Spirit of the Marathon

I haven’t mentioned this on here yet, but a couple months ago I registered for my first full marathon, the Cork City Marathon, taking place on June 2 of this year. Occasionally I get excited about things and jump into them without thinking enough about them, but I’m hoping this was a good decision and that I can follow through. The main reason I signed up for it is because my parents decided they’re going to spend six weeks in Europe this summer, and I really wanted them to be at the finish line of my first marathon, whenever and wherever that may be. I scoured the internet for a race that fit into their travel plans well, and at first I wanted to do the Paris Marathon, but it was sold out, along with the London Marathon. I inquired about being on a fundraising team, but you have to raise $5,000 in order to do it, which is not really doable while traveling, I thought. These races turned out to be too early anyway, so it’s okay. Not to mention they are huge, and I feel like I would do better in a medium-sized race for my first one. But I could be wrong.

There is so much to consider when choosing your first marathon! There is a D-Day Marathon in Caen, France on June 15, which my dad really wanted me to do, but after some research it seemed like it was a little too small and fast, and races in France are a little more involved; you have to get a doctor’s note saying you are okay to race (I’m pretty sure). Then there was the Stockholm Marathon on May 31 that I considered, but my parents didn’t want to travel that far away from France (the main place they are staying for the six weeks). I was about to register for the Edinburgh Marathon on June 29, but after reading reviews and seeing that they didn’t allow racers to listen to music while running, it didn’t seem like the perfect fit. I came across the Cork City Marathon, and everything seemed to fall into place. My great-grandfather was Irish, and my family has always wanted to visit Ireland together (I’ve been to Dublin once for a few days, but I wasn’t with my family), so it seemed like the perfect time.



All in all, I did a ton of research (in case you can’t tell, I obsessed over this for a couple weeks, researching every race on the continent), and although I can’t really find out how many runners there will be, it looks like a really nice course, and there will be lots of people cheering (which I think will be important).

I’m pretty nervous, I mean, training for a marathon is a huge commitment on its own (I keep hearing “respect the distance” in my head), but doing it while traveling will be even harder. But it’s not impossible. And Jeremy has been so supportive, he’s going to really help me make it a priority and just make sure that we factor my training runs into our travels. I feel pretty lucky to have such a supportive partner that is up for anything and is as excited about this adventure as I am. I just keep picturing the finish line at the marathon and seeing him and my parents there waiting for me, and it really motivates me to do my best.

Motivational Movies

To get pumped up even more, Jeremy and I watched Spirit of the Marathon, and I definitely teared up at the end when the father-daughter duo held hands and crossed the finish line. It made me really excited to get to that point, but it also made me a little nervous, seeing how mentally and physically tough it is. But I know I can do it. I just have to keep a positive attitude and not put too much pressure on myself (I should probably stop the “your parents traveled all the way to Ireland to see you run a marathon, don’t eff this up” thoughts). I’m just going to take it nice and slow, as slow as I want to, and try to enjoy it as much as I can.


Are there any other good running movies you guys know of that I can watch to get pumped up? 


  1. I think it’s so amazing that you are moving to Europe! I’ve never been before, but I’m hoping to in 2015. My boyfriend and I want to run the Rome Marathon while we are there. I hope you keep blogging after you move, it would be really fun to read about as you transition 🙂
    Spirit of the Marathon is the only “running” movie I have seen too, but there is a sequel you could check out!

    1. Rome Marathon would be amazing! I can’t wait to experience a European race. Oh yes, I plan to blog every step of the way. I’ll definitely check out that sequel, thanks!

  2. Lily, this is getting creepy… I used to live in Cork… It’s a wonderful city and you’re going to love it! I’m running the Rome Marathon in March if you’re still tempted to jump on board… 😉 Edinburgh it’s right around the corner from where I live, but sadly, I can’t recommend the marathon. It’s not really a city marathon at all; you run straight out of the city along the coast, only to finish in a logistic nightmare to make your way back to the city. I’m running the half marathon in Edinburgh this year, but only because it’s “the local one”…

    1. Oh that’s awesome!! I’m so glad to hear that, I don’t know much about Cork, and really wanted a nice course for my first marathon. I’m relieved I didn’t do Edinburgh now, after reading some negative reviews on the course and the organization. But I would totally do the half if I lived close too. The Rome Marathon is going to be great!! I won’t quite be in Europe by then unfortunately. Not to mention I’m worried June is too soon to run the 26.2, so March would definitely be jumping the gun for me I believe! How’s your training going? Also, are there any spots/restaurants/pubs in Cork me and my family can’t miss? Thanks!!

  3. This is so exciting! Congrats 🙂 is it the Edinburgh marathon that you heard this about or Rock n Roll Edinburgh? I’m doing Rock and Roll Liverpool 1/2 in May in the UK if you end up in the vicinity!!

    1. Thank you!! It was the Edinburgh Marathon I read those reviews about; I haven’t read any reviews of the Rock n Roll Edinburgh half, but I think RnR races are supposed to be pretty good? The Liverpool half was on my list of races I want to do! Unfortunately it’s too close to the Cork Marathon, but I’m sure it will be a good time!

  4. Looking to run my first marathon too! Not sure which one it choose….I live in New England and trying to find one not too far. Any suggestions for races or training plans?

    1. That’s awesome, you should totally do it!! I love to connect with people training for their first marathon also. There are a couple websites out there good for looking for races:


      As far as training plans, I’m a big fan of Hal Higdon, but I opted to purchase a Runner’s World Challenge plan, which is a bit more detailed and involved. I wrote a blog post about it yesterday – https://lilyrunstheworld.com/2014/02/16/runners-world-challenge/

      Good luck finding the perfect one!

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