It may have been that I didn’t do my research, or that I ignored a lot of unsolicited advice. Whatever it was, there were a few things about training for, and running a marathon and even half, I wish I knew ahead of time.
My sorority little (LML Lex) reached out and asked if I had a plan I followed for training and I pointed over to Hal. But there is a lot more than the numbers. Here are the things I wish I knew before training for my marathon.
- You will give up your weekends. Sure you plan for the long runs, and allocate the appropriate hours. But no one told me I’d be giving up my weekend nights. Not that I’m much of a socialite anyway but, every weekend night was either cancelling/avoiding plans, or leaving early. I was anxious about getting enough sleep or I was exhausted from my long run. Not to mention all the hydrating instead of wine-ating.
- You may gain weigh. WTF WAS THIS!? I was literally running more than in my entire life, but from when I started to race day I gained 7lbs. Don’t you dare say muscle weighs more than fat. I was eating a lot more, and eating a lot more carbs. You need carbs but you don’t need to over indulge. Since my race I’ve lost 5 of those bad boys.
- It’s expensive. All I’ll need is sneakers and the pavement, right? WRONG. When you get into training you want to do everything you can to make your runs more comfortable. For me that included body glide, a water belt, a FlipBelt, new socks, new shorts, gels, and shirts. Not to mention entry fees. Races aren’t cheap.
- Bad runs feel like failure. People do tell you not every run will be your best, but I never expected to feel so down after not finishing the full distance, or even taking a walk break. I couldn’t have anticipated the depression of missing a long run and the anxiety of how and when I would make it up.
- The race is emotional. As I mentioned in my marathon recap, seeing my family and friends there to cheer me on was an amazing moment and I was overcome with emotion. But even as the race started, surrounded by strangers, I felt overcome with pride, excitement, fear, terror and the need to pee.
- It changes you. Even with all the things I wish I knew, the anxiety, hours, plan changes, and price tag, running is something I will never give up. I may not always be training for a race, but I’ll always be a marathoner. That my friends, is the craziest thing.
Go get ’em Lex!