Week 10: “Running is a Privilege”

DAY | PLAN | ACTUAL
MON | REST | REST
TUE | 3M/STRENGTH | 3.1M (8:52/MI)/STRENGTH
WED | 7M | 7.1M (9:40/MI)
THU | 4M/STRENGTH | 4.3M HILL INT (9:35/MI)/STRENGTH
FRI | REST | REST
SAT | YOGA | BIKRAM90
SUN | 15M | 15M (10:45/MI)
TOTAL |29 MILES | 29.5 MILES

I’m starting to wonder if the secret of the marathon or any other big goal is that the prize is less in the big finish and more in all the getting to know yourself that’s done along the way. I surprised myself this week. Usually I have a pretty persistent voice of doubt that lingers and has to be squashed, especially when I’m facing a long or challenging run. This week, that voice got shut up before it even got a chance to get started. I knew I had 15 on the schedule for Sunday and I knew I was going to do 15, that was that. So I guess two of the highlights of this week can be summed up by this unartistic photo I took with sweaty hands after my run:

OriginalPhoto-526744136.744507.jpg

Solid 15 + New Hoka Clayton 2’s

I finally figured out my shoe situation, which is a huge relief. As a lot of you know I ordered 5 different pairs from Hoka. They arrived Wednesday night and on Thursday morning, I took the 3 pairs that felt like contenders to the gym and ran a little more than a mile on the treadmill with each of them. I left feeling a bit confused. All the shoes were so drastically different. When I would switch and begin running in them I honestly felt like I was going to fall for the first few steps. I decided to take my own test results and get to Super Runner’s Shop in Brooklyn on Saturday for an assessment and second opinion, just to be sure. I’m so glad I did this because it gave me such peace of mind. The experts there were so patient with me and examined my stride in all three of the shoes. Turns out I really could trust my intuition and one of the pairs did not work at all. The other two were different, but equally optimal for the way I run, so I took them both based on my gut feeling and encouragement from my guy at the store. The Clayton 2 is super lightweight but with an ample amount of cushion, which is what I like. I will use them for my long runs and most likely for race day. I also picked up the Tracer 2, which is a bit different from any of the shoes I’ve run in lately, but I’m pretty excited about it. It’s also extremely light weight but lower to the ground. When I first put then on I thought, “Are these flat? Is it Supposed to feel like this?” But once I started running I felt free and light while still feeling like I had enough support. I can’t wait to use them for my shorter speed workouts. The guy at the shop kept on laughing at me when I had them on cause I bounced around and told him I felt like Speedy Gonzalez!

hoka

Back to what I learned about myself this week…being able to quiet my doubtful voice so quickly was something that really surprised me. I honestly think the other half of my brain said, Yeah, nobody has time for that, let’s just go get it done. It made me realize that my mental capacity is expanding right along side the physical. What’s exciting is, that’s the side I get to keep. My physical fitness will ebb and flow and whether I like it or not, will eventually begin to erode with age. But the mental muscles and fortitude I am building are going to be of use to me long after these legs stop logging long distance mileage.

Speaking of long distance mileage…walking the 2 1/2 miles home after the 15 on Sunday was the first time in months I felt sure that marathons are not going to be something I run all the time. I may be a one and done. Or I may be a once every few years for really special races. It’s a lot. Much respect to people who run marathons on the regular and even compete in Ultras. It’s just not for me. I guess the cool thing was, on that walk home- I simultaneously held two sort of different but equally true thoughts in my mind:

  1. I’m not a marathoner–this isn’t going to be my “thing”.
  2. I love running so much–I love it more than I ever have before and my appreciation for it is growing more and more everyday.

I actually love training. But what I wasn’t prepared for is how much it takes from you–mentally, physically, and emotionally. When I looked at a training log before, not only did I not consider the time it would take to prepare for long runs, but I also paid little mind to the recovery I require after–the walking, the stretching, the long hot showers, the eating, the re-hydrating. I didn’t consider how necessary it sometimes is for me to just sit on my ass and do nothing for a while after a long run. And this is just the physical. This process has taught me that there are so many other things in my life that really require me to be strong mentally and emotionally. I feel like I know now what’s really important, and what I really need and want to show up for. My energy is not unlimited–I am very human. Training makes that so clear to me. I couldn’t be a regular marathoner because there is just no way I could give running this type of focus and energy day in and day out year round–or even yearly. Other things that I care about would lose, and I’m not willing to let that happen.

Rather than getting me down though these thoughts have actually been really eye-opening and uplifting. I love running so much, and this whole experience is really one of the thrills of my life. I feel so lucky to be able to get to do this–to have the privilege and the luxury to be able to focus on running this intensively. How many people in the world get to have one of their stressors be what $150 shoe to run in? Seriously. I’ve got it pretty good. I also feel so fortunate to be getting to know myself so much better. Like I said, I think that might be the real win in all of this. This training forces me to give so much of myself to running. When I’m done with it, I’m going to go back to a place where running is giving more to me. I definitely have a balance, a sweet spot where the effort I put into running yields inspiration and productivity and passion in other important areas of my life. I’ve got to find that place again–where running is giving more to me than it’s taking. I know that I’ll find it, and it’ll be even sweeter with a marathon medal behind it.

 

Are you a lifer marathoner or ultra runner? Tell me, what was it that made you go, “this is my thing”? How did you know that this type of physical challenge is something you always or frequently want to have in your life? Anyone else out there have ZERO desire to ever run a marathon? I want to hear from you too…what does running give you–what does it NOT give you?

 

 

 

header: mohammed hijas

75 thoughts on “Week 10: “Running is a Privilege”

  1. I’m also training for the NYC Marathon this year; it will be my fourth marathon. I’ve learned that training for a marathon is much harder than for a half marathon, which I’ve run many more times just because it’s a challenging enough distance to train for, run, and recover. You can say the half marathon is more “my thing”.

    I’m also loving the training process; it gives my runs variety, and the end goal forces me to schedule these runs in my calendar.

    Good luck with the rest of your training!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow Eric! 4 marathons!? That is amazing. Have you always run NYC or have there been others in there as well?
      Agree with you so much about the halves–challenging enough to keep you in great shape and not get bored, but not so taxing that it takes over your life! Sounds like the marathon is a little bit your thing though if you are on #4 ;). That is really so awesome.

      Good luck with the rest of your training. See you on the starting line in NYC :)!!

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      1. This is my second NYCM (last one was 2014, deferred from the cancelled race of 2012). The other two were run in and around my hometown (2009 and 2012), so I go years between running marathons.

        I’m sure I’ve run at least 20 half marathons in the 10+ years I’ve been running, so it’s definitely my thing!

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  2. tim

    Every time I run a marathon or an ultra (ha ha that makes it sound like it’s something I do all the time!) I have thoughts in my head like ‘I’m really not sure I want to put myself through that again’. Then I get home and almost immediately start thinking about future events I could do. I think that running long is just something that I have to do now.

    But when I started off running 4.5 years ago I thought/said that I might do a Half but I’d never do a Full Marathon. Then I did one, then two more in the next seven weeks and now it’s been seven marathons and three ultras in just under two years.

    I’m not sure you can trust what your brain is telling you now. You’re re-wiring it day-by-day and when you think you’re done it might not be!

    Keep up the good work, and I am 100% with you that the changes on the mental side of things are at least as interesting as the physical ones and probably far more so.

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    1. Ah man Tim I love hearing that summary of the last 4.5 years of your your running–what a ride you’ve been on!! It helps to hear what your brain told you at each point and then to learn what you actually ended up doing!!
      You’re right, my brain right now will not be my brain when this is all over, we will see how it goes. I’ll be patient 😉.

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  3. Variety in shoes is great. Akin to running on varied terrain. Switching things up is good for keeping our bodies in balance.

    And I’m probably a life long marathoner haha and I want to do ultras. Not really sure why. I’ve done one 28 mile trail run years ago and it was amazing! Nothing like a road race, but it’s even more of a time commitment sometimes. I had to get myself up to the mountains at least a couple times a week to trail train, in addition to regular weekly miles. It’s tough, but for some reason I keep going back for more. I’m a solitary runner and being on a trail, one with mother earth, is completing. Running in general is a strong force of positivity in my life and I always want more. I think that may be part of why I want my races to get longer and longer. One thing I don’t want to admit is that my confidence may be contingent on it. I don’t like that. I’m working on that coming from inside somewhere, but a BQ just seems so badass I’m ok with it helping 😉

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  4. HI Cat, Indeed, you have hit 15 (and good time by the way). It is the time in the training when you realize the human body is merely a machine. Eat, drink, run, sleep, repeat. Everything you do is relative to training, and sometimes its kind of irritating. And yet, I think you are right, it teaches you about yourself, about perseverance and about looking in the mirror and saying; I got this. Marathoning is not about the event and everything about the training. One and done? We will see what you say the day after your event. It is too soon for that. Wink. Me? It helped me realize WHAT distances I loved and what kind of runner I really am. I actually loved 10K’s. Proud of your empowerment, your drive and your willingness to share the REAL story. XO.

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  5. Never a marathon. I’m content running a few halfs per year. I’ve run them both prepared and unprepared, and I thoroughly prefer prepared. This is what keeps me running – knowing I have a race coming up. Otherwise I’m a lazy lump. This way I’m a lazy lump that runs. Slowly.

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    1. Haha. I think some would argue about the lazy lump part. I tend to call myself that and it makes my friends annoyed with me. I’m told lazy people don’t run like I do–whether it’s slow or not! It’s true, I don’t really think lazy people run full or half marathons 😍. I think I’m gonna follow your lead when this is done–I love halves, it’s a great fun distance (agreed a painful one when unprepared!). Hey thanks for being here, glad to have your comments!!

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  6. Hanna

    I think you touched on an important point that a lot of runners forget – you can love running and NOT love long distance running. Because you’re right, there is so much more to it than just the running. It takes so much out of us to focus on training week after week after week. Many people feel very fulfilled by pouring that much focus into training; others feel drained by it.

    I think it’s easier to keep doing marathons when you’re still new at them, because there is still something to strive for: first you just want to finish. Then, after you’ve proved you can finish, you want to challenge yourself to get faster. Then you want to see if you can hit a certain pie-in-the-sky time goal…etc, etc. That’s how it was for me but I’m not on my 4th marathon and it’s hard because I feel like I’ve gotten what I’m going to get out of this distance and there’s nothing left to make it feel worth all the long hours and miles of summer training. Why did I get to this point while others can do dozens of marathons and still feel motivated? The answer, simply, is that finding “success” in running doesn’t fulfill me like it fulfills them.

    I used to be die-hard in the “I am a marathoner, it’s my thing!” camp. Now, I’ve completely changed my mind on that. Gotta roll with the changes.

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    1. There it is Hanna–“Finding “success” in running doesn’t fulfill me like it fulfills them.” I think that’s really it. It makes so much sense because success really means something different for everyone. When I read about people running a crazy amount of marathons or even halves I’m impressed, but I can’t say I’m envious. My running resume just isn’t the most important one to me! But I’m happy for people who it does fulfill–I really enjoy reading about their adventures!!

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  7. Let me just say, after training in the FL heat and humidity this summer, this may be my LAST marathon!! But I’m sure the Hubs will talk sweet and convince me to do another. The Half is where it’s at for me!! It’s hard training for a marathon and no amount of Half-ing it can make it any easier!! And you are spot on with all the TIME it takes, before, during and after.

    I was so disappointed AT the finish line of my first marathon, not with myself or my performance, but the Finish Line. I watched the Hubs finish the same marathon the year prior in 4:28 and was amazed at the crowd that was still there to cheer them in. And there was still water and bananas left for those finishing. Fast forward a year, I put in the work and was ready to finish this marathon… We crossed at 5:13 and there was nothing but a kiss from the hubs and my medal. I think there were maybe 6 people around the finish chute, but no one was cheering. The only reason I heard my name announced is because we know the race announcer. After receiving my medal, I was told I would have to go another .25 miles around the corner to the finish festival to get a water and banana…WHAT?? WHAT?? WHAT?? I just ran 26.2 miles and now this??!! All I could think about was the difference 45 minutes make for a finish.

    With all that said, I know that you are going to have the BIGGEST finish ever!! And just so you know, I read past that first line, but that is what stuck with me.

    Congrats on those 15 miles, I can’t wait to see you hit 20!! I hope you have a great weekend!!

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    1. Jodi as I was reading this I was also thinking of all the food prepping and everything you do–all of it takes so much time!! I know it’s worth it, but it doesn’t make it any less exhausting. I’m really glad my marathon is in November so I can hopefully start to relax into the holidays when it’s over.
      That is such a bummer about your first marathon. That would kill me. It takes so much to get to that finish line, I’m sorry there weren’t more people there to celebrate with you. I’m sure Chicago will be a great big finish!! Trust there will be a crazy lady thinking about you all day and cheering you on from NYC 😘.

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  8. Not to be repetitive, but it took me 6 years to run my second full marathon. I’m definitely enjoying the process more this time around than I did the first time. Not to make light of my training or training partner (she’s awesome and amazing), but I think I’ve grown more as a runner since then and physically and mentally, I’m better able to deal with what is coming at me.

    That being said, this is a LONG process. I knew it was a long process, but still wasn’t prepared for exactly how long of a process it is. The fall is ideal for me to run because I’d rather slug it out in the summer and reap the benefits of the cooler weather. However, come September/October/November I like to attend my cousin’s cross country meets, and go to IU football games with my fiance – so my long runs are during the week. Saturdays would be so much better, but I know I couldn’t be consistent. So if I run another, it’ll probably be at least 2 years out. Although, I am toying with the idea of running every other week with a local running group that posts routes with weekly mileage for 10-12 mile runs and 18+ mile runs on Saturdays. In the winter/spring, we don’t have the activities booking our days.

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    1. Hey Erin. I was always amazed that you do those long runs during the week but now I get why. It definitely takes a lot to rearrange things in our lives and even give things up. I definitely think it’s worth it, just don’t think it would be worth it for me to do every year!

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  9. At this point I believe running is going to be a life thing for me. Its a relief and reprieve for me, physically and mentally, to immerse myself in. It suits my introverted tendencies to be able to go out for longer runs and take a break from people/things/etc, but also allows me to engage with a couple of friends, community/parkrun, etc when I want to.

    What it doesn’t give me is total fulfilment, in that I wouldn’t be happy if I had nothing else to direct my energy. I’m slowly realising this during spells (such as the last week and probably the next one or two) where I’m unable to run due to circumstance/injury/rest & recovery. There have been times in the past where I’d be nursing an injury and couldn’t run, start to get frustrated and negative, and its like a negative spiral: it doesn’t end and the inertia increases with each revolution.

    Its still frustrating and I have to consciously check myself in different ways (internal dialogue such as: its just some minor pain, rest and do your mobility exercises, if it doesn’t improve within a few weeks keep your cool and consult an osteopath who has helped me in the past, a 2-week hiatus doesn’t mean you’re never going to run again, there are people in the world who can’t run/battle through far worse to reclaim their capacity to do what they love, etc). I’m getting better at that, and better at engaging with my other interests to bridge the fulfilment deficit that comes with reduced running.

    I’m glad you’ve found a shoe that works! Tracer and Clayton are two of their newer models introduced in the last few years, got them in mind as a replacement for the time when my Cliftons are worn out.

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    1. I’ve dealt with a lot of what you are saying. I had bad tendinitis in both my knees which kept me from the marathon last year and felt completely lost when I couldn’t run. Even with never having done big races or anything running was still so much a part of my identity. Not being able to run is scary, realizing how much it means to you makes you realize how easily you can feel lost and empty without it. I’ve been trying to change my thinking about it since then because the reality is, there is going to be a day that comes that I can do it anymore.
      PS-love both shoes!! Working out really well. Also, never really considered running in two different shoes but really like doing shorter speed work in one and long in the other.

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      1. Yes, it’s a difficult balance when you think in terms of identity. Because I think the same way of myself, that I am a runner and that it forms a part of who I am, but at the same time, I don’t want to define myself, or my capacity to be fulfilled, only by whether I can run or to what standard or whatever the measure might be. I’m sure there’s a saying or a proverb that goes something like: anything you fear losing is not truly yours/not worth having. That’s the closest I can get to putting my thoughts on the matter in words.

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  10. I love that you talk about finding that sweet spot where running is giving to you more than it’s taking. I feel that way about ALL exercise at this point in my life; when I was younger I used to work out like I had something to prove, and I often ended up feeling worn out and de-motivated because of it. I think once I hit 35, I was like, nope, don’t need to do that anymore!
    I did train for a half marathon once; I remember once the runs got longer than six miles I was kind of like, “Ugh, why?”, but I stuck with it because I had promised a friend I would do the race with her.
    I’m glad I finished, but knowing that six miles is kind of my “sweet spot”, I now go with that or less. Six miles is the perfect distance for me to de-clutter my brain and give me a happy endorphin boost but not make me feel like I need forever to recover afterwards. And I don’t run on consecutive days anymore either, just cross-train; keeps my joints from hurting and keeps me motivated to keep going back to it.

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    1. I know what you mean about working out like you have something to prove. If I’m being honest, I don’t think I’m totally rid of that yet, and it can get exhausting. Training has actually helped me a bit in that area though. Although I’m running more, I’m actually working out less days–5 instead of 6. It’s so much better! What the fuck was i doing all this time working out 6 days a week? I was throwing my body around like a rag doll, it was so exhausting. I can’t believe how much more energy I have for my workouts resting that one extra day.
      Six mile runs are great–enough that you feel like you really worked–but not so much that you’re worn down. I really need to find something else I like to do for cross training. I do yoga, and I lift, so that’s good. But I feel like when I’m done with training it would be good to get my body going in a different motion besides running. I just don’t really enjoy biking and swimming isn’t really an option. We will see!

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    1. 5k is a great goal, and still a distance I really enjoy. I love that it’s a distance I can improve upon and really work at.
      Running really is exciting isn’t it? I love how often it allows us to surprise ourselves–we are capable of a lot more than we realize!
      Hey thanks for stopping by and sharing–please come back and do it again!! And good luck with the running 😉.

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  11. This is a great post! I really enjoyed reading it.

    I’m almost the opposite of you – I’ve yet to run a “proper” mrathon (i.e. one that is timed and paced and you have to sign up for) but I am currently halfway through my 3rd marathon training cycle. This March-August I was running around 40-45 miles per week every week, and clocking 20ish miles on my long run days. I didn’t even have a race in mind, I just love the challenge of it! I took August as a “break” but now I have actually signed up for a real marathon in December and I couldn’t be happier to have a goal again – to me, a half marathon seems weirdly short (whiich I know sounds very crazy, even to myself).

    I hope the rest of your marathon training goes wel, I’ll be following your posts 🙂

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    1. Wow, you’re kind of incredible!! I can’t imagine going through all of that training you have without having a race in mind, although i would say that I sort of get it. Part of me loves the training. I just love so many other things too and it takes a lot. One thing I have gained from this training is the schedule. I used to work out 6 days a week always, now I’m down to 5 much more efficient and powerful days with two really recuperative rest days as well. I think I’ll keep a similar schedule when I’m done but long runs will be 10-12 miles, not 15-20!
      Very exciting you now have a race on the schedule, you must be so excited. No doubt all the training you have done is really going to pay off!! Excited to hear how it all goes! x

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  12. Haha, you know my feelings on this, I want to keep pushing up the distance 😁 if it’s not challenging me then I don’t enjoy it as much. People keep asking what my next big run is and I say, I’ve just got Beachy head marathon to finish of this year. I don’t ever mean to belittle the distance or the work involved. Its just I feel I’ve done that, so I have to push up! Peachy will still be a challenge though, it’s trail and its bloody hilly 😂 and my training is way behind! But I’ve made my peace with just going out there to enjoy the view 😁

    Great read as ways 💪

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  13. You don’t have to worry about the ‘one and done’. Do the first one, and see how you feel. I suspect you will probably want to do another. The first goal is probably just to finish, come hell or high water. Then it’s to finish and run all the way. Then it’s to get in under 5 hours. Then 4… yes, before you know it, you will be on your fifth or sixth. Mind you, I’m jealous you get to run NY as your first. My uncle ran that, and wrote a book about his experience; I’d love to run there one day.

    The marathon is a special race. And it’s a mindset too. You are in a good place mentally if you are already training your brain to be quiet. ‘Shut up, legs’ will be a common refrain once you get into the bones of the race, out beyond the comfort zone. Past the point of no return…okay, I’m kidding, really. It’s a great thing to do, and I reckon we can all do it as well. Much of it is physical at the outset, but then it’s really mental toughness that gets you over the line. All the best with your training.

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    1. “Shut up legs.” Alright, I’m gonna remember that one!!
      You know, so many people have talked to me about that mental toughness. I have to say that if more people put an emphasis on the physical part, I’d be more worried. But if it’s will and might that I’m gonna need–I’ve got that, and I’m gaining more each week. Thanks to you and others, building up that mental game has become equally important to getting the miles in.
      That is so amazing your uncle ran NY and wrote a book about it. What’s it called?

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      1. The book is called “In the Long Run: The Humorous Story of a Marathon Runner” by Rob Burn, but good luck trying to find it. Amazon.co.uk have it, and yes, that is my (shameless) review up there for all to see! I think his first marathon was London. He did quite a few after that, including Dublin, but he doesn’t run these days, due to long-term injuries.

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  14. Two weeks before my first half marathon (this is about six years ago) I ran ten miles and it nearly broke me. I announced to my wife that there was no way I could run a half marathon and that even though I’d enjoyed some of the training I’d be a one and done kind of a guy. I think I’ve said similar things on every distance since 🙂 You might feel differently at the end or you might not – either way, just the training and mental fortitude you’ve shown so far is amazing and it’s great to hear it’ll pay dividends elsewhere in your life 🙂

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    1. That’s some really great perspective that you had those feelings at that short of a distance and have subsequently gone so much further. I’ll keep an open mind 😉. My guess is I’ll think I’m done and then I’ll be inspired by you and others to do more! We will see 😇.

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  15. I’m loving your training logs and all that you are learning along the way! I am a runner and I still laugh inside when I call myself that. I started with sprint triathlons and the run was my weakest component so I started focusing on running and fell in love. I fell in love with the “grit” it takes to pound it out. So many of my miles are purely mental determination. I have ZERO desire to do a full marathon. I just can’t see myself doing it. After 8 half marathons, I have hung up my street runners and taken to the trails, which is an entirely different challenge. Nothing like hill training 🙂

    Keep up the great work and the inspiring writing!

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    1. Ah Jane, thank you so much! I am definitely learning along the way. Sometimes i wonder if I should quit the weekly logs cause i am not sure if there is much interest for them, but i keep them going because i think i will want to look back and remember the struggles and the triumphs!
      I love what you said about so many of your miles being pure mental determination– that is what I was feeling this morning. It’s not that my body hurt, it was just exhausted. But for some reason, it didn’t matter. I was like a machine–I told myself I was going to finish the miles and do the hills and i just did it. So many bloggers have helped me with recognizing when I am training my mind, and not just my body, and I have really enjoyed realizing those points now throughout my training.
      Really happy you found me, I hope you will come back and read again and share your thoughts.
      Oh yeah–and trail marathons–i have heard that is a whole other challenge! Bravo! x

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      1. Please don’t stop the weekly logs! They are motivating and relatable. ☺️

        There’s a song by Young the Giant that I used to listen to when I was running those long runs called My Body. The chorus says “my body tells me no, but I won’t quit ‘cuz I want more…” Totally true!

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    1. This made me LOL so loud–0.0, haha. Yeah running is definitely not for everyone. I am big at encouraging people to run just because I get so much joy from it that i want everyone to have it, but I def have some friends that just aren’t having it. It’s always great to find the physical activities that you do actually enjoy!

      Thanks so much for reading–especially seeing that you don’t like running, lol. I feel like training really does encompass so much more than running though, hopefully I am able to show that a bit!

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    1. And you have made the half your race–I think I want to follow in your footsteps, you are one of my heroes! I want to run half marathons in other states and race in other countries–at least that’s what i am dreaming about nowadays :).

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  16. When I ran track, I hated long distance running. I have had asthma (not exercise induced, allergic and airborne triggered) since I was three which made running long hard to get into. In my twenties, I started running to relieve stress and then I read Born to Run which lit a fire in me, and I’ve been running long ever since. And now running helps me manage my asthma!

    p.s. I started walking more after my long runs ever since I read your post about finishing a mile or so out. Great idea!

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    1. That is so awesome that running now helps you manage your asthma Amanda, that’s pretty amazing. Being active is this incredible thing–I wish it was prescribed more often instead of pills!
      Isn’t the walking so helpful!? I get impatient and want to just get home and get in the shower or plop down on the sofa but it has helped relieve my soreness so much. After a long one I am a little sore the rest of the day but then after a night’s sleep I feel really good. I really feel like the walking is a huge part of that. Glad you are finding it helpful as well!

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  17. I was a “one and done” marathoner after the TCSNYC marathon last year. Until I was a “well I’ll apply but probably won’t get picked two years in a row marathoner”. Ok so I’ll be a 2 and done marathoner after this year.

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    1. HAHA!! I LOVE IT!! Yeah that lottery is something else, right? I thought maybe I would be a never done–but I put my name in the lotto and left it up to the universe. The day of the drawing I have to say I had no doubt I was in–I just knew it. Sure enough, less than 5 minutes after the drawing started, my credit card was charged.
      Hope your training is going well. How does it compare to last year I wonder? Anything you learned you are doing differently this year? hat about your goals–are they different? So curious!!

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  18. I’ve only ever run one so far back in 2012 which I said would be the only one I’d ever do. I’ve changed my mind now though, I fancy doing another next year. I think as runners, we get to the point where our routine becomes less challenging and we get the for something more. The only ways we have is to go further or faster. For me, I’ve been trying to go faster for a while now but I need something different. The marathon is just the next logical step for me I think. I do remember the training being mentally draining though.

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    1. So I think you and I will do a switcharoo–I’ll try to get faster after this and you go for distance again :).
      You know what i think part of it is for me is the shorter races and speedwork are better feeling on my body. I mean, I feel strong now but also sore often and just the mileage is higher than I think my body really likes. You are right though, never say never–after more routine I might be itching to get back to another 26.2 again sometime–we will see!
      Thanks so much for sharing your experience here, it’s always welcome!

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  19. Love this post. Reminds me of a saying ” we don’t have to run, we get to run” from Gerry Duffy, who ran 32marathons in 32days here in Ireland, think you’d like his book Who Dares, Runs. This saying is what silences any self doubt when I’m out training! Don’t write off an other marathon yet, when I was training for my 1st ironman distance race I swore never again in the lead up for pretty much all the reasons you outline above. But the first thing I said on crossing the line was I can’t wait to do one again!!!

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    1. Ha Graham, I know you are right about not writing things off–so many people have told me they had the same thought as you as they crossed the finish line of their first marathon or Ironman. I should probably just take one day at a time and see how things go!
      And that saying you mentioned is really awesome–it always helps me to have gratitude and realize how fortunate I am–that I “get” to do what I am doing–I don’t have to. That freedom is something I can’t take for granted.
      Thanks so much for commenting Graham, happy to have your voice here for sure!

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  20. Congratulations on silencing the negative self talk! That is so huge! I haven’t got there yet but working on it. I’ve started saying “F- you brain” anytime it begins, lol!! 😃 Fabulous week Cat! You are excelling!!

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    1. Haha, yes Paula!! I think I’ve used “F- you brain!” quite a bit myself–it’s useful!! lol.
      Thanks so much for the encouragement lady–not sure if i am excelling but I am definitely hanging in there. Going to head over to your blog soon and check out how you are doing–I hope well! Almost there! x

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  21. HI Cat, Lots of learning for you on this journey. I agree with you, the knowledge and wisdom of going through the process is yours to keep, long after you’ve run the NYC in November. And the wisdom remains and continues to depend and grow.

    I’m pretty certain I’m never going to do a marathon. It just feels too darn long to me, and when I think of running 26.2 all in a row, under the pressure of a race, I just want to go hide under the bed and cry. I guess that’s a pretty good clue, eh?

    At this point in my life, I feel immensely grateful to be in such a place of privilege that I mostly can choose how I spend my time. How much I work, how much I play, what things feel worthy of my time, energy, resources, and what things don’t. One of the good things about being 62.

    Years ago, one of BA’s teaching colleagues, when asked if she would do a presentation for a group in the future said “I don’t know, but I’ll do it if it interests me”. At the time, I was quite taken aback and thought it “selfish”. Over time, I’ve changed my opinion to really smart and self aware. There are always going to be more things to do than there is time and energy to do them, so indeed, why not do what interests you and fits within the context of a life that suits you.

    And it seems clear from today’s essay that you, while continuing to love and value running, don’t love marathoning enough to give enough of your day to day life to it on long term basis. Sometimes the cost of something is just too high. I’ll be interested to see what discoveries you continue to make and how running gets “right-sized” into your life, say in 2018.

    Cheers to you!

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    1. Yes, knowledge to keep–but I forgot about it deepening and growing, thank you for that reminder. It made me think about how many other things have happened in my life that I am still referencing all the time and using for strength.

      I totally get not wanting to do a marathon. It’s actually been eye opening for me to meet all the people who wouldn’t want to run one. It’s been my dream for so long, I thought everyone wanted to do it, lol.

      It’s so interesting how you once regarded that teaching colleague as selfish, but now you realize they were smart and self aware. I realize that type of thing a lot more as I get older. I have an aunt who always told me that the world would actually be a better place if we were all more “selfish”, but not in the normal way we think of selfish. More in that we followed our hearts and really tried to seek out the true things that make us happy and we are supposed to do. I think her idea is that our happiest selves bring the most happiness to the world. It always made sense to me and it helps me follow my heart even when doing something else would make other people happier.

      I am interested to see where running fits in in 2018 as well Steph–for you and for me :). We will see! I would like to do some shorter races when I travel, that is what is on my mind a bit now!
      Thanks Steph. x

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I like the story about your colleague…. I used to be a workaholic even when I hated my job, and I used to feel resentment towards the people that left on time to go be with family or go to a college class or… whatever they wanted to do. Now? Now, I totally respect that. I mean, there are still times that I will work longer when something needs to be done, but I now realize I have so much more to offer when my own personal needs are being met (like time with family, time for personal development). Working late every day just made me tired and uninspired all the time. Once I learned to take care of myself, it made me better in every other facet of my life, EVEN work I didn’t like!

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  22. qplourde

    I’ve been wondering if I’m a one and done myself. This training has been great and I love all the results but it is taking everything I have. I eat, sleep and breath it. I’m enjoying it, but I know I will appreciate the break when it’s all done. Good job this week!

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    1. Q!! O eat, sleep, and breathe it…and I’m really trying to do too much outside of it as well. I keep telling myself to keep pushing cause it’s only temporary, but i know myself–i could never keep this up year round and be happy. Who knows, I sound all definitive in this post and then knowing me I’ll get inspired by someone or something and change my mind and go for another. Only time will tell right?
      Hope training is going well this week! x

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    1. Hey AJ! Yeah you know my goal right before starting training was to get under a 2 hour half marathon and I finally did it and it was pretty thrilling. I think when I get done with this, i want to go back to making that my race and really working on that time. It will be exciting to really try to whittle that time down. I actually enjoy speed work and the different types of workouts that help you make that type of progress so i think that will be a good goal for me as well.
      thanks so much for reading and for sharing, love having you here!

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      1. That sounds like a great goal! It’s funny that I’m not competitive with anyone else, but with myself- I’m fierce. Once I have a time, I’ll do anything to work on improving it:) Can’t wait to hear your next running adventure.

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  23. You’ve nearly echoed my very own thoughts! I think about the benefits of training often. I’m starting to believe it’s only 10% about race day; 90% about the rest. But I guess race day is what brings us to the rest anyhow 😉

    My body will determine whether or not this is ‘my thing,’ but I’ve got my sights set on at least one more big race next year – if nothing other than to keep on training.

    Great read!

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    1. I agree with those percentages for sure. I mean, don’t get me wrong, that race day is going to be something else. But all this leading up to it feels like is what really is going to be the forever life changing stuff. I guess I will just take it one day at a time and see!
      Ooh, excited to hear about what that one big race you’ve got planned for next year is! I am excited to see where I decide to go after this as well. I think I want to do more racing when I travel. And like you said, I want to keep training, maybe not as intensely, but i have enjoyed the focus and the structure that this training has brought, and i think i want to keep adhering to something similar.

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