Written by a 2 year old runner with a lot to say and an intense love for something I thought I could never do.
These are the Joys and Miseries that I have encountered during my couple years of running. Everyone is different but I wanted to give a realistic look into the world of a Marathon beginner.
The Miseries of Marathon Training
Time Consuming: The beginning of training was fine. 3-5 mile runs 4 days a week is completely doable. Now that I’m up to 7 miles 3 days a week and a long run on Saturday, it’s a little different. Working 8 hours then coming home and having to do a 7 mile run is really taking up a lot of my time. I still have to cook, do laundry, give much needed attention to my dog, watch my fave shows, hang out with friends and work on my side projects. I know it sounds a bit ridiculous but I used to have a schedule that I was comfortable with and now it’s all out of wack.
Backne: Gross! I have recently started to get backne and ache isn’t something I’m used to so this is a big deal to me. I guess it’s from the sweat caused by 80-90 degree summer runs. I get in the shower the second I get home from a run, I use ache body wash and cleansing pads but nothing is working. I’m super self conscious and I feel so gross. I’m hoping cooler weather may help but if not I guess I’ll just have to ride it out until after November 8th.
Injuries/Soreness: Sore legs, injury and the occasional sore back have been annoying but not unbearable. I’ve been able to overcome tendinitis, shin splints and swollen knees. I’ve learned that better shoes, compression sleeves, rest, ice and a better understanding of my body is necessary for running health. Having an athletic trainer husband isn’t hurting either. 😉
Super Early Saturday Mornings: When my alarm goes off at 4:00am on Saturday morning I feel like I’m going to die! It’s dark outside, I have a hard time eating because my stomach hurts and I’m pretty stiff.
The Joys of Marathon Training
Health: Training has given me a new outlook on my health. I no longer do sit ups for a flat stomach. I don’t lift weights in order to see muscle in my arms. I don’t squat for a bigger butt. I now care less about what my body looks like and more about what it can do. I do core exercises so that my legs don’t have to do all the work during my runs. I lift for strength in both my upper and lower body. I squat for stability, for strength, for a better stride and for more power. I want to do the best I can for my body because it does the best it can for me. Nutrition, work outs and mental preparation have become a huge part of my every day life.
Accomplishment: Duh! This is the best part of running. Being able to accomplish each new mile and before you know it you’re running for hours with out stopping. The pain, the doubt and the time are all worth it when you successfully do what you set out to do. So far, I’ve accomplished 14 miles. 12.2 to go!!
Self-Esteem: I have never been more proud of myself then when I accomplish a new longest distance run. Sure graduating college, starting my own company and finally liking who I am have all been amazing things for my self-esteem but those are all things I knew I would eventually be able to do. Running is something that I never even considered possible. I am beyond proud of myself for committing to such a difficult task. I feel good every time I finish and every time I start. Nothing else in life has given me what running has.
Shopping: Running shoes, hydration belts, compression sleeves, socks, dri-fit and head bands. I like going to running stores more than Forever 21 now. The walls of shoes and the racks of clothes just really do something for me. My favorite running store in my area is Top Speed Running.
Mental Toughness: Our minds can be our biggest enemies. It tells us we can’t when we can. It screams stop even though our bodies are fully capable of continuing. Running teaches your mind that it can’t win. Almost every time I run I have an urge to stop but I never do. I won’t stop unless something is really hurting. The pain in my chest or the weakness in my legs will never make me stop. I am mentally stronger in every aspect of my life. I control me.
Belonging: Passing other runners is a cool feeling. Knowing that they understand your fears, pride and pain is a comforting feeling. The friendly waves, nods and smiles always make me happy. It is a community of strong people who push themselves to be better. They fight pain, they are persistent and they have powers many other’s don’t. The running community is an amazing place to belong.