I’m just about halfway through marathon training and while I’m definitely not feeling burnout like I did the last time, it’s slowly creeping in. I’m at the point where I have mild aches, soreness everyday. Also tired. Not in a, I didn’t get enough sleep or eat well and I feel sluggish tired. Just…tired. I know quite a few people that have run marathons, and I have this mentality that it’s really not that big of a deal look at all the people I know that have done it! It is though, because even though I know quite a few people that have, I know even more that haven’t. It’s a big commitment, It kind of consumes your life for at least 4 months. For 4 months (usually of your summer no less) you have to be dedicated to working out 5 days a week minimum, to getting up before the sun Saturdays because you need to beat the heat. If you’re training with a group I imagine that helps; to have people to meet up with at an ungodly hour on Saturday to go run 15 miles. When you’re doing it on your own though, this is where it starts to get tough. When the long runs turn into 2+ hours, the weekday runs become longer, you know you need to get in a good strength training workout but pizza/nachos/chips/beer/couch sounds sooooo much better. This is hitting the wall in training. Where physically you are more than capable of finishing, probably even improving along the way. That is if you can mentally push yourself there. If you can resist the urge to “take a break” or “take it easy for a week”. It becomes a slippery slope then; taking it easy for a week turns into 2. Midweek runs drop off. Long runs get shortened because 12 miles instead of 16 is good enough. I never run with my Garmin when I’m not training for a marathon. Even if I am training for a half I don’t use it. A half marathon is a cake walk these days and if I’m doing one, it’s just for fun. Marathon training though? It’s a whole other beast. My carefree run for fun attitude has to take a back seat if I want to be successful and this is what my life turns into.
Yes, that bad boy is my training notebook. It contains every run with time, average pace, average cadence and my strength training workouts and yoga workouts. I’m sure it seems extreme to some, but without it I fall down that slippery slope of cutting workouts short or not doing them at all. This keeps me accountable. Also I very much like notebooks and highlighters so it’s a nice way to put them to use.
I still don’t set a goal for marathons yet, other than finishing. Maybe one day I will train to finish in a certain time, but for now I’m content with finishing strong whatever the time is. I definitely feel that I will do better than last time as I am far more dedicated (see notebook) and committed to my training.
So here’s hoping the second half of training goes as well as the first. Even though it’s only going to get harder, but when it gets hard I think of one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite movies:
I’ve thought of that quote when I needed to dig deep for pretty much all sporting events in my life from high school until now, because it’s true; the hard really is what makes it great. It’s why I keep coming back to this crazy adventure that is marathon training.
Keep it real,