Well my marathon training is beginning to escalate now! I'm running 3 - 4 times a week, following a schedule I found online that includes short runs, "fartlek" training (this is speed training where you vary your running speed within a specified timeframe), cross training (cycling, swimming, etc..) and then a long run on the weekend.
My long run yesterday was 4 miles and they are getting ready to increase rapidly from one week to the next. The maximum distance I will be running during training is 20 miles on 12/18, The distances drop off the last 2 - 3 weeks before the marathon so I won't be overworked going into it. So, the first and potentially last time I'll run 26.2 miles will be on race day, January 15th!
I've been stretching and using the foam roller before and after my runs to avoid the IT band problems I had in 2009/2010. So far, I have no pain but I say that with caution because I didn't have any trouble then until I got up to a 10 mile run. We'll see how I do with the longer distances.
I would never have guessed that running would be my thing. Although I sometimes literally argue with myself to get going, I feel great when my breathing levels off during the run and of course, when the run is over and I've accomplished what I set out to do.