I like saying that I am training for a marathon. It makes me sound like a big shot, and lets me justify the occasional food binge. But during the past couple of weeks I have gone from

 “I am going to run a marathon!”
“I am going to….run….a…marathon??”

If you’re just tuning in, my marathon training plan consists of short runs throughout the week and one long run on the weekend, with that long run increasing in distance every weekend or other weekend.

So last week, during week 7, my Saturday run was 10 miles.
I was really nervous about it as I began, seeing as I had only run 8 miles the weekend before, and it left me pretty sore. But as I ran, I felt great. I cruised on up the coast to mile 5 and turned around, just as the sun was setting.

Then as I got to mile 8, everything started hurting. My hamstrings, my neck, my stomach, you name it. I let myself walk a few yards to slow it down, then pushed on to mile 9. But as I hit mile 9, that fatigue and stomach pain started to really get to me, and so I slowed down to a walk again, except this time I felt nauseated, and next thing I knew, blech. I threw up right there on the trail, on a small bridge. By that time it was dark and no one was around to see it. I tried to brush it off and continue walking, when I realized that it wasn’t just dark, it was dark. I reached a stretch of the beach without streetlights on the strand. The path had sunk down below PCH, so the lights from the traffic in my direction weren’t doing much to illuminate the path, and the lights from cars heading towards me would blind me every few seconds. Walking there alone didn’t seem all that safe, but when I tried to fix my eyes on objects in the dark while bouncing along (is that a trash can or a homeless person about to stab me??) I became more nauseated, so I had to walk the last 3/4 of a mile.

I felt defeated. I couldn’t run 10 miles without puking, and I was completely useless the rest of that evening from exhaustion. The rest of the week, I kept procrastinating running, even putting it off for a few days.

If I couldn’t even run 10 miles, how was I going to be able to run 26 in June?!

I didn’t run on Saturday of week 8, and having a hangover was my excuse. That is a completely legit excuse to not run 10 miles, BTW.
At least I tell myself that.
So Sunday I tried at it again. My training plan only had me running 8 miles this weekend, but I needed redemption, and so I set out to run 10.

I was pretty nervous about it, but I made it through. In fact, half way through I felt so good that I decided that I should run 11 miles, but I changed my mind when I hit mile 10 and realized how hungry I was.

So the thing is, marathon training is hard, yo. I know that sounds like I am stating the obvious, but I mean that it can also be hard on your psyche. Each weekend is a struggle to get out there and to go the distance. And sometimes I fail at it. And then when I compare my time to what other runners are blogging about, I feel like I am the slowest runner there is.

And that’s part of why I chronicle this process here. I know that other people are training or thinking about training for a long distance race, and I want to encourage it. I want to encourage it by showing how hard it can be, and showing that if you feel discouraged, you’re not alone. I’m not one of those sexy chicks that glistens as she bounds across the finish line. I’m that girl drenched in sweat and trying not to throw up on herself. But if I can do it, you can do it. There’s no shame in being slow or having weeks where you totally suck and feel discouraged.

I’d love to hear from fellow runners– what’s gotten you past those sucky weeks?


Comments on: "Marathon Training Recap weeks 7-8" (11)

  1. New follower! Love the post! I'm getting my butt in the gym today!

  2. At least you're honest about it! It bugs me when I read posts from fellow bloggers who "just ran a 10k and it was so easy!" Please. No matter how long you've been running for, it still takes a toll on your body (and your knees!). I love running but I stick to short intervals because, well, running for a long distance is hard! I wish you luck though. It sounds like you're on the right track to getting where you want to be. Puking happens to the best of us (I puked once at the gym just from an intense weight, ab and running circuit I did). You can totally achieve your goal. šŸ™‚

  3. Thanks Ady, and yay, that's awesome! Also, I love your blog's name. šŸ™‚

  4. Thanks! And yes, it drives me crazy when girls blog about how they ran a half marathon– like "no biggie." Um, STFU, that's hard to do!

  5. Hi Rachel…I found your blog through the GFC blog hop and am now following. I love how diverse your blog is…instead of only writing about one thing. Looking forward to upcoming posts!! šŸ™‚

  6. Thanks Amy! I try to mix it up– I don't think I could focus on any one thing! šŸ™‚

  7. I'm so excited to be following you through this adventure!! I, too, am 'training' but mine is for my first 5km after giving birth to my second child! I will run it 9 days after my little turns 4 months old! šŸ˜‰ Running is hard work, but it is rewarding work to. You gain something that no one can take away from you when you push yourself to your limits and pass your expectations. Sometimes, as you've wrote about here, the run wins…but most times…most times you win! (I'm remembering that line…I'm going to use it again ;-]) ENJOY!!!

  8. Shana, this comment made my day! I am so proud of you training for your first 5k– honestly, the first 5 is probably a bigger milestone! Or kilometerstone? You know what I mean. šŸ˜‰

  9. It sure is hard work! I'm on week 11 of marathon training. This past Saturday I was supposed to run 18, but only did 10. I was so mad at myself for giving up early, but those things just happen, and as everyone told me- you just have to listen to your body! I've done 18 before, so I know I can do it, but it's definitely a challenge. But once it's over, it's the best feeling in the world and I can't wait to run long again! This weekend I will do 19 or 20! I'm definitely not one of those sexy runners either- unfortunately. Lol!

  10. Awesome! I'm really nervous about those 18 mile runs! I am aiming for 13 this weekend– I've run a half marathon once before, but that was years ago…Keep up the good work!

  11. I am soooo thrilled I found your blog through the linkup with KTJ! I am your newest follower and LOVE that you are marathon training! I am training for a half and love any and all advice and stories from writers of blogs!Have a wonderful Thursday!Madalyn

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