By Erin Gannon Special to Published Oct 05, 2007 at 4:42 PM

With a little less than four months of training in my legs, it's time for me to go head-to-head with my goal of running my first marathon on Sunday.

I signed up for the Lakefront Marathon shortly after graduating from college in May. After spending the last seven years competing in high school and college 5-K races, I decided it was time to take a step up in distance running. I've done a few 10K races and one half marathon, but nothing longer than that until I started my training.

To be honest, as race day approaches I am getting a little nervous that this step up is more like a leap up. My dad, a marathon veteran, will run with me so I should be OK. Right?

I decided for my first marathon I would not put any pressure on myself to finish in a certain time. More specifically, I'm going for survival and the honor of saying that I have completed a marathon and one my life's goals.

I have received a lot of support and advice from fellow runners and experienced marathoners over the last four months, which has helped to ease my nerves a bit. Most notably, I had a delightful conversation with the race director, Kris Hinrichs, who offered me some useful advice and motivation.

I'm excited for the chance to run with my dad. This is a rare treat since he lives in Michigan and I don't get to see him that much. I'm also looking forward to seeing my friends and family in the crowd along the way. I hope I won't be grimacing too much, because I am pretty sure that will send my non-runner mother into a panic.

If any Lakefront Marathon runners read this and see me at the race, please come and say hello. Meeting other runners is one of the best parts of organized races. I suppose this is why I sign up for them and know that even when I'm feeling a little sluggish and other people think I'm crazy (which I suppose to run a marathon you have to be a little), there is a group of people who get why I'm doing this.

Erin Gannon Special to
Originally from Michigan, Erin made her move to Milwaukee shortly after graduating from St. Norbert College in May 2007 with a degree in English. Erin tapped into her writing skills as an intern for the college magazine and is excited about the opportunity to combine exploring her new home and a love of writing with When she isn't writing at one of Milwaukee's many coffee shops, Erin can be found reading, running - she's obsessed - or trying to learn guitar. Searching for the best margarita in town is pretty high on the list of hobbies, too.