Lessons Learned While Training for a Marathon

Three weeks from today, baring any freak injury (knock on wood) I will have run a marathon!  Yesterday I completed my last 20 mile run and now it’s time to reduce my mileage, get nervous excited, and research yelp to figure out where to get my pre-race carbs.

Yesterday’s run was significantly less eventful than the last time I ran 20 miles so instead of the play by play, I thought I’d share some things I’ve learned over the past few months.

1. Where there’s a will, there’s a way: Cliche? Totally.  But also true.  Back in November, I debated for over a week before signing up for this race.  I knew that the commitment would involve training during the winter, over the holidays, and during a really crazy time at work (they don’t call it busy season for fun).  In the end, I decided to go for it and I’m so glad I did.  I hate the cold and I also hate mornings.  Needless to say, I was afraid I might slack off when my training plan called for waking up and running more miles then there were degrees on the thermometer.  But as it turns out, the more I stuck to my plan, the more determined I was to keep it up.  I’ve done every long-run, speedwork session and nearly every planned workout on my training schedule.  I was the first to doubt my willpower and it has been so satisfying to prove myself wrong.

2. The Human Body Will Put up with A lot: what continues to amaze me more than the fact that I’m somehow able to complete runs of double digit mileage week after week is the fact that after completing these runs, I’m somehow able to get off the couch and continue about my day.  Yesterday, for example, after running 20 miles, I stood around the kitchen cooking a bangin’ brunch, watched the Nova boys kick some serious Syracuse butt, and made it into the city for a work happy hour (which involved a 10 minute walk to and from the train station).  It’s good to know my body can keep up with my crazy mind. 

3. If you ever need a reminder of how many supportive people you have in your life, fundraise for something.  I’ve been overwhelmed with the amount of donations and kind words I’ve received since setting up my fundraising page.  And not just from my immediate family who’s obligated to do so!  I’m so close to my goal of raising $1,000 for Breast Cancer and if it’s possible, I’m now even more excited for Feburary 13. 

4. The 26.2 with Donna must be organized by a woman.  But the race course is clearly designed by a man (or at least a non-runner).   I’ve been stalking the marathon website and facebook page (naturally) and this event seems so well organized!  From how easy they make fundraising, to the names printed on every race bib, to making the race shirts in both men’s and women’s sizes , it seems like they’ve thought of everything.  I’ve heard from runners who have done this marathon before that it’s their favorite race and I’m starting to understand why.  However, I also recently discovered that the only hill in the entire course is at mile 25.  So the question is, who designed the race course while the woman in charge was designing my pink race shirt?

Alright, laundry and desert are calling my name (not necessarily in that order) so I’ll leave it at that.  I like this lesson recap though.  How about you?  Maybe I’ll learn some lessons while tapering and you know, actually running the marathon which I can share in future posts.  I also have plans to do things that do not involve running (shocking!) and I promise to be back with some recipes and restaurant recaps soon.