Monday, March 12, 2012

Running my town - the joys of marathon training

When I ran my first marathon in the fall of 2010, I swore I'd never do it again. The race itself was one thing, but the training was just out of control. When some time had passed and I remembered marathon training as "not being that bad", I decided to sign up for marathon number two - the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon in May.  Upon making this decision my husband reminded me how much I hated the training, and also said he didn't want to hear me complain. I assured him that I wouldn't.

All smiles after the Detroit Marathon - just glad to be done
Fast forward two months into training. I ran 15 miles on Friday, and I was exhausted and grouchy on Friday night. I showered, put on my pajamas and refused to do anything all evening. I was productive all weekend, but only in between complaints of sore quads and my new bruised toenail.  I have never been able to recover quickly from long runs. I need at least 2-3 days to feel normal again once I get above 10ish miles. This training cycle appears to be no exception. Then there's the scheduling. If we go away for the weekend I've got to get in a long run. And not just a fun 5-6 miler. It really starts to take over our entire lives.

Yesterday was a gorgeous, sunny day in Lansing, Michigan, so I decided to head out in the early afternoon for a run. After only about a quarter of a mile, I was struggling. I felt like I was wearing cement shoes, and my legs were screaming. I ran two (yes TWO) miles and called it a day.  I couldn't believe that I rocked out 15 miles two days earlier, and yesterday two miles felt like a marathon. It was brutal. Ah the joys of running.

One of the most frustrating things for me about marathon training is that I love doing races - particularly half marathons. But once you dedicate yourself to 26.2, you don't have the freedom to just jump into races. I have to log the miles in my training schedule. I could do a half and then add a few miles onto the end, but it's not the same. I find that what I love most about running - consistently racing - gets put on hold during marathon training.

26 miles isn't a problem. It's the last .2 that really does you in.
On Sunday I am running a 10k - my first race since last months 15k in Pensacola. After my struggle yesterday I'm a bit anxious. I have to run 12 miles on Friday and then run 6 on Sunday. I'm not sure how my body is going to handle it.

In the mean time, I am still logging lots of miles, and I'm pretty familiar with the Lansing River Trail these days. I know exactly where the flooded parts are, I know where the most geese will be (those mean buggers will chase you) and I know every curve of that trail like the back of my hand. I'll be running Green Bay in just a couple of months, and then I'll be back to running more towns. I've just got to get through 26.2 first.


  1. I ran my first half marathon last year. I'm running two halfs this year. I know what you mean when you talk about the training involved. Because of the required training, I may run a full marathon someday but not until my son finishes high school.

  2. It's good to cross off the bucket list, but I prefer the half distance. It's easier for training, easier for recovery and it's still a huge distance! Thanks for the comment.