I remember talking to Lauren after her first marathon where she said it was the hardest thing she had ever done. She said in her blog post after Grandma’s Marathon that birthing twins would be easier than running a marathon (if you didn’t read that blog post… read it here— it is highly entertaining). I had never run anything further than 13.1 miles (for training, I always ran 10 miles the week prior to a half marathon), so I was not use to these long runs or thinking how long it would actually take to run the miles. I had no idea what I was in for!
I still have 5 weeks until my first marathon and one long training run left, but here is what I’ve learned in the process of training for my first marathon.
—It’s not easy
There is a reason that most people on this earth have never run a marathon. It is not easy. It will test you like no other. You start out thinking during a long run—20 miles isn’t too bad… it’s only 1 mile done twenty times. Once you get to 10 miles, you think… I only have 10 left. Once you get to 15, you cannot imagine how you’ll get to 20. And then your body hates you afterwards. You have trouble walking… stairs are awful… and you’re tired like no other. Exercise is supposed to give you endorphins but after I complete a super long run, all I want to do is sleep the afternoon away on the couch!
—Don’t expect to lose weight
Your weight will go up and down during marathon training. You can lose 5 lbs during a 20 mile run, just to regain it plus more afterwards. Especially because after you run, you want to eat all the food in sight! And you don’t feel any sort of guilt because you just burned over 2000 calories during your 20 mile run.
—Your life has to be centered around your training schedule
Unfortunately, your social life has to be worked around your training schedule. During the week of my 17 mile run—I had to get up super early to complete the run before some friends came into town. It was exhausting (I was sleepy the whole time I saw them… yikes!) but I had to get the training in. Then this past weekend, I did my 20 mile run the day of my high school reunion. My high school friends could not believe that I had done 20 miles that morning before the reunion… but you do what you have to do!
—But in the process, you realize you can do it!
If you put in the proper training, you learn that you can do it! I was extremely scared in the beginning that I would not be able to complete the marathon in the allotted amount of time, but after my twenty mile runs, I am confident that I will be able to! This past weekend, I realized that I should have 1 hour and 20 minutes before the balloon ladies come for me during the marathon at Disney (and this was just thru 20 miles). I could stop and take a 20 minute break and I would still be ok. This is encouraging for riding the ride during the marathon or standing in line to get a picture with a character.
Will I be registering for another marathon? I have an idea for a marathon in May, but I will not be signing up until after I finish Disney to see how my body reacts (especially because I would be doing a half marathon the day before this marathon in May—basically a Goofy challenge J). And I would like to do Grandma’s Marathon in 2016 (40th anniversary) and NYC in 2016 too (hopefully I can get lucky in the lottery!!). I know that I can do it now that I have put in the work for Disney and I want to keep pushing myself harder and harder 🙂