. My face turns a glowing bright cherry red that I often worry draws concern from passerbys.  After long runs (anything over 8 miles) my stomach revolts inside me and wages a war that keeps me close to a restroom for hours. 

I procrastinate and find excuses not to run. I just ate, it’s too windy, it’s too cold, it’s too hot, it’s too early, I’ll do it later. Oops, it is later and funny enough there is another excuse. 

But every single time I finish a run, I am filled with a sense of accomplishment and pride in myself. I am filled with a sense of calm and strength. My stress has diminished. I have found my way back to center. I feel free.

I just completed my first half marathon after my injury last year (more about that in a future post). The day before my race, I was asked by a friend, “Have you ever run a full marathon? “

“Yes! In my 20’s. It was the hardest physical thing I’ve ever done and will never do another one. One and done. Check that box. Never again.”

“Well,” I said, offhandedly, “maybe when I turn 50 I’ll run another marathon.”

And then something sparked inside of me. “Wait”… I said, holding up a finger to pause the conversation. “Maybe when I turn 50, I will run a 50-mile race. That would really be something.” Then we both Iaughed, said I was crazy, and moved on. 

But that thought stuck with me. That thought has now taken root and begun to grow inside me. It has swirled and turned in my mind, inside out and upside down. It will not leave me. 

Could I? 

Would that even be possible? 

Could me, a non-runner, injured, wine drinking, cookie eating full-time mom actually do that? 

What if? 

What if I tried? 

What if, for the first time in my life, I set out on this journey for the sake of the process, not the end result? 

What if I set this crazy goal and just see what happens? 

What will happen to me along the way? 

What will happen to my body as I train? 

What will happen to my mind during grueling hours of solitude? 

What will happen to my spirit as I push, cajole, and mentally will myself to keep going? 

What will this teach my kids about trying? Getting out of your comfort zone? Redefining yourself? Resetting what you think your own personal limits are? 

Can I do this? 

I don’t know. 

I don’t know if my body will hold up. I have a lot of metal in my ankle that literally might not be able to go the distance. 

I don’t know if I will have the mental toughness to make it through to the end. Will I make an excuse to give up? 

I don’t know if some other life crisis will happen that will derail my plan. Never know what the future holds. 

But I do know that I can’t not try. 

And heck! I have a decade to get it done. (although my gut tells me it won’t take that long!) 

This is the beginning. I invite you on my journey. I am excited to share it with you.