Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Things I've Learned {or that have been reiterated} From Marathon Training

In no particular order...

1.  Once you hit 15 miles, commando is the way to go  OK, I don't need to go into too many details here {cause they're really not pretty}, but on my 20 mile run {in which I rolled out of bed at 4:30am, after going to bed at 12:00am} I managed to throw on my running clothes, but didn't take into consideration what undies I was wearing {up until this point, I always wore underwear with my running clothes}.  After 20 miles in my VS cotton panties, I was pulling out the Udderly Smooth cream I had purchased on day 5 of Cycle Oregon last year...from that day forward, I've gone commando style 

2.  Quite a bit of preparation goes into the long runs  Once we determine our route {which a lot of times covers a couple different zip codes}, we then figure out where to hide water and sometimes a snack.  For a typical long run, I need 3 or 4 water bottles, nuun tablets for all my bottles, energy jelly beans OR GU, a hammer solid perpetuem, and sometime a PB&J sandwich stashed away in a bush.

3.  The mind is a powerful {probably the most powerful} tool  I am a huge believer in the mind, and the effect it has on your run/race.  The mind can tell you that you CAN do something or it can convince you that for one reason or another you cannot do something.  Any limitations we set on ourselves are a result of the mind.  I KNOW THERE IS NOTHING I CANNOT DO IF I SET MY MIND TO IT!

4.  Ice Baths are a life saver  Prior to training for a marathon, the only time I would even consider an ice bath, would be after a race.  I'm not exactly sure why I started, but once I hit 15 miles in my training, I took an ice bath after every long run, and I really believe it saved my legs.  The last couple runs we have done started & ended by the river, so I took advantage of a natural ice bath...

5.  Having a good running partner is key! Having Hollie as a {completely unexpected} training partner has been the biggest blessing and I don't know what I would do without her.  She has held me accountable & pushed, encouraged, and motivated me throughout the entire process; I am looking forward to having her by my side for 26.2 miles, as we both complete our first marathon together {I know things can change race day, but as of right now we have committed to running the entire race together}

*love the double chin...I was trying to get the entire headband in the picture

6.  You can't just roll out of bed Saturday morning and run 15-20 miles  Proper nutrition, hydration & rest throughout the week are crucial to a successful long run.  I've struggled with dehydration {I sucked my water bottle dry within the first 2 miles on one of my runs}, totally "bonking" and literally running on fumes...I'm constantly focusing on nutrition & hydration throughout the week AND during the run {I'm still struggling with the rest part}.  Each run is getting better and I feel like I'm getting it all dialed in.  

4 weeks until the big day, and I'm sure I have a lot more to learn.  But what I already know is, on October 16th, I will be completing my first MARATHON!!!!!  These are words I thought I'd never say {just a temporary limitation of the mind}

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