“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
Training for a marathon is something.
There’s the obvious stuff. You get up before dawn to run for an hour before work. You eat more food that you ever thought possible. You sacrifice happy hours, sleeping in on Saturdays, and toenails. All because you voluntarily signed up to run 26.2 miles…and paid a chunk of change to do it.
Yes, people think runners are crazy and sometimes, stepping back to look at the big picture, I get it.
But one of the things I love most about training, marathon training especially – and why I suspect others jump into the same sufferfest-filled boat – is it proves what we’re capable of doing. It’s also why I wrote a controversial blog that sparked a big Facebook debate a couple years ago about my frustration of a local runner making a big show of himself for not training. For that story read: don’t run a marathon without training.
I remember the first time I ran a half marathon. After finishing, I thought to myself, “I could never run a full – another 13.1 miles, no way!”
I remember thinking something similar when I trained for my first marathon. “Wow, that 14-miler was brutal. No way can I do more next Saturday.”
I remember hearing this from numerous runner friends who had tackled the half marathon but not yet the full marathon. “I can do the half but there’s no way I can run double that.”
But the thing with marathon training is you can – you can run the full, you can do more, you can double the mileage you once thought to be your maximum capacity.
One week you’re exhausted after your first 10-miler, a few weeks later you put in 16 miles, then soon after that, you stop your watch after hitting 20 miles – or, if you’re like me, 20.2 miles – with the ultimate feeling of satisfaction.
The whole 20.2 miles, that’s another story. Feel free to read: why to run the .2 when training for a marathon.
Back to marathon training. Those miles, right? All.Those.Miles.
The thing is, tho, they’re a build-up; I wouldn’t say a gradual build-up, as it seems to escalate quickly, especially after that first double-digit run. But somehow, we do it. We build our endurance. We manage to hit those goals. And we push ourselves to add another mile or two the next week.
Yes, training for a marathon is something. It’s something that, as I write this, I’m in the midst of – how about you?
Special shoutout to Maggie and Kate who are in the thick of training for their first full marathon. I’m excited to see you ladies at the start line of Grandma’s Marathon in a few weeks – and, more importantly, celebrate your victory after.
What’s a lesson you’ve learned from training for a marathon? Is there a nugget of wisdom you picked up training for a 5k, 10k, or half? The comments are all about you so please leave one. Or, connect with me on Twitter @LindsayIRL.