Sometimes, I wonder what I was thinking when I decided to enter into the realm of 26.2. I knew it would be hard, but I think that's as much thought as I put into it. Maybe to decide you want to do 26.2, I had to enter into in blindly. If I think about it too much, I want to run as far away as possible from the idea.
There are a few things I love about marathon training, but a few things I dislike about it. I really can't decide if I like this marathon running idea, but I bet I'll love it after I'm done (let's pray I can finish).
First up, I've noticed I'm not sleeping well these days which is totally not cool. I used to sleep like a champ, nothing would wake me up in the middle of the night. Not so much anymore, I find myself awake for what seems like half the night. I'm not sure if this has anything to do with marathon training but it happened at the same time so I'll assume it is.
I LOVE how it makes me feel. I feel stronger, mentally and physically, I feel healthy, I have confidence, and I feel like I'm learning so much about myself and my body. You have to show up on Saturdays for the long runs. If you don't, you're getting nowhere. You can run 5, 6, 10 miles everyday, but your legs will never get strong enough to hold you for 20+ miles. I feel so good after I run my long distances and it amazes me how I used to struggle through only 3 miles. Your body can do a lot more than you think it can. I used to obsess about every little crinkle in my body and I, for the most part, I don't care anymore. I don't have time to care and also, I know my body is strong so why does it matter? This whole process has freed me mentally, freed me from years of putting myself down. If I spent as much time running as I did telling myself I was no good, I would have run a ton of marathons. Now, instead of wasting my time with negative thoughts, I am putting my body to work (I will be honest and say I do still have negative thoughts but they aren't as apparent as they used to be). I'm making my body stronger and in return, my mind has been set free. This probably doesn't make sense to most people but that's ok.
Another negative-I don't love that I feel like I have arthritis at age 25. I feel like my knee is sometimes begging for mercy but I keep pounding it. A total knee replacement may be in my future, sooner rather than later, but I'm running.
I like that I can eat more. Sometimes I don't, I'm actually really bad a fueling. I tried my hand at carb loading for the first time two weekends ago, and it resulted in a wonderful run. It's for real, the carb loading thing, and I enjoyed every bite. Also, I tried this thing called a Strawberry Waffled Stinger thing. It's meant for fuel during a long run and I was in heaven eating that thing on mile 9. It was so good, I can't wait to eat it again. Although I love the food aspect of it, it also might be a negative part. I don't like to stuff my face with carbs, it makes me uncomfortable. I'm going through a phase right now where I just want to eat fruits and veggies and clean my body out, but it's not realistic, currently.
Another negative/positive (there's always a positive!) I don't like waking up at 5:00a.m on Saturdays. That said, I'm usually back at home around 9 or 10 and I feel like I've had the most productive morning ever so the end result is worth it. I get to experience the sunrise and lovely weather (and sometimes I get to run by horses which makes it an even better morning) while all of ya'll are sleeping.
That's all I can think of for now. We are entering into Fall weather and it will be amazing to train in. The cooler weather makes me feel 30 pounds lighter and I feel like I can fly. My marathon is in about a month and I still don't feel ready for it, but I don't know if I ever will. I missed my big run last weekend to run in a half marathon, but that race was something I really needed to experience. I ran my fasted time and had an total average pace of 9:50. I ran every.single.hill and my legs currently have massive knots in them. I was blown away by my pace and my final time (2:09:40). I know if I can slow it way down I can probably get to 26.2 but I definitely won't be running that pace for the full. I'll do another update soon, I know I've been slacking on my training updates.