Remember how I was going to stop writing about the marathon when I finished the marathon? Well, Paula told me that I should milk it until AT LEAST the end of the week. So blame her for this post 🙂
When I decided to run a marathon earlier this year I went in with a few preconceived notions. And a WHOLE lot of “what the hell was I thinkings?” Over the months and months (and MONTHS) of training – I’ve realized that signing up for a marathon is like being pregnant. You think you know it all. Training for the marathon is like having a baby and realizing you have NO idea what you got yourself into. And then comes the marathon. I’d like to think it’s like watching your baby graduate. The outcome of the training can go into many different directions during the race. Some you have control over with your training. Some you can’t anticipate or even train for.
So now that I’m a graduate — there are a few things I’d like to get a few things off my chest. Hope you don’t mind…
Sometimes “short” long runs, can be harder than the “long” long runs.
I really had no issues with the 18-20+ mile runs. I actually looked forward to them! But the 14-milers?? Woah. Sometimes those runs killed me. Maybe it’s psychological or maybe it’s because we generally ran harder during the short runs, but I was really beat up after some of them! That is one thing I DID NOT expect.
I still hate speedwork – but I LOVE Yasso 800s.
800 meters are my jam. Who would have thought?
Also the jam? Bart Yasso. He is the man.
I cannot find my tempo to save my life.
I think I ran maybe one actual tempo run – where each mile was at the same pace as the previous. As I would type “Tempo Week XX” in Daily Mile each Tuesday I would feel like a fraud. So, I was REALLY surprised to see how consistently I ran during the race.
Running amnesia exists.
I vaguely remember the heat and humidity of this summer – even though it last for MONTHS and it was intense. The only thing I really remember about how uncomfortable the running was is being able to wring out my clothes with sweat at a water stop — after only running 2 miles. Seriously.
You can actually ENJOY marathon training.
Call me crazy, but I mostly enjoyed the last 5 months of training. The schedule gave me focus and the race gave me a goal. That is SO up my alley!
There is such a thing as training for “too long.”
5 months of training for one race is just REALLLLLLY long. Since it was my first marathon, I didn’t really know what I was getting into and I think I peaked too soon. I burned out in the last month and I was not pushing my weekly (shorter) runs hard enough. If/when I do it again, I may train for a similar amount of time, but I will take the first few months easy. I will gradually ease into the speedwork/hills/tempo runs. I won’t start out full throttle like I did this time.
Your appetite doesn’t have to increase.
I’ve heard so many stories about people gaining weight during training and having an increase in appetite, so what’s wrong with me? Sure, I had hungry days here and there – but nothing insane. I also didn’t lose weight (I probably gained a few lbs – maybe more muscle related?) – so I guess I was doing something right. Or maybe I’m just lucky. Everything in moderation!
There may not be tears.
Whenever I thought about crossing the finish line in Savannah I would tear up. Get a little ferklempt. Yet, while I was IN Savannah that didn’t happen. AT ALL. I imagined myself bawling once I crossed – and instead I just wanted a banana, a beer, and to sit down. Sitting never felt so good!
Have you ever had any preconceived notions that surprised you? Anything you have to confess?