Learning to go with the flow

My personal philosophy about training for a marathon is this: Listen to your body.

Then adapt, let others inspire you and be happy you can move.

In June, I started out the Mill Race training class on Saturday mornings with Alejandro Contreras with high and mighty goals. I would run the marathon with swift feet and my training would be perfect. I would follow the suggested training schedule to a tee.

The first six weeks of training went according to plan. But then in July, the ball of my right foot started hurting.

So I had to go with the flow. I ramped up on my cross-training. I became content with a run/walk at times. I ran on the grass and trails. I swam and biked. I did lots of yoga.

I woke up many mornings wondering when the ball of my right foot would feel better. Pavement became my enemy.

I ended up buying some Hoka shoes. The cushioning is amazing. But I also wore my Asics Gel shoes. Soon, my foot started to feel OK.

I think I started out my training too quickly and ran too hard early on. I should have eased into the mileage more with a walk/run from the beginning. I’m still running, but I try to make sure that I listen to my body.

It has been an honor to have been able to share my journey with others. People have stopped me on the street to ask me how my training is going. Running the Mill Race Marathon in my hometown will be amazing.

A few people have inspired me in a special sense. Contreras, the Mill Race training coach, was enthusiastic from the start. Alejandro’s smile when he runs is contagious.

A couple of times a week I attend a group-training class with Ben Weaver. Ben has consistently offered me helpful advice and encouragement. He helped me believe that I could actually do it from the start.

The Republic’s Sports Editor Jay Heater spent time delving into why I wanted to run a marathon. He really made me think about my goals.

My mom and dad, Birthe and Jerry Moe, of Valparaiso, have been my greatest cheerleaders.

I hope to see some family and friends out at the Mill Race Marathon. It will be special to have my mom there on the sidelines cheering me on.

One foot in front of the other. Striding, alone, but belonging.

The Republic has been following first-time marathon runner Kirsten Bouthier in her preparation for Saturday’s Mill Race Marathon. Contact Bouthier at kirsten.bouthier@sbcglobal.net

Training schedule

MONDAY: 1 mile swim, bike 15 miles

TUESDAY: Group workout in morning, aerobics, strength, core; run 4 miles easy

WEDNESDAY: Bike 25 miles, yoga

THURSDAY: Group workout in morning, aerobics, strength, core; run/walk 4 miles

FRIDAY: Rest day; yoga

SATURDAY: Mill Race Marathon race day