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Running a marathon is tough. Deciding to make the decision to run one might be even tougher.

When you make that decision, you are not only making a commitment to run the event, but to go through the rigorous training it requires.

But when registration for the San Francisco Marathon came around, it was a commitment Selah's Kari DuBois had no problem making.

“I wanted to shake things up because I’m at a place in my life where I’m sort of stuck,” said DuBois. “You sometimes get to a point in life where you don’t know what you are doing, and this training was a way for me to focus on my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.”

The 46-year-old photographer and Yakima native started training toward the end of November last year and has since been in full beast mode.

A former collegiate volleyball player, DuBois doesn’t consider herself a “marathon runner.” but knew once she worked off the rust, her athletic instincts would kick back up.

“It was a big deal to run 100 yards ... to run two miles, and that was kind of where I started to get a baseline for where I’m at,” said DuBois.

“I thought I was going to die!”

She’s no stranger to marathons, though, as her previous experience was running the San Diego Marathon but having to walk the second half due to shin splints.

Getting up every day to work on her progress, DuBois knows the key to her success is to get better each day and set big, but obtainable, goals.

“Another reason for signing up for this challenge was because I wanted to be a great role model for my kids,” she said.

“My daughter would watch me follow my training schedule and see me working out, so she began writing her own 'training routine' on a piece of paper and then she and my son would follow it,” she said.

“Hold plank for 30 seconds, run around the house five times, and do 10 pushups. It was super cute and so much better than staring at a device all day.”

This being a full marathon, DuBois' main goal is to finish, and not just finish, but finish healthy and in one piece.

She’s had a previous injury with shin splints and a couple months back, suffered a strained calf muscle, but has taken all the steps she needed to make sure she is 100 percent when the starting horn sounds in California.

“It’s sure been an interesting process to see what the body goes through when you are training for something like this,” she said.

It may also help that DuBois won’t be alone in this run.

Sure, she’ll be surrounded by thousands of other participants, but it’s the familiar faces that will keep her going.

“There are women from this leadership program that I am in with that will be there at the end of the race to support me and each other,” said DuBois.

“Everyone there will have their definition of success, whether it’s a certain time or what place they finish in, but for me, it’s all about just finishing.”

The San Francisco Marathon is an official 26.2 miles and begins at Mission Street and the Embarcadero.

The race begins early Sunday (July 28) 5:30 a.m., and in order to be considered a finisher, you must finish in under six hours or less.

The course is USATF certified, so all times will be used to qualify for the Boston Marathon and Olympic Time Trials.