10.14.2014

The Truth about Marathon Training.

I'm about to break this marathon training down for y'all - it's not going to be pretty. I feel like so many of the stories I've read about marathon training kinda went like this - 'yeah it was really hard, but I did it and now I feel awesome'. 

This is not one of those stories.

I am currently in week 14 or 21 of my marathon training - we just ran our longest mileage of 18 miles this past weekend and it went something like this...

Brady Band - I hate cold ears!

Starting on Wednesday I obsessively check my weather app 4x a day for rain, the forecast is saying 90% chances of rain for Friday night and Saturday morning. I've never done a long run in the rain and it terrifies me, I don't want to run for 18 miles in wet shoes. What about my phone?? I can't take my new phone in the rain, but what if I need it to call for help? What should I wear? I'm told to wear a visor and no poncho by my marathon buddies. 

I wake up and it's raining and in the 60's so I put on a long sleeved shirt with a tank underneath, but by the Grace of God it stops raining 5 minutes before the run starts. I put my iPhone in a snack baggie and it fits in my iPhone 6 Armband , problem solved. I also ordered a Camelbak Hydration Belt so I wouldn't have to carry anything in my hand, plus the bag part is huge and holds all my favorite running fuels. 


Speaking of running fuels, I start super hydrating 3 days before. I also am sure to get in every single carb {not just pasta the night before} and I also - this is super important - get up way early and drink a big glass of water to - um - get things moving. My serious fear is getting stuck on mile 12 with 'that runner's problem' and no freaking bathroom. I would die. #literallydie


I take 2 O2 gold and 3 Catalyst before my runs.

OK - NOW we can run.


Starting at 6am is nice cause the first 5\6 miles are in the dark, the group is chatting while we run around the lake and I"m feeling nice. Nice and happy. People in the group are excited to see each other and lots of chit chat is happening, people going on dates, what people have been doing at work that week, lots of catching up and the miles just fly by.

We stop for water around mile 5 - I take a gel and drink some spark.

We turn onto a new running trail slightly after that, which is paved, but with the long hard rain just hours before there are a ton of puddles and MUD. Lots of mud, which means there are lots of times I had to jump around so I didn't fall.

We stop again for water around mile 9 - a gel and some water.

It's getting colder, but I can't tell if it's the weather or if I'm just sweaty, but my arms are freezing. We run up some hills and my legs are starting to feel tired and I repeatedly tell myself - you are not tired, you are not tired, you are not tired. It's way to early for me to be feeling that way.

Mile 11 My stomach gets tight and I feel a strong stitch coming on, deep breathing.  Did I drink too much water? Maybe. Ugh, it's spreading to the other side now. Ok, don't freak out just shake out your shoulders and breathe. About a half mile later it's gone.

Mile 12 I start chatting with another girl in the group who I hadn't met before - she was just coming back from her honeymoon and hadn't run in a few weeks. Her race is in November and this was her last ditch effort to get in a long run before she tapers.

Mile 13 I really am feeling tired, I start day dreaming about coffee and food cause I'm hungry. Someone else in the group is hungry too and he keeps talking about it which is making me even more hungry. I look over and see Highway 635, just how far are we from the lake??

Mile 14 Hills. Just so many damn hills. I want to walk so much, but they just keep on running. I'm screaming in my head - please just let me walk. Pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Everyone's chatting away and no one hears my silent pleas.



I get to the top of the last hill and I had a lump in my throat - gah. No crying, everyone else is like, no big deal, and here I am almost in tears thinking we still have almost 4 miles left to run. FML.

Mile 15 I'm running with my gal in the back and I apologize to her that I'm not so talkative this run, I kinda feel mad. Pissed actually - I want my body to do what my mind and heart says!!! The girl I chatted with earlier is running in front of my with her red ponytail swinging  jubilantly - she doesn't even look tired and I want to throat punch her.

Mile 16  Water stop. I tell red pony girl that I need her to act like she's tired so that I feel better, she laughs and tells me that it's starting to hit her. Ugh, just no. I break out the skittles and grab a handful thinking - damn I should of weighed these beforehand. A few of us start to slowly walk while the rest fill up with water.


I decide I need some musical motivation so I turn on my headphones and stay slightly in front of the pack. The Skittles start to kick in and I'm feeling it - runners high - it's coming on and I think I see the turnoff for the parking lot. I starting singing out loud 'I look fine, I look good' and I don't give a shit who is watching me, I'm about to PR this run.

Then I realize we are further than I thought from the car, so I turn my happy ass around and get back with the pack. We finish and I limp, very slowly, back to my car. My legs have never been this sore so fast after a run, my back is killing me, I'm hungry, and I'm covered in dried salt sweat.

My legs are throbbing.
The ends of my toes are in so much pain.
I'm chaffed all around my boobs.
I'm pretty sure if I have to bend down I will not be able to get back up. 

Am I happy it's over? I guess, but my first thought is - I really would still need to do 8 more.

8 more freaking miles.



 Guess I'll just keep running and man up.

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30 comments :

  1. Oh laughing!!! I just ran my first marathon 3 weeks ago & no doubt I had runs like this! I often asked myself what in the hell I was thinking for taking on a full!! But, I promise ya, when you cross the finish line you'll forget about some (not all) of these awful moments!!! ;)

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  2. Girl, the STRUGGLE is real. I TOTALLLLLY feel ya. Training for a half or whatever else is pretty tough, but a full marathon is no joke. I read several books about running a full while I was training for one and it really helped me realize and focus on the mind/body connection you need to have. It's one thing to be physically prepared for SURE, but definitely training your mind helps kind of "trick" your body into doing what you want it to. Sounds like a bunch of mumbo jumbo but once I started kind of creating these chants for myself to tell myself when I'd feel like I was going to die, it really did start to help a lot. I just had to be consistent and trust that process even though I did think it was kind of dumb to chant stuff to myself either out loud or in my head. But hey, I talk to myself anyway so it's really no different. lol. But it sure did help me through the times I struggled during those 26.2 miles. The times I felt like my calf muscles were going to snap off? Yeah, I just started focusing on other things and I totally forgot. Sounds weird because how the heck do you forget about your calf muscles that are about to snap, but I just changed my thinking during all my long training runs. So it's possible. You will make it! You're freakin' killing it, Meg! Just pull a Dory and "just keep swimming, just keep swimming"…er…or "just keep running, just keep running…" :-)

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  3. This just makes me want to cry for you. Here I am just trying to walk on the treadmill with one bum knee and 40+ extra pounds and "wogging" 4 miles is the most I can do. You are KICKASS!

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  4. Why do I feel like I have now had my workout after reading this?

    Meg, I love the shit out of you, you are so inspiring and your drive is one in a million. Keep at it babe, you are KILLING IT

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  5. I finally made 16 miles on Sunday after a couple of weeks of not making it. So far your training has sounded pretty painless and almost FUN, so thanks for sharing your ups and downs. This is no easy feat, but we kick ass for getting out there and getting it done every week. Here's to 26.2 freaking miles, sister :-)

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  6. Bleh! Here I am thinking I may want to run a marathon but training sounds exactly how I thought it would! But now I'm trying to figure out if it's best to run in groups or if I'm okay to do it on my own!

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  7. I love how real this is. I have always wanted to do a full marathon, just never brave enough to actually start the training. I have done several halfs and have another one in the book. The same one as your full. I one day without a doubt get there with my training. Life happens sometimes and I honestly can't dedicate that much time to train right now. Your blog is so raw, that's what I LOVE!! Thank you for your honesty!!!

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  8. regular deodorant is what keeps me from the boob and thigh chaffe, fyi. works like a charm and helps you stink less. ha.

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  9. I am totally freaked out by a half and would prolly go into shock on a full marathon... I recently ran the farthest I ever have in my adult life... 10 miles... I ran 10 miles... my legs hurt, my back hurt, I had rubbing from my VS sports bra that I have to wear to support the volumptious bossum I have... and I cried after I was done and I starting singing "We are the champions" to the dismay of other runners around me. I am doing a 10K Nov 1st... and want to sign up for a half in spring... but I am totally scared... I thought I was the only one... I am over 40 and have always enjoyed running... but not like further than I drive to work!! Thank you for keeping it real... and thank you for your continuous positive outlook!!

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  10. Can I just simply say, Thanks for not being a little bitch and crying every freaking time you run!!! Way to man the f$%& up & be an athlete!!

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  11. I'm currently training for my first marathon and I feel you. This is a very honest assessment and it makes me feel better to know someone else has the same thoughts I have.

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  12. I cant even run a mile without wheezing. I am trying. one foot after another, I am trying. Any day I do not give up is a good day and will keep on progressing. Thank you for the help and motivation.

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  13. Love it. So many runners talk about the high and that always makes me, a newbie, feel like I am failing at something but this, this blog post was EXACTLY how I have felt and I can't even run a mile non stop yet. Great job on NOT giving up. You ROCKED THE HELL out of that run!

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  14. You rock! Love your perseverance! One mile at a time, one step at a time..you got this and we are rooting for you!! 😊

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  15. You're doing great! Do you stretch before and/or after you run? I would love to try a full marathon but I have a bad back so I'm sticking to 10K and less.

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    Replies
    1. Bikram yoga is great for strengthening your back! :)

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  16. Congrats on your long run! It brought back memories of when I did marathons. Try drinking apple juice the night before to get things moving in the right direction if you catch my drift. :)

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  17. thank you for this!!!!! you CAN do it, i know. i am training for my first half and this assured me that half is enough for this girl. ;)

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  18. Oh girl. Man oh man. Proud of you though! Woohoo!
    Now, I need to know why you're too old to wear a visor? I'm 42 and if I'm in the sun, I'm wearing a visor. You are not too cold to protect your face from the damage that the sun can do (or in your case, rain).

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  19. This is amazing. You are a champ! I'm pretty sure this is how I'm going to feel about my HALF marathon training/running hahah. At least until my body can figure out how to run for THAT LONG. But nonetheless, you are awesome.

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  20. Love it! I am training for my first half and cry on days when I have to make it to 6. :)

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  21. Hey listen, if I can do it... YOU can def do it! My first (and only) marathon was in February, in Austin - AUSTIN! With all those damn hills! And I cam e in at around 4:53ish, so YOU CAN DO IT! I can tell you that everything went great for me until mile 19, those last few miles were a little rough, but once you are there, these words are actually in your head "hey you just ran 19 f-ing miles, you can do 7 more, you got this!" and you will then repeat this sentence every subsequent mile until you are struggling to finish out that last half mile! And if you're me, you cross the finish line and with a smile proudly proclaim that you will NEVER do that again!

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  22. Ruby's Lube for your boobs. It has saved me from misery while training for my first marathon.

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  23. Amazing! I think I burned some calories reading about you running. Really makes me want to start the c25k program ....again!

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  24. That sounds SO HARD! I sometimes want to cry after 3 miles, so good for you!! :)

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  25. Lady! I am actually glad you posted this. I did my first and LAST ( I retired from running since ha) marathon in May. Reading the last few months of your blogs I was like geez it's freaking easy for her, but now I see it was just as tough. Ha. Makes me feel better about myself (?weird to say, but true) I am so pumped for you to experience it all. You are going to do awesome and no matter what you will have completed a marathon in a few short weeks. I am excited to hear about your 20miler. That was better than my 18. Get it girl.

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  26. Did I tell you I'm training for a Marathon because of you???? Um- so yea I am. Had a 10 miler the other day is the last two miles were so bad- so so bad! Thanks for this post- just what I needed!! 👊

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  27. You are such an inspiration to me! I love reading all your posts. What app do you use (as picture above) for training? I haven't seen that one.

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  28. Thank you thank you thank you for this post! I am in the process of training for a 1/2 marathon with last Sunday being my longest run (11 miles). I was feeling a lot of the emotions and thoughts that you had while we were running those miles and I am so glad to see that I am not the only one! Especially with the pony tail girl in front that you want to punch in the face (I had one too!). I am so glad you are not putting a rosy glow on marathon training that I find so many people try to do. Keep it real and you are doing great!

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