I've told you about the truths about running (some of those will overlap here), the truths about marathon training...and beyond...well, that deserves it's own list...the dirty dozen. I apologize in advance...it's not pretty, but those of you who have trained & competed in marathons, ultras, and other endurance competitions will be know what I'm talking about.
1. Chub Rub: yes, I know you've heard this one before. Trust me, it happens. If it hasn't, give it time...and it can appear just about anywhere: thighs, under the arms, where the sports bra rubs...and so on...use your Bodyglide diligently & rethink some of those cute Lululemon shorts...cute for training, school pickup and the grocery store...not so cute after a hot 20-miler where half of your skin has been rubbed off by those oh so adorable seams.
2. Monkey Butt: This relates to the chub rub but deserves it's own spot. I had heard of the urban legend of the monkey butt & thought my skinny-ass ultra friend was just telling tall tales that only people of her mileage would ever know...until most recently after a hot, humid 20-miler. Vaseline is your friend. Use it. Don't believe me? Wait until that post run shower water hits...you'll wish you had listened.
3. The 100 Club: Unless you are a running freak, 22 years old, or just so gifted in which case you probably wouldn't be reading this foolish blog, the first 100 steps you take each morning during your training are going to creak, squeak, and just plain hobble and hurt. You will stumble in the middle of the night when you get up to go to the bathroom because everything will be so tight. Running does not make you more flexible. Repeat. And welcome to the club.
4. Hungry horrors: I've had my share of long runs...years of them. Something about this distance toppled with the overall mileage...after my long run, I am an animal. Cannot. Stop. Eating. All day. I anticipated I might need an extra snack, afterall, according to my Garmin, most of my longest runs, I've burned approximately 2400 calories...I've probably eaten almost double on those days! Remember when you were in college and you binge drank, inhaled, & then, called the pizza place for the Burnout Special? Reliving the dream.
5. Body Type: While I bet there are plenty of people who actually lose weight when marathon training...I had so hoped I would be one of them...alas, you get what you get & you don't get upset. The skinny is going to get skinnier...the curvy is going to stay curvy but maybe tighten up in the already tight parts, the muscular...yes, you know the drill...is going to build more muscle. I use to run because it made me skinny...it did, really. But then, I got to be kind of decent at it and became a stronger runner. The days of skinny are gone...I'm trying to embrace these thighs...I'm going to need them to carry me all 26.2.
6. R.I.P. : Not that I was ever fast...but I could run okay. My half marathon pace was a 7:30 per mile, not too shabby for these washed-up, 39 year old legs. Right now, during my marathon training, running one mile at that pace feels impossible. Marathons are an altogether different beast. And so I held a funeral for what was my race pace prior to the marathon. It was nice knowing you. See you on the other side.
7. Crankies: My husband is probably praying right now that I never train for another marathon...he swears that as soon as I started training, I became cranky. Maybe he's right? Thing is trying to get in the training before the sun comes up, working full time, managing three very active children...and so on, yep, I might be a little cranky.
8. Skeletor face: This is the really unfair part of training. You're chronically tired & needing more sleep & more water...and while your thighs may be strong & solid, and you will lose some weight...it will never be in the places you want it most. So yes, in order to get that tight butt & strong thighs that will be able to carry the distance, the face goes.
9. Aloofness: There will come a point in your training when you will finally be able to say, "Yes, I'm training for a marathon"...without throwing up in your mouth a little or saying it shyly. I've got three weeks left....the taper has already started with the long run...and yes, I can casually throw around my goals for after my marathon. Big deal right?! The race is the easy part...it's the 16 weeks of training that are brutal.
10. Thinking outside the Box: Towards the end of the training, you will be so sick of running that the most random things will seem like fun...like taking a BodyStep class...or how about a little Zumba? I never thought I'd be sick of running...but I am right now. It makes everything I don't normally ever participate in sound appealing...maybe I'll join a women's soccer league or body build...or do strictly yoga....
11. Puberty: In the reverse...the hormones can go a little haywire...gone are the boobs, the hips seem even smaller...and really, another breakout? Nothing like an almost 40 year old wearing a training bra & smearing clearasil on her face...
12. Super-hero powers: Honest to God, I haven't even made it to the start line but with 3 weeks left, nothing scares me now. I feel fearless...like I can do it all. And maybe I could all along, but this 16 week journey helped realize a lot of things about myself. No matter what happens between now and D-day...nothing can hold me back.
- What started as a little experiment in blogging has evolved into my renewed love for writing the raw, gritty truth. Running has always had so many parallels to life's ups and downs. As a new cancer survivor/fighter, running and writing has continued to be there for me in my quest to always move forward, always try to be better than yesterday. Find me: http://www.curetoday.com/community/kate or on facebook: running, cancer, and everything in between or on twitter: runliftbreathe