I Ran My First Marathon at Age 49!

I still can’t believe it. I completed the marathon distance of 26.2 miles! It’s a bit of a stretch to say “I ran a marathon” because, in reality, I ran and walked that distance. But, I DID IT!


My younger brother, Austin and I ran it together. It was definitely a test of fortitude and endurance. Even though we had to walk so much of it, I also pushed myself to run when I thought I had nothing left to give.

A marathon is a special kind of beast- so physically grueling and WE DID IT! After training for months, we finally did it!

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The Marathon

The marathon was hard from mile 1. When we got in our corral, we saw a “pacer ” a person that’s assigned to run the marathon at a specific pace to reach a certain finish time. The pacer was running a 10:52 minute mile, projected to finish at 4:45.

I’ve run three half marathons and finished around 2:22 for two of them. My goal for the marathon was to finish under 5 hours, so I thought, “let’s follow that guy.”

Big mistake! That lasted all of three miles and we were gassed! That’s too fast a pace for us, when we should have been running a slower, steady 12 minute mile pace.

Because we were struggling so bad, we started running 5 minutes, walking 1 minute. Then running 4 minutes, walking 1, and finally running 3 and walking 1. At mile 6, I had to use the bathroom and we waited in line for what seemed like forever.

At mile 10, I know Austin wanted to quit at the half. He was really struggling. We came upon Elliott at mile 13 and Austin was DONE!! But, he was determined to keep going, even if he had to walk most of it.

I felt like, I have to keep running or I’ll be out here forever! So, around mile 14 we split up and I started running again. I’d run until I felt like I couldn’t run anymore and then walk a bit.



The pads of my feet hurt so bad.

My shoulders were killing me.

Just get to mile 16 and 18. I’ve gone those distances before in training.

As the miles pass, I was thinking just 10 more miles, just 9 more miles, just 8 more miles.

The road got very lonely and there weren’t many runners around. I was so thankful every couple of miles to see the aid stations where they were passing out gatorade and water. I hydrated at every station and I think I took 4 gu throughout the race.

After Austin and I split up, we kept in touch on the phone. I’m so thankful for him. He had me laughing so hard. Around mile 18, he called and said he was STARVING. “I saw a Dairy Queen and almost pulled off the road!”

Then later when we were talking, “shit! A bug just flew into my mouth!” Dying!!!

Mile 20 is a HUGE milestone! Just 6 to go! I know I can finish this!

But LORD, by my 23 I honestly didn’t think I could run another step.

I could keep waking for sure, but running was out of the question. Every step hurt the pads of my feet so bad. And dang, my shoulders were KILLING me.

So, I called my mom. Thank God for her. She kept me occupied and I started running a bit, then walking, then running.

About mile 24, I talked to Austin again.

Me: I’m jogging.

Him: You Bitch!

He’s soooo funny!

There’s nothing like humor to get you through these moments!

I finished at 5 hours and 43 minutes. I started walking again when my watch read 26.2 miles, so the marathon clock had me finishing at 5:47.

Below is how fast/slow I ran each mile as tracked by my apple watch. It also includes my heart rate and power.

Female Average Running Times

Seeing this chart made me feel a little better about my finish time.

After The Marathon

After crossing the finish line, I got a gatorade and Elliott and I (& Maggie) waited on the sidelines for Austin to finish. I can’t even tell you how proud I am of him!

The marathon was killer for me, but even harder for Austin. I know he had to dig so deep to keep going, even when he wanted to quit!

In the car on the way home, I had to take off my sports bra and change into a shirt because my shoulders hurt so bad. I got home, showered and sat on the couch with a coffee. Before the race, I only had 1/2 a cup.

I wasn’t hungry right away, but about two hours after I showered, I ordered a seasonal grain bowl from a local restaurant. Elliott and I sat on the couch and watched TV the rest of the day.

My legs hurt so bad! Specifically, my quads. Even in my sleep, every time I rolled over, my legs were so painful.

I’m lucky that my feet felt fine. I used body glide on my bunions and where my arms rub and I didn’t get any blisters or chafing.

On Sunday and Monday, my quads still hurt pretty bad and going down the stairs was really hard.

We hosted a birthday party on Sunday for my son and it was a blast, but after the party, I was really pooped! I treated myself to a massage on Monday and took the day off of work!

By Tuesday, I felt pretty good overall and my quads were feeling much better, but were still sore.

Post Marathon Thoughts

I’m SO HAPPY the marathon is behind me. I trained so hard for this and spent so many hours doing long training runs.

I feel like my schedule just got several hours added back in because I don’t have to carve out time for those long runs.

I never thought in a million years that I’d run a marathon, and especially at age 49, but I’m really proud of myself for doing it. I learned that something you think is so out of reach can become doable when you break it up into smaller, bite sized chunks and actionable steps.

I followed Hal Higdon’s marathon training planf. If I were ever to try to run a marathon again (and I currently have no plans to), I would get a coach. I think it would benefit to do speed drills and more race-pace runs.

I didn’t really know what I was doing, but the marathon book and training plans, along with watching hours of youtube videos about running was very helpful.

My goal was to finish the marathon in under 5 hours, and it took me 5 hours and 43 minutes.

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IF, I was ever to do another marathon, I’d still want to hit that under 5 hour goal.

When I was running around mile 20, talking to Austin on the phone, another runner overheard me saying I’ll never do this again. “Wait until Tuesday” she said.

You know what, she’s right. I kinda want to do it again!

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Meet Megan

Hi! I’m Megan, mom to a thoughtful teenager and spunky young girl. We call Houston home and recently moved into our dream home. I traded my lawyer hat to become a full-time blogger in 2010. I love sharing my passion for affordable fashion, home decor, organization, & fitness to help inspire you to take care of you!


    1. Thank you so much Lisa! I tried to keep it real, the Story highlight has the videos – there’s nothing but truth there! You can see it on our faces!

  1. Congratulations. Entering and running or walking is wonderful.
    You should be proud of yourself and be glad that you did so.
    My sister ran in the Chicago Marathon in 2003. It was just under 6 hours when she finished. Just the fact that she entered was a big thing. She was just a bit under two years at that time of undergoing cancer treatment for stage four cancer. She had been given a small chance of living. She survived -barely. She lives by the motto–Live.
    I get that from your blog–Live. Each person lives differently but you are doing it your way.
    Congratulations again.

  2. You’re an inspiration. I feel after reading this like I did after watching the film Nyad – amazed with the things people can do! You go, girl!

  3. So proud of you!!! This is so amazing. I had tears in my eyes reading, as I have a little idea of how difficult this is. I have NOT ran a marathon, but only half and could not imagine the training, dedication and will to finish this race is like. It’s always so fulfilling when we can accomplish such a big goal. I’m a few years older than you and have felt a little lost with my fitness for a few years. Now I’m back to doing some regular exercise and light weights, hoping to feel my best self this summer. Thanks for the inspo!!!

    1. Congratulations, I’m also training in Kenya i don’t have sponsor if anyone knows help me.

    2. You are on the right track Sandra and you know you will feel better! Austin said that a half marathon takes everything he’s got “& we’re about to do that twice!” It was so hard, but I’m glad we did it- together!

  4. Congratulations to you and Austin for finishing your first marathon – good for you for keeping on even when you felt like you couldn’t take another step! Each subsequent marathon gets a little easier – at least, learning how to pace yourself gets easier. When you are ready to train for your next marathon, (see how I said “when,” not “if”) you might look into some of the great marathon training programs Houston has to offer. Katy Fit, Houston Fit, and many of the local running clubs offer excellent programs for runners of all levels to accomplish their marathoning goals.

    It’s a real struggle to find the perfect marathoning bra. (I’m a 36 D/DD, and I like Enell and Lululemon Air Support, but I’m always on the hunt for a better running bra.) Might I suggest a series of marathoning bra reviews with @Ali-Shaun?

    1. That’s a really good idea – the struggle is real. Zella discontinued the brand of sports bras I like to run in so I need to find another, I’ll check those out. And I saw the WHEN! Ha! 😉

  5. Congratulations Megan! I have also done 3 half marathons around the same time as you and have my first full in 3 1/2 weeks. They say for the first one don’t have a time goal–just finished uninjured. I’m so glad to see that you and your brother stuck it out and finished! I was rooting for you!

  6. Congratulations!! That is a HUGE accomplishment and you guys should be so stinking proud of yourselves. Okay, I own a running store and I can’t stop staring at your brother’s shoes. Those are more casual shoes rather than running shoes and that’s insanely impressive that he ran in those! I’ve got to ask, how were his feet and legs doing??

  7. You are a rockstar!
    What an example to your kids, your friends and to all of us.
    This is an accomplishment you can brag about forever!!

  8. Congratulations to you and your brother! There is absolutely no shame in walking. You only know how you feel on race day and you have to adjust. Finishing is the only thing that matters and you both did that. You still took the same amount of steps, running and/or walking, to finish a marathon. That’s amazing! It does sound like your training plan needs a bit more, as you mentioned, speed runs. I’m currently using the Nike app for half marathon training. try it out!

  9. Congratulations, I am a retired marathoner and triathlete, due to 3 strokes at age 65. Remember runnung the woodlands marathon about 20 something years ago, very boring monotonous course, winding through neighborhoods, never able to see very far ahead. Thought it would never end. Your age 49 connects with me, having run 49 marathons, Congratulations again. Keep going.

  10. Congratulations! You have the kind of mind that wants to tweak and figure out how you can do it even better (hence, wait until Tuesday). Whether you do it again or not, congratulations on a great race. You did it.

    I’ve run 6 marathons (5 Marine Corps marathons and 1 Philly marathon) and about a dozen half-marathons. I’ve had great races and terrible races. It’s a lot like sales; it really is a numbers game. And, even when the numbers say you’re headed in the right direction, sometimes it’s just not your day. That’s okay. It matters more that you tried, you pushed, you persevered. You might have even had a little fun.

  11. Hello my name is Ricardo from Rancho cucamonga.
    Congrats Megan & Austin .
    Completing a 26.2 mile it’s a tremendous accomplishment.
    You seem well fit and strong saw your splits they look like what a first time marathoner will do.
    Like everything we do we need to learn how to become efficient at everything we do in our life.
    I’m 61 years old retired marathoner, still run but no longer runs then 13 miles.
    I wish I had someone to guide it me in my younger years to work on learning how to run efficiently, my first marathon was LA 1987 at 4:19
    Megan if you’re in good Health condition I know you can ran a much better finish time.
    Keep up the good work.

    1. I appreciate your feedback Ricardo. I really didn’t know what to expect for the first time. I’ll pass on the congrats to my brother too!

  12. I just signed up to run my first full – I’ll be 50 when I cross the start (and finish) line. I’m nervous, excited, scared, thrilled. “What was I thinking?” Crosses my mind daily, but I’m determined to make it happen! Congrats to you for powering thru and finishing!!! Thank you for sharing your experience.

  13. I would say that a marathon is a beast unless you are an elite runner (which I am not). As long as you finish it is a win, period and bragging rights are applicable. Done 3, have one more to do before the knees say no mas. I suggest going in, know it is all out war against yourself, you can do it if you train and be prepared for unexpected issues. If you have any inkling, go for it but be all in. A half way training gets you a half way result

  14. Congratulations. Amazing achievement. I can’t imagine. I’m 49 (8 weeks away from the 5-0), overweight and can only run for 15 minutes then I’m pooped. haha. but as you said, small steps. I don’t plan to run a marathon (hubby is ultramarathoner and I have zero desire to join him) however perhaps a 10km is in my future somewhere……..maybe.

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