marathon training: reflections
Let’s talk college. You’re nearing the end of spring semester and are insanely busy studying for finals, writing essays, and pulling all-nighters. You just can’t wait for that moment when things settle down — when classes are over, tests are completed, and papers are handed in. But when you finally get there – summer vacation – it’s almost anti-climatic.
Compare this to training. 112 days ago I started training for a marathon. And now that the race is four days away (holyshit) and those 16 weeks are pretty much behind me, I almost feel like it didn’t happen. During 50+ mile weeks and 20+ mile long runs, I’d dream about tapering, of hydrating with beers on a Friday, and sleeping in on a Saturday. And now that I’m here, I’m in disbelief that since January I’ve been running and running and running. And now I’m just haaanging out. Resting. Waiting.
So as I spend time hangin’ and reflecting, I’ve realized a few things. To be honest, I’m not sure training for a marathon made me fall in love with running even more. I think what I loved most about training was the challenge, the improvements I saw, the camaraderie I felt, and the community I was with. (Thankfully, uh, those are a lot of awesome things!) Yet, I’m just not cut out for sticking-to-the-plan. I’m the opposite of a Type A person, and following a strict schedule forced me to almost become someone I’m not comfortable being.
I don’t know how to be insanely organized with my fitness regime, and these last 16 weeks felt a bit/very unnatural. I definitely ran when I should have been resting, definitely stopped short when I felt good. I didn’t give myself the flexibility to go by feel — I took training to be a science, and these 16 weeks an experiment of “how fast can Laura run a marathon if she actually trains.” I started to believe my training plan knew me better than I did. And it’s a piece of paper duct taped to my wall.
But either way, the training is pretty much over. And when push comes to shove (that’s such a weird phrase) I obviously don’t regret it. If nothing else, 16 weeks of training will make a person ITCH to get to the starting line. And I can safely say I’ve never been more excited to race. Tapering has been so good to me – I feel good. Rested. Ready. Pumped to crush Eugene.
And then get my life back. And run lots of 10Ks (: