Posted by: runwithgarrison | March 11, 2013

Guest post

(Guest post by Michael’s other half, Pauline)
Aloha everyone,

Michael’s been periodically mentioning my training on the blog, so I thought I’d jump on here and share a little of my running journey thus far. First off, I’m not an athlete. I’d been one of those small but grossly out of shape people who couldn’t run a mile for most of my life. My exercise regime prior to meeting Michael had consisted of running home after dark from the U St./Cardozo Metro stop, hauling groceries home from the Dupont Safeway and I swear I once took swing dance lessons.

Since moving to Hawaii, I’ve been dabbling in running, off and on whenever I feel like it but not with any purpose or plan. In 2009 I ran my first 5k and got second in my age group. You’d think that would pump me up to keep running consistently but nah, that’d be too much like right. I’ve done 3 more 5ks since then, one each year since 2010, and the “training” has been the same, start running a month before the 5k. After last year’s 5k in October, I really wanted to change my inconsistent running and began talking to Michael about running the Honolulu Marathon in 2013. He thought I could do something in the spring if I just started training. Around that time, the opportunity to go to Europe in the spring to visit friends and family opened up (sadly at the expense of a missed ultra lottery)…and conveniently Krakow holds a marathon every April. I knew I would regret passing up an opportunity to run my first marathon in the city of my birth with Michael there with me, so I verbalized it and made it real. I. Will. Run. This. Marathon.

Michael found a great beginner 18-week training plan for me (we’re stretching it to 20), easy enough for me to manage. It consists of three shorter runs during the week and one long run on the weekend, with increasing mileage as the weeks progress. This past week (week 13) I was scheduled to run 18 mi for my long run. I cut short the long runs for weeks 10 and 11 (15 and 16 miles respectively) and ran 13 mi both days instead as well as another 13 mi for week 12. I wasn’t sure how the 18 would go since I’d gotten into the habit of cutting short long runs. I knew I had to break down the 13 mi wall though because running off the marathon course to eat pierogi is not an option. Happily, I was able to finish my 18 miler yesterday despite the wet conditions (and congrats to all the runners who ran/walked the half marathon yesterday!) I feel more confident tackling the marathon with the 18 miler under my belt.

I’d been running on the treadmill for a few months before starting this plan but converting to outside running was tough, especially when the trade winds flare up on the islands. The training’s been going well, definitely ups and downs. I expected my body to acclimate to the mileage fairly easily but it’s been tiring at times. The hardest part has been distracting my brain from nonproductive thoughts during long runs. I’ve started mixing in podcasts of This American Life (NPR junkie) in with my music to keep the mind occupied.

It’s been a hard but worthwhile journey so far. I am focusing on finishing the marathon and trying not to obsess about pace. I’d like this marathon to be the first of many and having a great experience is going to make me want to keep training for races in the future.

One last (and most important) thing, none of this would be possible without Michael in my life. He’s made me believe and do things I never had the confidence to believe/do myself. He’s a constant source of inspiration and support, not to mention comic relief when I need it most.

Looking forward to posting an update after my first marathon. I’m always looking for things to keep me motivated, so if you have any running/marathon stories, tips, mantras to chant or great podcasts to listen to send them my way!

Thanks for reading and happy running!




  1. You Go Pauline!

  2. So incredibly proud of you! Can’t wait to hear all about the marathon! It is going to be amazing! Go Pauline Go!!!! xoxoxoxox

  3. Awesome Agent P! Just don’t beat Michael!! ; )

    • Thanks Jungeeee! Can’t wait to see you guys soon!


  4. Right on Pauline. You got this!

    • Thanks Tracy!! Next time I see you we’ll celebrate with Bud Light Platinums!


      • Scratched my head for a bit on that one. But figured it out. Anyway, raising a proper glass of beer, like Guinness, in celebration with you seems more appropriate. Still have to do so with Mike for his first 100 too. Not sure we can convince him that a proper pint is more important than sleep right after running 100 miles.

        I may to figure out a way/convince Phuong to let me go to SD to support Mike in 100 numero dos. That is, if you don’t have additional people involved already. Support there looks complex enough to require at least a two person crew.

  5. Pauline I admire you for set goal and commit to it especially in
    sport activity.My love and support is always with you.
    To you and Michael good luck in Cracow marathon,and enjoy
    I really enjoying to read your update about run,and training
    it is like bestseller.Do you ever think publishing in the future?

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