Marathon training. *internally vomits* Marathon training sucks and you shouldn’t sign up for a marathon on a whim. And yet, I’m the idiot who signed up for a half marathon after having an irregular workout schedule for the better part of three years. I’ve been almost two weeks into training and here’s what I can tell you. It’s hard, the motivation doesn’t last for nearly as long as you think it will, and I’m not the biggest fan of running until I get thirty minutes in.
There will be setbacks.
I got sick not even a week into training. I completely underestimated what a blessing it is to be able to breathe out of your nose. Not to mention breathing out of my mouth caused me to have a coughing fit so I took to the bed for rest because rest was recommended. I skipped four days and felt guilty as hell. The thing is if I wouldn’t have rested and recovered from my terrible cold I probably would have been sick for longer. Another setback is that I wasn’t mentally prepared to take on this challenge. When I couldn’t make it through my 2.5-mile run it wasn’t because I physically couldn’t do it. I wasn’t running fast enough, I got tired too quickly, and all of these other thoughts were running through my mind and I ended up defeating myself. The biggest challenge has honestly been convincing myself that I can do this, that I can finish this workout, and that running four miles is an accomplishment for me. I’ve never run that far before. I may have stopped four times, but I did it.
I wasn’t ready.
My body is sore. All. The. Time. I haven’t worked out this frequently since high school. Some days it feels great to know that I’m physically pushing myself. Some days I don’t want to move an inch and the idea of going upstairs for a glass of water leaves me as exasperated as the idea of climbing Mount Everest. Stretching, yoga, and strength training are delightful. I could do them every single day if it meant not running another yard. Actually, when it comes to running I don’t mind it, but I definitely don’t love it. I’ve always been a sprinter and this distance game is really screwing me up.
Give me veggies.
I have been craving healthy food. I crave water. I hate pop. I want spinach, cucumbers, turkey, apples, almond milk, and fish. The thought of eating a piece of cake sometimes leaves my stomach uneasy. I don’t want or need sugar. Dairy is still my favorite, but I don’t want it as much. I hardly ever have caffeine. Turns out when I drink eleven glasses of water throughout the day I don’t need my morning coffee, my midmorning iced mocha, my early afternoon, or my late afternoon pop. Deciding to run a half marathon has drastically improved my diet.
Motivation only lasts so long.
Running is such a mental challenge for me. Convincing myself to get ready, to go to the gym, to start running is easy. It’s when I hit the half mile mark or mile mark that it gets hard. How do long distance runners do it? One, I don’t have the drive to just keep running when I’m tired. I get tired and all I can think is that it’s about time for a break. Two, running can be so boring. Maybe I’m doing it wrong? If any runners are reading this please tell me your secrets to getting through a long run. I will take any, and all, valid advice. All I know is music only works for so long. I need some Kanye, Jay Z, Eminem, Nicki Minaj, Future, and/or Notorious B.I.G. to get into the running mood. When I’m at the gym watching football or basketball gives me the momentary motivation I need. Watching other people work a hundred times harder than me hauling ass on a TV makes me want to run longer, farther, and faster.
But for real? If you have any advice for making it through the long runs, how to beat cramped muscles, not feeling guilty for skipping a run, or anything else, send it my way. Because I’ll share all of my triumphs and downfalls with you. And, trust me, there will be a lot.