NOTE: Sorry I have no weekly recap this week 😦 I wrote it Monday night and scheduled it for Tuesday, but for some reason it disappeared! 😦 So here is my post I was planning for later in the week!
In the weeks leading up to the Walt Disney World Marathon, the day of the marathon, during the marathon itself, and shortly after I declared – “This is it! I am done with marathons!” I had signed up for the WDW Marathon before I had ever ran a marathon before (we signed up in the Spring and my first marathon was Grandma’s in June), so I really had no clue at that time what I was getting myself into. I looked at the training plans online and it didn’t seem that bad. Oh, a couple 20 mile training runs? No big deal. Running 5 days a week? Fine by me. It’s not until you actually get into the training schedule that you realize what a HUGE commitment marathons are.
It’s not even the marathon itself that is the worst part, even though I do not enjoy running 26.2 miles during one run (who really does?!). The feeling you get at mile 20, when you are completely and utterly exhausted, thinking insane thoughts, and then realizing you still somehow have to muster up the energy to run over 6 more miles, is absolutely depressing. That is bad, but the worst part of running a marathon is all that training leading up to it. My life turns into running and any cross training before work, going to work, eating dinner, and having no energy so going to bed usually pretty early. And you are constantly hungry. Like, I seriously can’t remember the last time I was full. I eat so much, yet I’m always looking for more. The struggle is real.
Sometimes the constant training makes me feel that I am missing out on other things. For instance, I might not be able to hang out with friends on a Saturday night because I have to wake up early to run a bazillion miles on Sunday morning and I don’t want to be hung-over and or tired. Or if I do go out, I’m no fun because I can have one Michelob Ultra and then I want to go home because I’m tired and it’s no fun to be around drunk people when you aren’t drinking. Also, the day of my long run I basically am useless after because I’m so tired! Thus, the chores don’t get done and we eat out because I am in no mood to cook.
So, those reasons above are what I really dislike about marathons. I’ve been thinking a lot lately and now I’m not sure that I have to be looking at it all so negatively. First of all, I’m in my late 20’s now, have a serious boyfriend, and a full time job so it’s not like I am hitting the clubs (do people still say that?!) that hard these days, marathon training or not. And maybe I just need a new plan for how to tackle the long runs without being exhausted after. For instance, maybe I should go for my long run, come back home and eat, shower, take a short nap and then maybe I will have more energy to get stuff done during the day. And the eating part? Well that’s not so terrible, is it really? The nice part is since I am burning off so much by running, I don’t gain weight! Things could be worse.
I think what I need to figure out during the training for my next marathon (let’s face it, it’s going to happen) is balance. I need a better balance between work, life, and training so I don’t get so overwhelmed, and so that I still have time for other things in my life. I realize now what it takes to be able to cross that finish line, and I just need a better plan to tackle it more effectively.
Another reason I know I will run a marathon again is I’m a competitive person and it did “irk” me a bit to only beat my previous marathon time by 10 seconds. I thought my training went smoother, I felt better during this marathon than I did my first, the weather was perfect, and the course was flat. I definitely want to crush that time the next marathon. So, during training for the next one I will be sure to incorporate some speed work into my training, which I totally neglected during my last training period.
Also, I spend a lot of time looking at different marathons around the country and there are so many I want to do. Now, I’m not going to go crazy and do one every few months, but I think a good goal would be 1 or 2 a year.
My primary running focus will be half marathons, but I do look forward to running my next marathon, wherever or whenever it will be. Marathons to me are like bad boyfriends (DISCLAIMER: DEFINITELY NOT A REFERENCE TO MY EXTREMELY SUPPORTIVE, LOVING, AND BEYOND WONDERFUL BOYFRIEND!! THINK MORE, KATY PERRY AND JOHN MAYER or JUSTIN BIEBER AND SELENA GOMEZ). You know they sometimes treat you badly or make you feel like crap, but for some reason you just keep coming back for more.