11 marathon musings

11 weeks into gearing up for Eugene, and I’ve learned 11 things about training for a marathon.

That’s learning one new thing a week! #Education.

Long runs are what make the marathon
I had no idea most marathon plans call for a long run EVERY weekend. (No wonder “the wall” came on full-force during Wineglass.) And now that I’m running long every weekend, I can feel myself more and more comfortable with endurance training (one would hope…) and have come up with lots of fun mental games to make 20-mile runs “fly by.” (The “it’s just four 5-mile runs!” is my favorite.) That said, long runs are also a huge mental and physical battle. I am always so zonked afterwards that the rest of the weekend I feel like a super sore zombie who can barely keep her eyes open. Let’s hope these runs pay off.

You’ll seriously be in the best shape of your life
After all these crazy miles and strength routines and tempo workouts, one of the huge payoffs (aside from the race, of course) is feeling like you’re in great, strong shape. And I definitely think I am.

You can’t lose sight that what you’re doing is tough
I think it can be easy to forget that training for a marathon is fucking hard. And sometimes when you’re surrounding by others who are doing the same thing, it can undervalue your own accomplishments. Yeah… seventeen of your other friends also went on an 18-mile training run today, but that doesn’t mean yours wasn’t special.

It’s an incredible time commitment
Can I just borrow another 20 hours per day to fit all this in? Training isn’t just one daily run — it’s stretching, warming up and cooling down, foam rolling, doing your laundry WAY more often, finding the nearest running store that carries Gu, finding the nearest bagel store after a long run…

You will be sore…all the time
Even with all the “up-keep,” I still feel legitimately sore all the time. Sorry legs, I know I am being unkind.

It’s fun!
I wouldn’t do this if I didn’t absolutely love running. And now I get to run all the time! It’s a blessing: I get to do what I love…everyday. 

Training through the winter can suck it
This winter can go to hell. Seriously, I used to love winter and now I’ve realized how draining running in the cold weather has been. 

Your never-ending appetite can be stressful
I AM HUNGRY ALL THE TIME. It sucks when you eat a large meal and then two hours later you’re starving again,  and it is stressful when you’re not sure if you’re eating enough or eating too much. Also…I don’t have enough money to feed my marathon hunger. 

You’re never alone
The running community is so incredible, and even though I’m doing most of my training by myself, I never feel alone. Through twitter, emails, real life (what’s that!) and more, I have people I can talk to for advice, support, and encouragement 24/7 and then some.

You’ll have to make sacrifices
At the beginning, I sacrificed sleep. Then I sacrificed my social life. And now to be honest, I think I’ve sacrificed a bit of my training. But the big secret is you can’t do it all, and I simply can’t get enough sleep, see my friends, put all my energy into my job, and train for a marathon. Something’s gotta give a little.

You’ll get faster
I think I can say with (cautious) confidence that I will PR at Eugene. I ran my first marathon in 3:38, which is 8:18 pace. And crazily enough, that (race) pace now sounds slow. I can see the difference being more strict about my training has made. I’m seeing “7” more often on my garmin than “8.” Double digits don’t scare me. Gu tastes like FROSTING. I am ready. Can Eugene be next weekend?

About Laura

marketing director at Possible. formerly at Greatist. Still running, finding zen, and searching for the perfect bloody mary.

Posted on March 25, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I’m “only” training for a 25k – bring on the full come October!! – but I completely agree with all of this!! Especially the winter part. Seriously, where is spring?!

  2. Can’t wait to see you rock Eugene!! Seriously. And then you can go back to a “regular” life!

  3. Loved reading this! I finally bit the bullet and am signing up for my first marathon. These lessons are good to keep in mind,

  4. OMG so excited to see what you will do! i don’t think i knew you didn’t do long runs every weekend for wineglass. you will rock this!

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