Monday, November 14, 2011

5 Things I've Learned via Marathon Training

Photo Credit: Shawn Rossi (Creative Commons)

I've made it!

I've made it alive through my three longest runs for my marathon training. No repeats of my 12 mile disaster. And after a 16, 18, and 20 mile run, I am more excited than ever to tackle the big 26.2 mile race in Memphis. Wahoo!

I am injury free and in good spirits.

{And if you're wondering, my sore ass ankles are still tired, but nothing to worry about.}

I really couldn't ask for anything more at this point!

So without further delay, below are a few things I've learned from the last three weeks of hard training.

1. Bring on the Hydration & Shot Bloks
With hot muggy summer days behind us, training during this amazingly mild mid-west autumn has been a blessing. The only glitch, water fountains on Chicago's lakefront trail are slowly turned off for the winter this time of year. During my 20 mile run, I only found one working water fountain around my mile 14. When I finally made it to that fountain, I practically made out with it.

Despite hating extra bulk on my runs, I will be placing a handheld water bottle or hydration system on my "Things to Buy" list in the near future.

Also, I am loving the strawberry flavored Cliff Shot Bloks at the moment. Totally yummy!! Totally refueling!!

2. Chocolate Milk + Bananas = Better Recovery
When I trained for my half marathon this past spring, chocolate milk was not consistently part of my post-run recovery regimen. During my marathon training, I have followed every long run with chocolate milk {and a banana}.My experience with soreness and fatigue have been greatly reduced in the days after those runs.

3. I've got a Sweet Spot!
Miles 7-13 are my favorite. Muscles are warm, a rhythm is established, and movement feels effortless. It feels like I'm flying.

4. Moisture from My Eyes is Inevitable
On my 16, 18, and 20 mile runs, I cried right before embarking upon the last two miles. As my body moved into unfamiliar territory each week {as this is my first time running these distances}my eyes weld up with tears. The tears didn't stem from physical pain. Rather, I felt as if my body was cleansing itself of tensions and emotions from the past. Running really has become therapeutic.

5. Yelling, Grunting, and Mantras.
When combating fatigue, yelling and grunting are go-to tricks to psyche myself up to finish strong. Shouting "You can do this," and a simple "Come on!" can snap me out of any rising doubts about finishing. It may attract a few stares now-and-again, but it totally works for me!

I also combat fatigue with simple mantras. Recently, this quote has really helped me keep my spirits up. I also will repeatedly say "leave nothing out here," to remind myself to always give it my best.

Have any tips, tricks, or revelations about running? I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below!


  1. Great list indeed! You should be proud of what you've accomplished! Love the adorable picture!


  2. See you in Memphis Chris!

    And thanks Plami for the encouragement =)


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