When I first started running, I thought that running a 5K would be next to impossible. But with consistency and training, I soon conquered the distance. Running became easier and I wanted to challenge myself – I pushed to run faster. I pushed to run further. Next I ran 5 miles. Then I signed up for my first 10k.
And it took a while, but finally Michelle and I decided to tackle a half-marathon. And to be honest, I swore that I would never run another one after that first one. But just like jumping in a pool that’s freezing cold, pretty soon you forget the cold and discomfort and decide that once again it’s a fantastic idea!
Only this time, that chilly pool of water is 26.2 miles. Of running.
That’s right, I have probably lost my mind because Michelle and I are talking about running a full marathon this up coming summer. At least that is what everyone says. Why is it that anyone contemplating running a full marathon (or longer distances) be deemed “crazy”?
There are plenty of people in the world that are running marathon distances, if not longer, everyday. With the right amount of training and discipline, running a marathon is definitely within my realm of possibility. I just need to go into the training with the right mindset and be patient with the process.
One of the major issues I suffer from while training for longer distances races is that I get burnt-out from all the training miles. I lose the joy of running just to run and it becomes a chore. It’s something that I HAVE to do instead of wanting to do. I still haven’t figured out a way to conquer that yet, but I have a feeling that running more often with Michelle will help prevent that runner’s burn out. I love having someone to run with and Michelle is by far one of the best running partners to have! She’s so encouraging when I’m struggling and pushes me to go further or faster, and sometimes, both!
Another way I hope to beat that burn-out is by slowly increasing my distance every week. I need to build a strong foundation in order to support my body when the running gets tough. To do that, I plan to incorporate some speed work, intervals for endurance, and of course, long runs for both the mental and physical benefits. I also want to get in about 3-4 runs per week. You can be sure that I will be posting the training plan for our marathon once I’ve figured it all out!
Finally, my fueling needs to be better. I have struggled lately in that department. And mostly that’s my own fault, but I feel like the new year is a great way to wipe the slate clean and start over. I plan on doing another round of Whole30 – A program designed to ditch the sugar and “reset” the body’s natural cues toward hunger. I have completed one round about a year ago. It was tough but I did truly like how I felt after the program. I am even thinking about extending it already into a Whole60 or maybe even a Whole90…
Maybe I’m getting a head of myself, but once again, I will be sure to let you all know how that is going and I’ll include a few tips and tricks along the way!
Fueling right before and after runs is super important, but I also want to improve my fuel DURING runs. Last year, during my half-marathon training, I found a gel that worked awesome for me. It is a gel that doesn’t require water in order to take — which is great if you find yourself struggling in between water stations.
During my last half-marathon training period, I also realized how important it was for me to take gels before I felt like I needed them. I am going to trial taking these gels at different times during my training in order to find the best combination for myself.
Water is also an important factor while running long distance, especially if it’s going to be any distance longer than a half marathon. While I usually depend on the races to provide water, I think it will be a good idea to invest in a water bottle that slips nicely into my flip belt. But I’m all about balance and feel like if I have one water bottle, I’m going to need a second one to “keep me even”.
Ok, maybe I am a little off my rocker…
I joke, but not about the marathon. Michelle and I are seriously talking about it. And it excites me. But it also scares me a bit too. 26.2 miles is an extraordinary feat. Any distance really is a great accomplishment — and no one should call you crazy for wanting to chase down your dreams.
- Have you done something that excites you and at the same time scares you a bit?
- Has anyone every called you “crazy” for doing something you love?
- Do you have a running partner?
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