Wednesday, September 5, 2012

10 Things I've Learned About Marathon Training

10 quick things I've learned about marathon training thus far:

1. It takes a LOT of time. Like, MUCH more than I expected. It fits in my lifestyle right now. I don't have kids. The Hubs has to work late a lot. I have a flexible boss who doesn't mind if I come back to work crazy sweaty after a lunch-workout (nor does he mind if I eat lunch at my desk afterwards). But, really. It does take a lot of time. HOURS of running. Cross training. Strength training. Hours and hours. It's a commitment.

2. You'll have to say NO to other things. See the whole "it's a commitment" thing in #1. Prime example-- a great friend of my asked if I wanted to go to a semi-local wine festival this weekend. My first thoughts: "WINE? Yes, please!" But, then reality set in and I started thinking about how I would possibly be able to drive an hour to the festival, have a good time, drive an hour back AND get up the next morning for a solid 22-miler. Not gonna happen. So, I had to say no. Sadly no. Marathon training is my priority right now. I absolutely know life is all about balance and am working hard to maintain that balance... but, I also know that marathon training takes commitment. And, that means saying no sometimes to put training first. Training's not forever. There will be more wine festivals. And, mark my words-- I'll be there for those.

3. You'll be hungry. Like, all the time. And, WAY more hungry than you think. Pre-training I read a TON of running blogs. I read all the "OMG I'M SO HUNGRY" posts and really didn't think much of it. See-- I thought I already understood. I thought I WAS ALREADY hungry all the time. Um, yeah. I was wrong. So wrong. In the past few weeks I've experienced whole new levels of hungry I never knew possible. I legit feel like I'm basically hungry all the time. An hour after a meal, I'm hungry again. Not that "I'm bored so I'll eat" thing. No, no. HUNGER. Like, tummy-growling-painful-give-me-food-NOW kinda hunger. I was in no way prepared or expecting this. I now understand why many people GAIN weight when training for a marathon.  

4. I mean... it's gonna hurt. It amazes me when people are SO amazed when I say I'm sore. Or when they tell me that means I'm working out too hard. Hello. It's marathon training. A little uncomfortableness and sore muscles and tired legs/feet are kinda part of the game. Should it be CRAZY PAIN all the time? Well, no. Of course not. But, do I have sore legs like a lot? Are my legs heavy and tired most of the time? Well, yeah. I mean-- I'm running. Like a lot. All the time. Of course it's not all rainbows and sunshine.

5. The runner's high I'm going to get from crossing that f-ing finish line is going to be the best high in the entire world. I honestly can't even imagine just how amazing it's going to feel. I'm beyond pumped. Thinking about that feeling is what gets me through a LOT of those long run miles. Cheesy? Sure. True? Absolutely.

6. Turns out, running really is like 90% mental. Ok... maybe not 90%. But, a freaking lot. Right now, 4.5 weeks out-- I think my legs are pretty good to go. They could do this thing... I hope. But, mentally, I need a few more weeks to talk myself into this whole "you can do it!" thing.

7. (Especially for women, I think) You see your body in a whole new way. As a female, I have food/body issues. I mean- hello-- I'm not sure I've ever met a single woman who doesn't have at least SOME issues with these areas. I'm no different. I've never had HUGE issues, but definitely am not issue-free. But, training for this marathon has made me see my body in SUCH a different way. My legs are STRONG. They are carrying me through all this training. My body is capable of pushing farther and harder than I ever imagined. I'm strong and capable of covering MILES and MILES on foot. It's an incredibly empowering feeling. I've never been more proud of my body, even though I am certainly not the thinnest I've ever been. Am I pure muscle? Do I have a even remotely "perfect" body? No and no. It's not about being THIN or PERFECT. It's about being a STRONGER version of me. It's a pretty amazing feeling.

8. You'll want to talk about marathon training all. the. time. It will take over your brain and you'll think about it 90% of your waking hours. OCD to the extreme. Turns out-- not everyone else will want to hear about it all. the. time. Find the people who will want to hear about it non-stop and talk them to death. Leave the other people alone and talk to them about Big Brother or the Real Housewives of NY or whatever. Not that I watch those shows. Ever.

9. You're gonna need a good support network. I honestly feel like I am SO lucky in this areas. The Hubs is the BOMB and asks me all the time about my training. He lets me get crazy OCD about it and not only listens, but SUPPORTS me. He gets excited about my good runs, texts me every morning to ask me how the gym went, and geeks out over my Garmin each Saturday when I get home to check out my splits. It's adorable and I am SO grateful. He keeps me motivated and gets me pumped to work harder. Plus, I have an amazing extended network of friends and family who just freaking ROCK. So many of them are going to come cheer me on marathon day. Just knowing they're out there will make me feel SO, SO, SO much better and excited and pumped. I'm beyond lucky to have them.

10. It's kinda the coolest thing you'll ever do. Ok, maybe not EVER. I feel like having a baby will be cooler. And, OK-- so, getting married was basically the best thing EVER and will be the happiest day of my life, even after the killer runner's high finish line experience. BUT-- it's up there. Like, top 3 for sure. I'm pretty sure I'll never be more proud of myself then in that moment, crossing that finish line. I mean-- it's a freaking MARATHON. How cool is that? I have every intention of congratulating myself and being beyond proud of myself for pretty much the rest of my life. Boom.


  1. This post totally made my day. Especially the last e card :-)

  2. I'm so proud of you babe! <3 Even if this means you won't come hang out with me on Friday and drink copious amounts of wine and eat ridiculously delicious/horrible fair food...I still love you and I'm beyond proud of all your hard work!!

    Love you!