The Max & Erma’s Guide to Marathon Training

Funny, how you find inspiration right when you need it, from a sometimes unexpected source, and it’s all you need. I was cleaning out my wallet last night and came across a napkin holder that my friend Laurie gave me at Max & Erma’s a couple of weeks ago during a Lucky 13 get-together extravaganza. I had forgotten about it until now.
Thank you, Max & Erma’s? I didn’t know you offered such motivational tidbits to help me get ready for the biggest race of my life! And yet, there it is, snugly wrapped around my silverware set.
And even better yet, I think it might speak the truth.
“All you need is ignorance and confidence to succeed.”
Let’s break this down as it relates to my Goofy Training. It’s fairly simple; in fact, the Max & Erma’s Guide to Marathon Training may be the most straightforward training plan out there.
My training has been ignorant inconsistent this season, to say the least. The weekly runs are hard for me to get in. Not because I don’t have time, but because they are long when training for a marathon. Something just happens in my brain over 4 miles or so (unless it is my “designated” long run or a race), and I don’t want to do it. I either get bored or focus on something hurting or how long it takes me. This is partially why I switched to Coach Jenny’s Plan halfway through my training season. It is much more plausible for me to run for time rather than miles (except for the long run). Is it possible I prefer the half distance? I have heard people can and do prefer one over the other. I am convinced I would feel differently about the long run if I was faster. I am thinking I will give full marathoning a break after Disney and stick to halfs; this is not to say I would trade my marathon experiences for the world.
In addition, I don’t think my mind fully comprehends how much 26.2 is going to hurt after 13.1 the day before. Running this, my friends, my not be so smart at this stage in the game (read: my very young running life).
Yet, my confidence stubbornness will get me across that finish line – come hell or high water or immense pain, most likely. I’m prepared for it. I will finish. I have to. While browsing blogs tonight, Tricia offered this little piece of advice: “Don’t worry about your knee, don’t worry about your pain, just pick your feet up.” From someone much younger than me. And it hit home. I just need to run. I can run, I will run. And then, there’s Julia who has reminded me that I can do hard things” and to “persevere.” And, of course, who could forget EMZ who somehow knows exactly the right time to send a T-Shirt saying, “You’ve. Freaking. Got. This.” Or Jen who just wrote, We are all runners at the end of the day.”Or Elle, who just mentioned that The most important thing a girl wears is her confidence.” My friends – including Deb who ran 16 miles with me and Laurie who ran 18 with me – have built up my confidence so much that I know I can get through this. For those I mentioned here and those I didn’t, but who continue to inspire me everyday. You are my confidence.
So, thank you Max & Erma’s, it seems all I really do need is ignorance and confidence to succeed.
And succeed I will.
Until the next mile marker,


  1. runningperseverance says

    SARA!!!!!!! i love love love love love this! times a billion more “loves.” The GOOFY is going to be an INCREDIBLE experience for you! You are one of the strongest people I know so I know this will be just one more amazing indication of your strength. each of those is such beautiful words said by some pretty awesome people if i do say so myself 😉 please please please feel free to use my words to write on your hand! i had never done that before but it really helped toward the end of the race…any time i needed a boost it was right there on my hand! i am going to be pulling for you and have NO DOUBT you will cross the finish line with a smile and amazing memories to be held forever!

  2. LaurieBilovesky says

    I love this post – it is awesome!! You will cross that finish line for Goofy and we’ll all be right there with you! You can do it and I know you will!

  3. Sara, Dear Sara. What a lovely and thoughtful post. You inspire me and uplift me more than you could know.

    Count me among the throng of those cheering you on during your two events that make up the Goofy Challenge. I will be with you in spirit and just know you will do whatever it takes. Yes, you should be confident. You have more guts than anybody I know!

  4. Love this post Sara. I think you hit right on the nails for me to. I hoping to do a marathon in march, but wonder or second guess myself will I be able to get all the training do in the winter months. We know how hard it is to get all the training in, in the summer months. But like you I will cross the finish line. It might not be the time I want but I will finish and have accomplished running my 3rd marathon. You are so inspiration to me Sara. You are going to do awesome at GOOFY.

  5. RunningMandy says

    While I definitely think confidence is a key component to success – I admit to having trouble embracing the ignorance part of the quote, except as a haha statement. I’m one of those “I need a spreadsheet to breath” people – so that part bothers the type A person in me! LOL!

    You know all the Lucky 13’s will be cheering you on – even if we aren’t physically there!

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