Discover Yourself

How Running a Marathon Taught Me Anything is Possible

June 12, 2015

How running a marathon changed my lifeRun a Marathon? – Yes you can!!!

Many of us have had the fleeting thought as we see the Olympic marathon runners cross the finish line, that running a marathon is on our bucket list! Just as quickly, we dismiss the idea that we could never do it. However, this dream is definitely achievable if you are willing to make the commitment.

Okay, you may not want to run a marathon but there may be something you really want to achieve. I hope my story and the suggestions made will encourage you to go for whatever you want.


I am now 57 years old and up until 6 years ago my fitness regime was erratic.  I started running 7 years ago and had competed in my first half marathon when I turned 50.

If you had said in the beginning that I would be able to run I would have laughed at the idea. I was working in an office with 5 women all much younger than me. The decision was made to run in a 10km fun run and at that time I couldn’t even run from one lamp post to the next.

Reluctantly I purchased some running shoes and donned the t-shirt and shorts and joined them for runs (or should I say a fast walk) after work a couple of times a week.

if you dream itAt first, I struggled as I was not fit. Running is definitely a mind game that you play and I certainly didn’t want to play this game. However, I stuck at it and the short jogs became longer each week until I could run a distance without requiring paramedic assistance!

We achieved the first goal of starting and then continued until we all completed the 10km Fun Run. Receiving the finishers’ medal was a great feeling even though every finisher received one.

I must have been delirious at the time however, as I suggested to the girls that we aim for a half marathon and although they agreed that my mental state was not sound at the time, we set the goal for the following year. I would run a half marathon before I turned 50!

Once that goal was achieved (and of course another finishers’ medal to prove it), I thought I had achieved it all. But there was a voice that popped up every now and then asking why I didn’t try to achieve the final goal of a marathon.

I had joined a gym with my husband in September 2011. He joined for health reasons and it made it easier to go with someone else as you are more likely to stick with it because you don’t want to let the other person down. We love travelling and wanted to be healthy and fit to enjoy life to the full and the many wonders that the world has to offer.

During a Saturday morning social run with my friends (we now call ourselves the Saturday Sisters) in early 2012, I blurted out that I was going to run a marathon – 42.2kms!

Well, that was it, I had spoken the words out loud to others and so my pride kicked in to ensure that I at least gave it a shot. My goal was to complete the marathon before my 55th birthday later that year. My husband was very supportive and encouraged me to ‘go for it’ and what was the worst that could happen?

And so began the many months of training and education.dig deeper

Having never run a marathon before I researched training programs from the internet and found one that would be suitable. I needed to educate myself on what foods to eat to provide me with enough energy during the training runs and also the marathon itself.  To be totally fit you need to exercise and watch what you eat in order for your body to perform at its optimum level.  Again, my husband was great and made sure I had everything I needed to keep up the energy levels.

Keeping focused and committed to my goal was important and that meant not missing any training sessions.  The gym was great as I had to fit in training sessions around work and home, sometimes going to the gym at 4:30am!!  With the gym being open 24/7 I would always make a training session even if I couldn’t run outside.

Improving core strength was important so I made sure that I did some gym work revolving around that.  Exercises like the plank, tummy crunches, squats and light weights all helped to improve my overall strength in addition to the running.

It wasn’t easy to leave a nice warm bed on cold, dark mornings but it is so worth it in the end when you achieve your goal.

I managed to convince my friend who had been training me to enter the run and also a colleague from work. They were both just as nervous as I but were so elated when they had achieved the goal. It made my day when they both said that if it wasn’t for me they would not have done it. That was a special feeling for me to know I had inspired others.

The months flew by and suddenly the day had arrived. I felt good because I had put the work in. I felt relaxed because let’s face it I wasn’t going to be leading the pack so was content to run my own race. I achieved the time I wanted and ran the whole 42km.

marathon medalThe feeling of achievement coming over that finish line is fantastic and emotional. Now I had the finishers’ medal to prove it!!! Two weeks later I celebrated my 55th birthday.

Since then I have completed bootcamp 3 mornings a week and am fortunate to travel overseas for holidays. I have now retired from full time work but haven’t retired from life! I try to surround myself with positive people who can inspire me.  I have a great personal trainer who keeps me going and my Saturday Sisters who I love to run with for the social weekly chat.

As I mentioned earlier, running a marathon may not be your thing but any goal you want to achieve has the same components to running a marathon.

Remember, You can do anything if you set your mind to it.  Just believe in yourself and keep focused on your goal and you will achieve it Be happy and healthy!

What is your goal?  The question is not how but when will you achieve it? Read my blog on 8 Steps to Achieving Your Goal. YOU CAN DO IT!


marathonerIf you aren’t convinced or motivated click on this link to read the Runners World article about this wonderful 92 year old lady achieving her dreams

Let’s Sizzle!

Women Living Well After 50

Living Life Your Way


  • Reply Jebbica June 12, 2015 at 23:15

    Wow, you are amazing! I am very in awe of you. I can’t even run one mile. I can barely run one minute! I keep starting those Couch25K things but usually fail within the second week. Yo go girl!

    • Reply sue June 13, 2015 at 11:10

      Thank you Jebbica! Running isn’t for everyone so you need to look for something you enjoy. Even a brisk walk keeps you healthy. Thanks for your positive comments.

  • Reply Debra June 13, 2015 at 00:13

    I love this blog. Thank you so much for sharing. I can identify with everything you say, except I have NOT ever come even close to running a marathon. On my 45th birthday I said I was going to run a marathon when I turned 50. Well, 50 has come and gone, and I am no closer to running a marathon now that I was at 45. I do still get out there and run a few days a week, but it’s mostly a morning sweat stroll for me. It’s my time to just be alone and enjoy nature. I can find every excuse in the book not to go but when I do I feel so much better when I’m done. I think I have finally decided that I’m not a runner after all, but I admire those who are, and I keep pounding away at it for my own peace of mind. I’m not winning any medals, but I am lapping a few couch potatoes.
    I am in awe and inspired by you, thanks again for sharing.

    • Reply sue June 13, 2015 at 11:13

      Not everyone enjoys running but at least you are doing something! Its all about keeping fit and healthy in your own way. I’m so glad you enjoyed my post and hope you will follow more of my posts. Have a great weekend and don’t forget to Sizzle!

  • Reply Tara Schiller June 13, 2015 at 08:04

    What an inspirational story! I love that you pushed through your doubts and believed in yourself. You go girl!

    • Reply sue June 13, 2015 at 11:17

      Thank you for such lovely words Tara. I’m glad you found it inspirational.

  • Reply Mackenzie Glanville ( June 13, 2015 at 12:03

    First of all thanks for linking up with Friday Reflections and secondly WOW you really set a goal and went for it! Reading this post really motivates me to work even harder to achieve my goals and even add more. Thanks I am so glad I read this!!!!!

    • Reply sue June 13, 2015 at 13:49

      Thank you Mackenzie for the opportunity to link up and giving me the inspiration to write the post. I’m so glad you felt motivated. It makes you feel great when you get positive feedback doesn’t it? Thanks again and see you next week!

  • Reply Thomas Ives June 14, 2015 at 00:25

    Such an amazing story. Thank you for sharing this. This has helped me put my goals in a different perspective. #debbieinshape

    • Reply sue June 15, 2015 at 08:30

      Thanks for your comments Thomas I’m glad my post gave you some ideas.

  • Reply Charissa June 14, 2015 at 02:57

    You lay out great steps to reaching a goal we can all use, set a goal, research, have a plan, and stick with it. I jog a couple times a week, but have no aspirations of running a race. My current goal I am working on is paying for my husband’s education so he can graduate without student loans. #debbieinshape

    • Reply sue June 15, 2015 at 08:32

      Hi Charissa and thank you for commenting in my post. You have an excellent goal to work towards and as I said the steps outlined can be used for any goal that you have.

  • Reply Janine June 14, 2015 at 22:29

    You are pretty darn awesome! There’s hope for us non-runners (i.e. me) yet!

    • Reply sue June 15, 2015 at 08:33

      Oh thank you Janine!!! There is always hope but you don’t have to be a runner just find something you enjoy and go for it! Thanks for the comment.

  • Reply Corinne Rodrigus June 14, 2015 at 23:49

    I’ve just come here from Debbie’s blog to find you too are so fit and inspirational, Sue. I’m in awe of you ladies!

    • Reply sue June 15, 2015 at 08:35

      Oh thank you Corinne you are too kind. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  • Reply 8 Tips to Achieving your Goal - You Know You Can Do It - Sizzling Towards Sixty June 15, 2015 at 16:30

    […] my previous blog, How Running A Marathon Taught Me Anything Is Possible I wrote about achieving my goal of running a marathon before I was 55 years old. This article […]

  • Reply SaltyBug June 15, 2015 at 17:04

    This is such a wonderful post. Inspiring, motivating, interesting. All of it. Your pride oozes through the words. I have dreamt of doing a marathon for years now and lacked the courage due to numerous injuries I’ve encountered from running. You know what, I’m going to revisit that dream. Thank you.

    • Reply sue June 15, 2015 at 17:21

      Oh thank you so much for your lovely words and I’m so happy that I have encouraged you to revisit your dream. It isn’t easy but if you are determined and take your injuries into account you will be fine. You can do it!!!

  • Reply Doreen Tapper June 17, 2015 at 06:58

    Wow! You’re an inspiration for both fitness and goal-setting. Thank you for your post

    • Reply sue June 17, 2015 at 10:31

      Thank you Doreen for your kind words. I’m glad that you found my post inspirational!

  • Reply Abby Aliwalas June 17, 2015 at 07:27

    It’s true. Anything is possible if you want it bad enough! ^_^ I had the same goal of crossing the finish line 2 years ago. And the moment I decided to run a marathon, my life has changed.

    • Reply sue June 17, 2015 at 10:31

      Yes I read your post. It is a special feeling isn’t it! It changed my life in many ways. Thanks for commenting.

  • Reply Morgan Prince June 17, 2015 at 08:17

    A lovely and motivational post. You must’ve been so proud of yourself for running that marathon. Well done! 🙂

    • Reply sue June 17, 2015 at 10:32

      Oh thank you Morgan. I’m glad you enjoyed the post and yes I have to admin I felt very proud of myself at the end. It had taken 6 months of dedicated training and it paid off. Thanks for your comment.

  • Reply cathy June 18, 2015 at 12:52

    hi Sue!
    I am a yoga convert myself, and know that sticking with something isn’t always easy, but the payoff is so worth it. Congratulations to you on setting and reaching your goals!

    • Reply sue June 18, 2015 at 16:03

      Hi Cathy, yoga is great isn’t it. I’ve had to miss the last few weeks due to runs scheduled on the same day, so I’m really hanging out for a session. Thank you for taking the time to comment and hope to hear from you again.

  • Reply Guaranteed not to fail #Friday Reflections - reflections from me June 19, 2015 at 07:14

    […] Speaking of being guaranteed not to fail, imagine being about to turn 50, being fairly unfit and deciding to start training to run a half marathon  before you turn 50! Would you do that if you were guaranteed not to fail? Well our featured writer this week wasn’t guaranteed not to fail, but she decided to train hard and make her dream happen, and she did it! Last Friday she shared her post with us and we are thrilled to announce that Sue from sizzling towards 60 is this weeks featured writer. Her post is a must read, it will really motivate you to go out and work hard towards your goals. “How Running a Marathon Taught Me Anything is Possible” […]

    • Reply sue June 19, 2015 at 08:27

      Thank you so much for the wonderful supportive words about my post. I do appreciate your promotion of it. I just want people to realise that they can do things if they put their mind to it. There is a big world out there to explore and live so my aim is to encourage people to do just that. Once again I am so humbled by your words. Have a lovely day!

  • Reply Beth June 19, 2015 at 22:54

    What a wonderful story of drive and determination…congrats!

    • Reply sue June 20, 2015 at 08:41

      Thank you Beth, I’m so glad you enjoyed it. There were times I wondered if I would get there but in the end I was ecstatic! Thanks for your good wishes.

  • Reply Fridays Blog Booster Party #12 - Lifestyle Building Blocks June 25, 2015 at 17:15

    […] 5 Simple Ways to Encourage Yourself By JcCee from Journey to a Healthy Me. 2.  How Running a Marathon Taught me anything is Possible By Sue from Sizzling Towards […]

    • Reply sue June 25, 2015 at 21:38

      Wow Kathleen thank you so much! I really enjoy the Fridays Blog Booster party and am thrilled this post did so well

  • Reply Wendy June 28, 2015 at 03:50

    Sue, this is great! I am so proud of you — and inspired, too! Aaaand, this is just what I need to read right now. I started Couch to 5K earlier this month, and am struggling, not so much with motivation, but with pain (which is definitely affecting my motivation!). My progress has been much slower than what I had hoped because I have to keep stopping to let something heal. But, I haven’t given up! If I can’t work through the difficulties, it may be that I will be forced to find another form of exercise, and that’s okay. I’m not doing this because I love to run or even because I want to run a 5K; I just want to be ABLE to run one! 🙂

    • Reply sue June 28, 2015 at 16:08

      Oh thank you so much Wendy what lovely words. I’m glad I could provide some inspiration to you. As I said you don’t have to run a marathon any challenge will show you that you can do it. Keep up the good work but listen to your body as you don’t want to do permanent damage. I’d love you to keep me updated. thanks for the kind words.

  • Reply Rosemond August 3, 2016 at 06:10

    You are an inspiration! I’ve always wanted to run a longer race, my longest was six miles. On my bucket list and I’m now 50, guess I need to get to it!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 4, 2016 at 09:28

      Oh how lovely of you Rosemond! I know you could do it if you wanted to so put it on the bucket list and you go girl! Why not get your daughter to do it with you?

  • Reply I'm a Body Image Movement Global Ambassador - Sizzling Towards Sixty October 18, 2016 at 09:20

    […] these young women who refused to think of me as ‘a certain age’ I realised that I could anything if I really wanted to.  They booked me into bootcamps and fun runs and my confidence grew.  I was […]

  • Reply Celebrating Your Achievements - Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond August 15, 2017 at 01:01

    […] started running and ran a full marathon at 55 years old in the time I […]

  • Reply Celebrating feeling fit and fabulous at 60 - Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond August 23, 2017 at 01:01

    […] my attitude changed for the better and I enjoyed life so much more.  I even started running and ran my first full marathon at the age of 55.  That experience taught me that anything is possible if you want it badly […]

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