Advice to Someone Looking to Run Their First Full Marathon in Less Than 2 Months

Crystal posted the following comment to another post covering marathon training tips: 

I'm running my first marathon ever, the full 26.2
I have less than 2 months to train for it.
I'm active but had a baby, and a few surgeries this past year...
All I need is someone to tell me I can do it. In such a small amount of time.

Well, Crystal, the quick and dirty answer to your comment is YES, you can COMPLETE the full 26.2 marathon in less than 2 months. Barring injury or illness, anyone can cover the full 26.2 mile distance in my opinion. But "how" you complete the full marathon is the real question.

Someone walking at a casual pace of 3 MPH can complete a full marathon, but it'll take you close to 9 hours to do it. I think most people can walk at that pace and cover close to the 26.2 mile distance without much training.

But for Crystal, I'm assuming that she has some running base on her, say 10 to 20 miles per week. Maybe her long run is 6 to 8 miles. With 2 months to go, I can see her possibly increasing her long run distance by 2 miles every other weekend, getting her theoretically up to 14 to 16 miles in 2 months.

I think 13 miles would even be enough. Here's a story from a previous post relating to someone that I helped to convince could run his first marathon 20 years ago:

I remember it well.  Barack (not his real name...but I do know of one Barack) started his marathon training at probably 240 lbs at a height of 6'.  Most of that weight was in Barack's belly.  Barack was a busy executive who didn't have a lot of time to train, but he took it seriously.  However, 2 months before the 1996 Los Angeles Marathon, he confided to me that his longest run was only 10 miles.

Barack was determined to run his first marathon.  I told him that if he could ramp up his long run to at least 13 miles (half the marathon distance), I think he could slog through the whole marathon.  I could have taken a harder stance and told him to do at least 16 miles, but I knew that wasn't possible for him at that point.  He would probably injure himself.  He needed the mental encouragement more than anything.  He could finish the marathon indeed...but he may have to walk/jog a good portion of it.

Sure enough, 2 months later Barack was ecstatic.  He finished his first marathon.  He was thrilled to earn that medal on his neck.  It took him 6 hours or so to finish the race, but he did it.  I don't think his peak mileage was more than 25 miles.

26.2 Tips to Run Your First Marathon