Goal Stories | An Insider's Look at Running a Marathon

Happy in Bold Co-Owner Kerri Gaither shares about how she achieved her goal to run, not only one but two marathons over the course of 2 years. What inspired her to do it...? Her Weight Loss Coaching Clients!

The Interview

What's a goal you are proud you achieved?

Running 2 marathons over 2 years.

How long did it take for you to achieve this goal?

I was already a casual running but started truly training 6 months before the first marathon. I was inspired to do so by my clients who were losing large amounts of weight! I wanted to tackle a big goal, just like they were, so each week we could compare navigating a big challenge together. I made a calendar where I would track my runs and share how far I ran each day, slowly increasing the mileage and I posted it on my office wall for all to see my progress as I went.

What made this goal so difficult to achieve? What challenges did you face?

Of course, a marathon is a big strain on your joints and body, (and I already had a 'bad' ankle) but also running farther and farther makes each run take longer and longer. Some days I'd spend 3 hours running and an hour before and after preparing or recovering. It was difficult to build in all of those hours around going to work, singing in a band, freelancing, and socializing.

What are some things you did to overcome those challenges?

I planned my runs during days when I was off or very early before work on the days I worked. I would also head out for extra runs whenever I found the time or the weather permitted.

I also did a lot of research to see what was best to eat to fuel my runs, what shoes were best to wear (and saved up to buy a $120 pair of shoes, the most I'd ever spent on shoes in my life)! I also practiced timing exactly when to drink water, how much to drink, how soon before I ran to drink it, and so on.

Was there a time that you were discouraged and questioning if you'd truly be able to reach your goal?

Absolutely! I was scared that it was something I'd never be able to do. In fact, I was completely too intimidated to try until I asked a friend who had run marathons and triathlons before if he thought I could do one and if I had enough time to train (6 months ahead). He was quick to say, "Absolutely!" It was because of this reassurance that he thought I could definitely do it that I signed up that day. Definitely checking with people who have been there before and achieved the goal you are looking to achieve can give you some reassurance and clear picture in your mind of what to truly expect. (And relieve some of the fears I had of things that weren't even realistic).

What are some ways you kept yourself motivated to reach this goal, even when the going got tough?

By writing my runs on a calendar on my office wall every day, my clients saw this week after week and we began discussing it. Pretty soon, my clients were asking how I was doing on this goal - which held me accountable! Telling everyone I was going to do it and then having them ask me about my progress regularly did wonders to motivate me to keep pushing to do another run and another so I could show them how hard I was working!

Looking back now, what is some advice you'd give your former self about achieving this goal?

I would tell myself that I should have tried it sooner and not to have been so intimidated and scared. On race day, everyone else was struggling just as much as I was, I was no different. In fact, I was even better prepared than some. (Note: I would also tell myself to eat the little 'gels' that everyone was offering and to wear softer pants, as the ones I wore during the first marathon gave me blisters all around my underwear! Lol!)

What did you learn from achieving this goal? Are there any learnings you now apply to other goals/areas in your life from this experience?

Also, I'd tell myself that there is no 'ideal'. I remember showing up on race day looking at everyone's running shoes and thinking to myself that I was going to see one exact shoe that everyone was wearing, one exact fitness watch that everyone was using - I felt like this was a club that everyone in it knew more than me. But that wasn't the case! Everyone was wearing a different brand of shoe and everyone had different gadgets and watches and things that worked for them. We are all different and different styles and products work for different people. Just because one thing worked for others, didn't mean that was what would work for me - and that's fine! I would tell myself to just ROCK doing things my own way.

Is there anything additional you'd like to share about reaching this goal?

After completing such a big goal, I started to feel like other challenges weren't as big of a deal! I wish I would have run a marathon sooner to have that to compare to and give myself confidence for many more years before.

Also, here are my 2 medals I won along with one I got for running the Army 10 Miler! My husband framed these up for me along with some of the quotes I used to have stuck all around my workout room on sticky notes to keep me motivated.

This whole picture frame is a great reminder that hangs on my office wall that I can truly do anything I put my mind to, no matter the blisters, haha!

BIO | About Kerri

Kerri Gaither, M.A., Mother of 4, Entrepreneur, Writer, and Pasta Lover

Kerri has learned over the years that if she isn't juggling multiple jobs, businesses, or passions all at once - she doesn't feel fulfilled. As a wife, mother of 4, entrepreneur, marathon runner, author, and former lead singer of regionally performing rock bands over 10 years...

Kerri truly knows that the TOUGHER the challenge, the more REWARDING it is as well!

​Kerri is the owner of Bamboo Marketing Solutions LLC and the Co-Owner of Happy in Bold along with her sister Heather. She loves to read, run, write, and spend time with her family. She has also never met a plate of pasta she didn't love!

To learn more about, Kerri, check out: www.happyinbold.com

Follow her on social here:

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/happyinbold/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HappyinBold

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/happyinbold/

If you'd like to have your own interview featured in our blog (and/or featured in an upcoming issue of Compass Book) click here: Interview Questionnaire.