On the Run: Done!
It’s over, done, finito, finished. I completed a marathon! My two goals were to complete the full 26.2 miles in less than eight hours and not to die doing it. You’re reading this now, so I accomplished at least one of the two. Just kidding – I also finished under my self-prescribed time limit. (What? Did you think I was using a ghost writer here?)
I still can’t believe that I managed to finish an entire marathon. It’s been hard work with long training runs, pain – both physical and mental – and growth, and has been totally worth it in the end. Here are a few tidbits that I learned throughout the process.
- Find a good training plan. Training for a marathon is hard and takes a lot of time – much more so than I anticipated when I set out on this journey. Having a framework to guide you through the process is invaluable.
- Once you find the plan that’s right for you, stick to it but don’t be inflexible. Life happens, so give yourself some grace. Make adjustments. Don’t skip out on going to a friend’s wedding or that football game with your crew because you’ve got a training run scheduled the next morning. Running will still be there. Those moments won’t.
- Invest in Body Glide – you’ll thank me later. Chafing happens, whether it’s due to running in sweat-soaked clothing, skin-against-skin friction or the place where your arm rubs against your hydration pack. It’s uncomfortable and can occur in some unfortunate, awkward places. Just look into body glide, foot glide, Vaseline – any of them. It’s worth the time.
- Sort out how you’re going to fuel early in training. There are a ton of long-distance runners and an equal number of things those runners use to fuel their runs. Find what works best for you and will keep you hydrated and with enough energy to make it through your miles.
- Make time for recovery. If you don’t, you’ll regret it. Overtraining can lead to burnout and injury. If your training plan says you’ve got a rest day, take it.
- Don’t ignore your aches and pains. You know your own body. If there’s something that’s not right, don’t push through it. Call your doctor or one that specializes in sports medicine to make sure everything is okay.
- Book a massage. I had an amazing massage less than 24 hours after I finished my marathon and it did wonders. I still had aches and pains afterward but it was wonderfully relaxing.
- Enjoy your accomplishment! Tackling a marathon is no easy feat. You worked incredibly hard and should be proud!
I think one marathon was enough for me, though I know there’ll be some shorter distances in my future. You might even find me out for a half marathon eventually. My biggest takeaway from this whole thing? I may doubt myself, but I can accomplish harder things than I ever thought possible. Just remember – if it was easy, everyone would do it.