Chasing Your Dream: An Auburn Professor’s Journey to Run the New York City Marathon
Professor Marianne McCarley earned her media studies degree from Auburn University in 1995. Following graduation, she moved to New York City to intern with HBO. Since then, she has represented directors, editors, and special effects talent who have won awards including Cannes Gold Lions, Emmys, and AICP and AICE Awards.
While building her career, Professor McCarley decided to run the New York City Marathon. We got the inside scoop on her journey.
Why run this marathon?
It was a bucket list item, I had always wanted to. At the time, I had just run my first 5k and thought it was fun, so I wanted to take it even further to a 10k, then 15k, then a half marathon. I wanted to keep up my health journey, so I began training for the marathon.
How did you train?
Basically, it was six months where I ran over 526 miles total to train and prep. I kept a running journal to track everything: how I was feeling, what I was wearing, and how the weather was each day of training. The morning of the marathon was 45° F. But, because of my training and documentation, I was prepared. It really helped me establish a comfort level for myself. I knew what conditions worked the best for me and which conditions I struggled with.
What was your dietary plan?
In the morning, I religiously ate oatmeal and salt to make up for the sweat loss. It would be 16 ounces of water and a bowl of salted oatmeal. I did 13 half marathons before, and salted oatmeal helped immensely.
What was your biggest challenge?
I had to push myself every week. I woke up at 6 a.m. for the longer runs to stay consistent with my work schedule. There were times where I physically didn’t know if I could continue training. Working my training in around a busy schedule and social life was difficult.
How did you feel during the marathon?
By the time you get to the marathon, it’s like a party. People hand out water, orange slices, high fives, and hugs. Everyone is cheering you on, motivating and supporting you. I completed the race in five hours and one minute, and stopped for 17 hugs along the way.
How did you celebrate?
I thought I would feel incredible after the marathon, so I had planned a party with friends and family to celebrate at my apartment. But I was exhausted. I sat in an ice bath for the entire party. I couldn’t walk properly for days and wore slippers everywhere, even to work! Even though I was beat, I felt amazing and wanted to sign up for the next one. I felt on top of the world, and I’d never felt that way before. The NYC Marathon is easily one of the greatest things I have done in my life.
Inspired to run a marathon yourself? Check out the training program Professor McCarley used to hold herself accountable here, and share your journey with us on social media @AuburnCampusRec.
Be well, Auburn.