Erica, first off thanks for following my blog. I'm excited to have you around.
As for a marathon, I have not yet completed a full marathon. I'm thinking of running my first one in 2014. It's called the Snicker's Marathon and is held in Albany, Georgia every year in March. I did just complete my first half marathon. I followed the marathonrookie.com training schedule of running 4 days a week and two rest days. On those rest days I took a 45-minute spin class. My longest run before the half marathon was 12 miles in which I ran in 2:20 and I ran the half marathon in 2:14.
As for losing the weight. When I was pregnant with my second baby I developed gestational diabetes and had to come off all sugars and fried foods during the last five months or so. After giving up Pepsi (my all time favorite beverage), I found that I could survive on diets and still get my caffeine kick that I wanted. After Bug Jr. was born I went back to Pepsi, fried foods, and all things sugar. When I went for my yearly appointment a year after she was born I weighed in at a whooping 158lbs. and knew right then and there I needed to change it all again. I started drinking nothing but diets again, tons of water, and only eat the sweet stuff in moderation. I also cut way back on the fried foods. You can basically eat whatever you want but do it in moderation. So most nights before bed I will have four cookies or a small bowl of ice cream (my all time favorite). Considering I was a runner in high school, I knew how to do that so I went back to what I could do. Running for me is a stress reliever and it helps me to be able to take care of my family and myself. My oldest daughter has also started running because she sees me doing it so much.
As for the Garmin. I purchased the Garmin Forerunner 305. I did tons of reviews on all the Garmins. Studied tons of blogs and read everything I could possible read on them. Even though I really wanted the 405, it was just a bit more than I wanted to spend and considering the 305 does basically everything the 405 does, I settled for the cheaper one. I was able to get the Garmin Forerunner 305 from Walmart.com for $158 (with tax and shipping of just $.97, and I also received it quickly, placed the order Friday afternoon and had it Tuesday afternoon). I have not gotten to use it, I will take it out on a test run this afternoon for 3 miles. Tomorrow I'll post my review of the Garmin 305 after taking it for a run.
I hope that I answered all your questions and if you have more, do not be afraid to ask.