Awhile back I got this crazy idea of running the Chicago Marathon. I ran a marathon around 18 years ago and said I would never do it again, so I don’t know what got into me other than perhaps a desire to make my butt smaller (and achy in the process).
I signed up for a training class, but I also decided to take a look at a few training guides. In the process, I stumbled upon a wonderful book that is not so much a standard training guide as it is a funny and motivational read. The Nonrunner's Marathon Guide for Women: Get Off Your Butt and On with Your Training, by Dawn Dais, is for those who really are nonrunners, or perhaps reluctant runners, who are training for their first marathon. In this guide, the author shares her experiences running a marathon with a sarcastic wit that is a joy to read.
The book provides plenty of basic training advice, but it isn’t your standard guide, and it really probably shouldn't stand alone as your only training guide. Read it instead for the more real world, this is how your body is going to ache but keep going anyway, type of advice. Also read it for some laughs and to know that there is someone else out there who really knows how you feel after you have dragged your butt out of bed at 6am on a Saturday for an 18 mile run. I just recently came across the website for the book, which also provides some information about the book and author.
For an excellent companion guide, that really is a full training program and guide, check out The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer, which is based on a very successful university course for first time marathoners. That one is a more standard guide that won't leave you laughing, but it will give you plenty of useful information.