The big 26.2. The interviews below describe two Michigan Triathletes’ experiences running a marathon. Michigan Triathlete Lucian Ramnarase is a junior studying business and ran track and cross country throughout high school. Michigan Triathlete Sarah Wang is a senior studying mechanical engineering and swam competitively. The interviews below illustrate Lucian’s, an experienced runner, and Sarah’s, a swimmer, marathon experience.

When did you decide and sign up for the marathon? Which marathon did you do?

Lucian: I decided to sign up for the marathon when I was in Sydney, NSW, Australia. My friend Shayna, simply asked me why I didn't consider doing Detroit. I honestly just wasn't thinking about it, and wondered why I didn't think about it before. While in Sydney, my friend Maks and I had been running together a lot, so he thought of at least doing the half. When we got home, we both signed up for the full.

Sarah: I had a goal of completing a marathon before turning 20, so when there was a marathon in my town coming up, I was eyeballing the sign up page for a week almost signing up and then not. A new semester of classes started and I sat down next to someone equally distracted in class staring at the same marathon sign up page. By the end of class, we did the deed and signed up together.

What’s your background in running?

Lucian: I had been playing sports for most of my life, and I picked up running as a sport in sophomore year of high school. Then, my freshman year at Michigan, I joined the triathlon club.

Sarah: I grew up swimming competitively since I was five, but went on my first “run” in college after joining the triathlon team.

How did you train for the marathon and what motivated you through your training?

Lucian: I kept my running balanced with my triathlon workouts, but during the summer I tried to have 3 runs per week. 2 of the runs would be longer runs that would be 10 - 20 miles. The 3rd run would be a speed oriented workout. That's would be somewhere between 3 and 5 miles long. I balanced my workouts with swimming and biking to total about 6-7 workouts per week. Then, getting back to school, I followed the club triathlon team's workouts and added in long runs on the weekend.

Sarah: I signed up for my marathon in early January and the race was in mid-March. I started at ground zero. I think my longest run before was about uno mile? I started from scratch and had a goal to up my mileage each week. HOWEVER, as life happens, my mileage fluctuated having busier and less busy weeks. By the the time of the race, my longest run was about 9 miles -- I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND THIS. Knowing more about running now, I would have done more research on how to train and plan your mileage. But motivation to train is a lot easier to find than you’d think! Once I signed up for a race, I found a purpose for every run and that motivated me throughout my training. My motivation came from my desire to break 3 hours and qualify for Boston. Also I did the long runs with Maks, or my running buddy, Alena.

Any advice for people looking to do their first marathon?

Lucian: Just be prepared for the pain. Running is so much more mental than physical.

Sarah: Make training fun! I had to learn that you’re not supposed to be in immense pain every run. Start out your long runs slower than you think is normal and this will set you up for success. Also, I used to think running with people was unproductive and slow. You may go faster by yourself, but if you want to go further (in the case of a marathon), go with people!

In short, how would you describe the marathon?

Lucian: Fun and hard, but I'm glad I put myself through the pain cause thinking back on it any day, I'm proud of my time. During the last 10k, I thought that I would never want to do another marathon, but I already have NYC 2019 on the calendar.

Sarah: I started the marathon with SO MUCH ADRENALINE. I ran the whole race with my friend at the time and he was an experienced runner. He definitely helped us pace ourselves in the beginning because I wanted to go in gas pedal all the way down. The race started running down the middle of usually car-busy street and the energy of the crowd hyped me up so much. Running the whole race with a buddy made the whole experience a lot less painful. Honestly, everything was pretty painless until mile 20 and then I began to DIE. My left foot arch hurt and it began to rain, but not finishing the race was out of the question. When you’re only left with one choice to finish the race, you make it happen.