Monday, January 23, 2012

Calling All Runners..

Okay..I am a tad bit "stuck" mentally when it comes to this running thing and would LOVE some feedback from you runners! I know I have a lot of friends & family who read this Blog who are big runners--some of them Marathon champs already.  I mentioned last week that I began running again after a 3 year hiatus. My neighbor Missy encouraged me to do the Georgia 1/2 Marathon on March 18th and I have an 8 week training schedule to follow. Last Tuesday I began my training by running 2 miles and it was tough! I skipped a day and then ran 4 miles on Thursday. It wasn't as tough. Saturday I was supposed to run 7 miles with Missy but ended up running 9 instead. I don't know why; I just did it. And I don't know how to explain this at all, but it wasn't hard. My husband told me how sore I would be the next day and I wasn't? Then Monday came around and I'm still not sore? Like I said, I have no explanation. So this morning I woke up and looked at my running schedule for the day and it said "2 miles." I just crunched up my nose when I saw it because it seemed silly to me? And Kate said the WORST thing she could possibly say to me when I told her I had run the 9 miles on Saturday. She said, "Well then I don't understand why you don't just go ahead and run the full marathon?" I looked at her, shaking my head, and the best explanation I could offer was, "because Missy said I can't." BUT..she had planted the seed..that damn seed. And I'm SURE it takes more than 8 weeks of training to run a full marathon--right? I don't want to collapse at the finish line and be dragged to the med-tent. Am I crazy? Is this even possible? Do I just accept the 1/2 marathon challenge and run my little schedule and be happy with it or do I try to PUSH ON?? Missy told me that I think running a marathon is like doubling the work I did for my 1/2 marathon when in fact it's like 10X as hard. That scares me a lot. If you're a runner and especially if you've run 26.2, can you please leave a comment because I need your feedback. And don't mince words and worry about offending me. I'm a tough girl and I can take it. :) Thanks! -AP


  1. Pushing too hard, too soon = injury. Also, what's the rush? An injury will only push your training back further...just my two cents. I've never run a marathon so not sure my opinion is even worth two cents : )

  2. Good point Niki. Wasn't thinking about an injury. Thank you!!

  3. There is a HUGE difference in a half and a whole.The extra 13.1 makes a world of difference, and you really don't want to get hurt, Nikki's right. Too much and you can end up with all kinds of problems. Remember Phidippides died at the end of his run to Marathon. It's not a matter of just toughness, but of allowing your body to train to do something ridiculous (and a marathon is wonderfully ridiculous but not something you can just grunt your way through. It's so hard on your body in a way few other things are.) Wait- trust me. You can do it, but not in March. Plan for one in May maybe.

  4. Carrie,
    Assuming this is MY Carrie from Small Group; there is no athlete's opinion I respect more than yours. If you say don't push it; then that's the final word. I fully trust your opinion on this and THANK YOU for voicing it!! 1/2 Marathon it is! :)

  5. Those 2 and 3 mile runs sound silly, they did to me, but when I trained I found those to be the most important because these are the ones where you work on your form, your speed and check yourself on everything you might be doing wrong.

    From personal experience, I ran my marathon in October and started training in July, I ran 4 times a week, one medium 5-8 mile run, two 3 mile runs and on Saturdays my long run. Every week i added 2 miles to it. Still 3 weeks before my run my knees were in such bad shape I almost thought I wouldn't be able to run.
    My advice is even if you think your running shoes are fine, invest in some new ones (maybe you already have). And take it slow, because this is a huge stress on your body.
    I think the main reason you were fine with 9 is because your brain knows you have done that much before. I was always fine during my training till I started doing the real heavy mileage like mile 18!!! Which is supposedly when your body switches from using sugar as energy and starts using fat. That is when your body needs to be physically ready to put on that stress and the only way to prepare your body is through training.
    I cried my first time I ran 19 miles, I walked home crying the last mile because I couldn't believe how physically exhausted I was and my body just felt like it couldn't take anymore. My body had literally given up, and I couldn't stop crying because I had worked so hard getting ready and I still could not go on.
    A friend said to me once... mile 18 is what separates the girls from the women. Almost every person I know that has run a marathon usually agrees.
    Anyways the point of that is take your time and train hard, enjoy your runs and when it's time for that big mileage you and your body will be ready. If you put all this pressure on yourself It will just cause you mental and physical stress instead of enjoyment.
    Congrats on mile 9!!! I can't get myself to much more that 4 these days!

  6. Marcela,
    Thank you for taking the time to write and share your experience. I have such tremendous admiration for you in running your first marathon. So many things you said rang true with me. I DO need to get some new shoes; the ones I'm running in are the ones I ran my 1/2 marathon in 3 years ago! And I think you hit the nail on the head when you said the reason I was fine with running 9 is because my body knew I had run that far before. It's all so mental! And my training partner Missy has said repeatedly that she cannot get past 18 miles--it's killing her. This is a woman who runs 13 miles regularly EVERY single weekend. She is a seasoned runner and she can't get past 18. I will share with her your comment that "mile 18 is what separates the girls from the women." Must be so true!! I will take your smart advice along with the other great advice I've received on here and take it slow, pace myself, not push too hard and enjoy the journey. Thank you SO much for sharing. I love you. -Annie