6'0 Tall wife to Muscle Man, mother of 3, full time career woman, with an addiction to running wherever her size 10's will take her.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Tall Mom Truths about 26.2

A few readers have told me lately that they were inspired by ME (wow!) to run their FIRST MARATHON. The First Marathon is a special thing, being a Marathon Newbie is GREAT because you don't know what you don't know. Sorta like being pregnant with baby #1... Sooooo is it horrible of me to share the TRUTHS?? Will it scare you away?

The list below is FULLY my experience, other Marathoners may not have experienced everything on the list... HERE goes...

****If you prefer to live in Marathon Dream land, please do not read on...

*********I warned you.

Marathon Training Truths:

-Your Friday nights will be spent carbo loading, getting your gear together and going to bed early. Marathon training can hamper the social life.

  • -You will have to get up early every Saturday for +/- 16 weeks. Unless you want to take up your entire day running.

-Your Saturday Afternoons you may feel to tired, sick, sore to participate in anything fun.

  • -You will run in the rain, snow, heat, wind, cold, ice, sleet, you name it...There is no such thing as Fair Weather Marathon training.

-You will get chaffing on areas you did not know were rubbing...Often you will not know you have chaffing until you shower.. OUCH!

  • -Blisters, caluses, lost/black toenails, Marathoners feet are GROSS.

-You may spend more time with your Garmin and Ipod than you do with friends/family.

  • -Long Run stomach may leave you RUNNING to the potty over and over.. p00p soup, YUCK!

-You will spend a crazy amount of money on shoes, socks, gear and race entry fees.

  • -You will ask yourself over and over "Why am I doing this?"

-Your personal limits physically and mentally will be tested every day.

  • -Taper Madeness is a REAL thing, you will feel weird pains, be totally afraid of getting sick and feel like you are not ready over and over..Marathon Nightmares are FUNNY!!

-The night before the race you will barely get any sleep because you are not sure you will make it the 26.2.

  • -On Race Day

-self-doubt will dig in and try to take over..

-it is just you and the pavement, who will win?

-of your First Marathon you will Feel........I can't fill that in because each Person has a different First Marathon experience.. With all those TRUTHS are you ready??

  • YES YOU ARE!! It is not easy, if it were everyone would do it. The Marathon can chew you up and spit you out...BUT... That Finish Line is AMAZING, make it there once and you will know what I mean.
  • Those of you who have crossed that First Marathon Finish Line please share your experience...Good, bad, ugly?? Leave a comment..

44 comments:

RunKathyRun said...

Wow, I'm first :-) These are all spot on and I think important for first timers to know.

You will NEVER forget how you feel when you finish your first marathon and the way you feel each week when you run further than you have ever run before

bobbi said...

YES to everything you have here. And YES - every minute is SO WORTH IT.

Kate said...

I am running my first marathon next Sunday. I am so nervous about going the full distance. I did a quick run today after being sick all week and felt like hell. My confidence dropped even lower.

I am having a taper anxiety-attack, you might say.

Thanks for the list!! : )

Cynthia O'H said...

Yes, but once bitten by the Marathon bug, training becomes your social life! All of your friends are doing it too.

Derek said...

If I had one suggestion for the newbie, please don't carbo load on Friday night. Eat a normal meal, loading up on carbs alone is the number one reason some runners have upset stomach on their long runs.

Also black toes and losing toenails are caused by shoes that don't fit or dehydration, both which are easy fixes.

Mags said...

I was angry and I thought the whole thing was stupid. I was running to impress other people instead of myself and I couldn't believe I let that happen. Mile 18 going bad. Mile 22 I was finished. 22 to 26 I had to figure out how to move forward, each stride a concerted effort. I did it and there's nothing I've done that I'm more proud of. Sometimes you find out what you're truly made of.

sisterbison said...

I've been lucky enough to not have chaffing or GI problems. But I agree with the time commitment being huge the first time around- I pretty much ignored my other hobbies the summer I trained for my first. But that gets better as u get faster and recover more quickly. It is so, so worth it though. I was on cloud 9 for a month after my first. Good luck to all the first timers out there. Remember to enjoy the day! It only happens once!!

Val
sisterbison.blogspot.com

christina said...

Im running my first marathon in 48 days and Im freaking out... my running plan has gone out the window and Im struggling to get my long runs in. Cold snowy nasty weather is evil and 3-4 hours on a treadmill is more then my mind can handle.

Jess @ Blonde Ponytail said...

GREAT post MEL! I am running marathon #2 with a friend that is running her very first and I am going to send her this link!

Pam said...

Ha! You hit the nail on the head, sista! I experienced all of those things EXCEPT for the runner's gut and black toenails.

My whole experience was not a good one. I stayed injured and just frankly didn't enjoy most of the training. If I hadn't already forked over the $$$ for race entry and airfare I probably would have quit. But I did it, and I am SO SUPER PROUD of it! The medal is hanging in my bedroom for me to see every day!

Christy said...

Great post! I agree with *almost* everything. My first marathon was perfect. I could not have asked for a better race! Between the perfect weather conditions to seeing my family/friends at just the right time...everything just went perfect. I'm actually terrified of registering for Marathon #2 because I'm worried I won't have as good a race! I'll get there though =)

Kristin said...

I have experienced all that stuff one time or another, but I was really lucky with my first marathon. I had been half marathon training over a very hot summer (Seattle 2009), and in the fall I stepped it up for a December marathon...the weather was fine. I did devote the better part of Sundays to the long run...between the running and recovery. And the marathon (CIM) was magical (I've had much rougher experiences since!). Now I'm training for Boston and it's much harder this time of year! But it will be worth it.

Kayla said...

This post was very interesting for me. Just last week I decided that I am running my first marathon this year! Its not til fall and I'm already nervous about it. haha.

Bethany + Ryan said...

See, I love the sting in the shower caused by chaffing but I NEVER get chaffed, ever! I don't use body glide or anything and I wear clothes for the first time all the time too. Sometimes I get butt-crack chaffing in a marathon but only if I dump a lot of water on my head. I always warn newbies to avoid bending over in the shower after the marathon! I love this story...one time I thought I was getting chaffed in my arm pit...turns out I needed to shave my pits and since I have thick hair and soft skin, the stubble cut my skin! Lol. TMI? Impossible with mothers and marathoners!

Rose said...

Marathon training KILLED my weekends. I was either going to bed early or crippled on the couch. That part totally sucked, and was a major point of contention between me and my husband.

carol-ann said...

Love this, it made me laugh because it is soo very true. But its silly how many of these you really come to appricaite along the way. :)

Michelle said...

If it was easy....everyone would do it! The training and commitment and yes, the finish line are such a journey!

Michelle said...

If it was easy....everyone would do it! The training and commitment and yes, the finish line are such a journey!

Velma said...

It will change your life. It also takes a while to lose the toenails - lost one today from 10/10 :)

Twincerely,Olga said...

Wow you Rocked it!!I am so impressed!I have yet to run a marathon!I have only done a half!My daughter has run a couple and you didn't scare me away!!

Amy said...

Yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes, but worth every second of the agony to be able to say, "I ran a marathon." (Even though 90% of your non-runner friends with think that means you ran a 5K race).

Kathleen said...

I never had the GI issues or chafing -- but would agree with most of the other things.

The one thing I would say, though, is that although I was proud to do a marathon (and will do others) that it wasn't nearly the big deal that I thought it would be.

There was a certain let-down afterwards. So, while it was very cool, I never got the huge finish-line thrill. Maybe had I ran it faster?

Alanna said...

Totally agree! Just need to add that the post-marathon blues are real too. I'm pretty sure that's why I thought doing it again this spring would be a good idea... :p

helgabaumann said...

Hi Mel,

I just stumbled upon y blog, its really cool! I could have read it forever if i didnt have to go to sleep. You are really something :)

runners cheerz
helga

Jesse - Run To The Border said...

Everything you wrote is so true!
Lots of sacrifices to make it to the starting line, but that's part of the experience. If it was easy, everyone would do it.

ValerieB said...

I enjoyed this post! My first marathon is not until next year, but I have experienced some of these issues with my first half marathon - GI problems and black toenails.

This year I have a lot of half marathons and a few triathlons!

Laurie said...

I am training for my 3rd half marathon and am contemplating running a marathon and I appreciate your honesty!! :)

Tricia said...

Nothing is as good a feeling as conquering new distances. I remember in training the first time I ran 15 miles. I broke down in tears afterwards because I was just so darn proud of myself for DOING it!

momof3 said...

Do NOT be deterred by Taper Madness, it is SO worth it when you cross the finish line.

Of course, this from the person who had a huge Taper Tantrum....

momof3 said...

Do NOT be deterred by Taper Madness, it is SO worth it when you cross the finish line.

Of course, this from the person who had a huge Taper Tantrum....

Leah @ Chasing Atalanta said...

If you're interested, I'm doing a series over at my blog entitled My First Marathon. I've asked all my local running friends to write their story and I'm posting up one a week until I stop getting them back. It's been great reading the different stories.

Jess M said...

OMG... you sure know how to get a girl excited!!! Oct. 23 will be my first Full and I could not be more excited!

wojoku said...

I'll join the ranks soon! And I'm looking forward to it like you wouldn't imagine.

Katie said...

Thanks for this post!! My first marathon is on March 26th and I have been so nervous! I loved this post and reading all of the comments . . . it helped to calm the nerves and get me excited!

Kim (Book Worm Runs) said...

Thank you for this!! :) I am (hopefully) going to run my first marathon on October 15th and I am soaking up all the advice while I can :)

Marlene said...

Sometimes I like to look back and laugh at how ignorant I was when I trained for my first marathon. Oh the things we know now.... Great post!!!

Wifey said...

GREAT post! People need to know the good, the bad, and the ugly; and about poop soup.

I LOVED my first marathon experience and can't wait to do it again. Crossing the finish line was AMAZING and was worth every second of training and sober Friday night.

Winks & Smiles,
Wifey

robert said...

All true. Do your training. Again, do your training. The first time you go 20, 22, 24 or 26, something about it is different, however, running in your actual marathon can be easier than training due to having other runners, fans, and aid stations - just don't get too excited and go out too fast!!

fancy nancy said...

Very true!!! Marathon training can be a roller coaster! 16 weekends spent running cost: your life, finishing the marathon cost: priceless!!!

Heather @Chatterstorm.net said...

Can't wait to do my first marathon this fall. I'm lucky enough to be training with the hubs so we can do long runs together or be completely understanding with each other about trading the kids back and forth. Great list!

Emily said...

true, true, true, true, true, true, true, true and true! But so so so much fun!

JenniMomma said...

So... I just started following you when I saw you were on Shut UP & Run's blog list. Love your posts! Ran my first marathon about 11 years ago. Then had two kids and switched to shorter races. Half marathons and 10Ks are close to my heart. But I have more time now that both kids are in school all day and decided I need a new goal in my life. So I registered for the Steamboat Marathon 6/5 and am planning to do the Pikes Peak marathon in August, both with my BFF, which is the best part of it all. Reading your re-cap of marathon realities reminded me of what's ahead. It's gonna suck so good! Good look to you in all of your training. Hopefully one day I'll see you in Boston! I'll be blogging about my running at thetrailgoesonforever.blogspot.com. Thanks for motivating me and reminding me that even when we're logging those miles alone, we're all in this together!

JenniMomma said...

good *luck*. not good look.

Rachel said...

I appreciate this post. I am training for my FIRST marathon in March (The National) and I have already experienced most of this. I'm super nervous for Race Day, but I feel like I am going into with realistic expectations and no time goal. As long as I don't die (or quit), I will consider my self successful.
PS: Love being part of your 1000+ club...already "meeting" so many running friends. Love it!