Marathon Training: Halfway There

I’m now approximately half way through my training plan, and so far, so good. As you all probably know by now, I’m working with Coach Suz, and it’s GREAT. I seriously don’t know how I’d be getting through this without her. I’m tired, but not sore or injured, which is a huge thumbs up. And with several double digit runs, including some Personal Distance Records under my belt, I’m feeling fairly confident in my ability to complete this marathon.

My recent post about being overwhelmed definitely still stands; I’ve got a crapload on my plate, and marathon training takes up a huge amount of space on that plate. I have a long road ahead yet. Still though, I don’t regret signing up for this. OK, maybe I do a little. The timing of my first marathon could have been better. But I’m excited nonetheless.

The deeper I get into training, though, the more I feel like this may be a “one and done” sort of deal for me. So far, this training cycle has been very rewarding. I’ve accomplished things I never though possible. I ran more miles at one time, in one week, and in one month than I ever have before. I’ve COMMITTED whole-heartedly to a training plan, and only missed a handful of scheduled runs in three months. That’s pretty amazing for a commitment-phobe like me.

BUT… I still feel like training has taken over my life. I have to schedule my life around my runs, instead of scheduling my runs around my life. I turn down social opportunities because of my run schedule. I miss out on things all the time. I’m tired all the time. As I’ve shared, I’ve got a lot of anxiety over fueling and weight gain due to the runger. I miss staying up late and having a few beers on Friday night, because I have to eat right and hydrate and get plenty of sleep before a long run. Thanks to my chat with the Suz, these areas are improving, but I’m still maxed out. Especially this week. I didn’t get released from rehearsal until midnight last night, and wasn’t in bed until almost one. Ugh.

While I am excited to accomplish what I set out to do, and while I can only imagine the feelings of elation and excitement I’ll feel when I cross that finish line in May, I doubt very much that I’ll be attempting another marathon any time soon. I’m looking forward to doing lots of shorter races this summer, and maybe making a half marathon PR attempt in the fall. I’m looking forward to maxing out my long runs at 10 miles, and having more flexibility with my training.

Have you run more than one marathon? How do you manage to have a life and train at the same time?

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17 thoughts on “Marathon Training: Halfway There

  1. Heather [is probably running] says:

    I’ve only run 1 marathon, so I might not be the best at answering this question, but when I think back to training for my first half marathon each and every long run was a HUGE deal. Running 10 miles in the morning could kill the rest of the day because my legs would be so tired. And I had no idea how to fuel. I was stressed about whether or not I would be able to finish the run. And so on.

    That was in 2013. I kept at it and continued building my mileage. Last summer when I was training for my first marathon I was knocking out 10 mile runs twice a week after a full day at work. Running 10-14 miles was just something I did. I didn’t need to be as careful with sleep/nutrition/beer because that distance was no longer pushing my limits.

    But with that said, marathon training is a whole different beast. I’m planning a nice long break focused on shorter races before I even start thinking about another marathon. It is really nice to feel like I have my weekends back.

    • DarlinRae says:

      That’s what’s getting me. It’s like whatever day I do my long run, that’s all I can accomplish for the day because I’m so beat afterwards. I will not be sad to say goodbye to runs over 10 miles, that’s for sure!

      • DarlinRae says:

        That would be lovely, but I just suck at napping. I have a really hard time falling asleep, and usually wake up more cranky/in a worse mood than I was before napping.

  2. txa1265 says:

    I have read EXACTLY the sorts of things you are saying a bunch of times, and even for me talking to my family I would say that my first marathon had a larger impact than just my usual running … but since then, not so much.

    At this point my wife would say that it is the impact of a race versus a run – I can do a 20 mile run in a few hours and still go grocery shopping and so on … but even a half marathon takes over the whole day pretty much, and a marathon looms over an entire weekend.

    I know that many people still have every race dominate their lives … but I tend to ask “why?!?” I mean, I love to run, but love my wife and kids more. I also love a glass of wine after dinner 🙂

    So my advice would be to try to enjoy this cycle, and then if you are looking at other races just try to maintain your fitness and focus on the things you love doing in balance. My mantra for the last few years has been “half marathon ready”, by which I mean that if someone invited me to run a half marathon this weekend I could say ‘sure’ and go do a decent job without any adverse effects.

    • DarlinRae says:

      I think half marathon ready is a lot more reasonable than marathon ready. I wouldn’t be opposed to running 8-10 miles every Saturday morning just to keep up fitness. But anything over that is just SO MUCH, and really leaves me exhausted the rest of the day (and sometimes weekend).

  3. SuzLyfe (@suzlyfe) says:

    I know that you are overwhelmed. I think that a huge part of it is the fact that many people are scheduling marathon training around a full time job and life, not the a full time job, life, and a show 😀 Marathon training is a big commitment, and right now, you are just in the thick of a lot of ish. Just know that we all go through it. It just takes patience, and practice. You are doing awesome. Hang in there, love.

    • DarlinRae says:

      I’m definitely keeping positive, and I think tonight will be an earlier night than last, which will make a morning or lunch time run a lot more feasible tomorrow. And really, once the show is open, I think I’ll be fine. It’s just this one week that’s totally nuts.

  4. dgobs says:

    I’ve never run a marathon, but I can appreciate how you’re feeling with scheduling your life around running, instead of vice versa. I’d love to run one – Boston, hopefully, someday! – but I think I’d be one-and-done too. I like running, but I like having freedom to do other things in my life too.

  5. Fallon @ Slacker Runner says:

    Aack! Is this what is coming my way? Granted I am no where near a busy as you just lazy.😛. I have noticed this while I like how transitioning my long runs to the morning gets it out of the way, I am ready for a nap by 2. I still haven’t figured out fuel or water and if the runger adds to my already fluffy rolls, I may just lose my mind. Wait, why did I agree to this again? Halves are looking very shiny right now.

    • DarlinRae says:

      Oh girl, I’m just crazy and am doing way too much. I think if it were JUST one or the other (show or marathon), I’d be fine. It’s definitely a lot, but I’m sure you’ll be great. I’m just too busy most of the time anyway, which is why I don’t think I’ll do the marathon again. But yes, halves are looking very shiny to me too!

  6. irishrunnerchick says:

    Congrats on getting half way there – and fitting everything around your hectic life. I will tell you that training for my first marathon was so hard but once you tick of those firsts – first 16 miler, first 18 miler etc. – it doesn’t seem so intimidating the next time round. That said I am all about the half for the next year because I want some free time.

    • DarlinRae says:

      It’s definitely hard hitting the big mileage for the first time, but my main problem is that I have bitten off more than I can reasonably chew. I’m usually a really busy person even without marathon training, so that’s just one too many things right now.

  7. Rebecca Royy says:

    I SOOO agree with you on one and done. I did 2 (just b/c I BQed at first…so 2 was Boston). But I HATE the long runs. They’re so boring!! I don’t feel any urge to ever do one again. Although if I could somehow do Boston again without having to qualify, I’d do it! But the time commitment is just so much. And how many thoughts can you think in 3+ hours of running?

    • DarlinRae says:

      It’s not even that I find it boring so much, it’s just that it takes up so much time, and then I’m exhausted and don’t have the energy to do a) fun things like hang out with my friends, or b) things I NEED to do like grocery shopping and cleaning my apartment.

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