Monday, June 6, 2016

It's Supposed To Be Hard.

Utter exhaustion.  Mentally. Physically. 
Put a fork in me. I was done.  
I had nothing left. It was a rough run.  

I'm linking up again with Tricia and Holly for their weekly wrap!

It's been such a long time since I've linked up.  To tell you the truth, I'm exhausted.  I haven't had a ton of writing inspiration.  With my injury side-lining my marathon training for 6 weeks there just wasn't much pep in my step.   And now,  at night once the kids are in bed, I want to sit and turn my brain off.  

I am fortunate that my marathon goal is still in sight.  I was cleared to run about 4 weeks ago,  so the last 4 weeks I've been concentrating on getting my pace back up and my stamina for long runs.  I missed a ton of training. 

Instead of dwelling on the runs I missed, I re-evaluated my goals and my training plan.   Fortunately, I had a great endurance base built up, but getting injured in the middle of your very first training cycle for your very first marathon is a hard pill to swallow.  Anyhoo  - enough of that.  I'm back and I plan on crossing that finish line in LESS than 2 weeks!  I haven't felt like throwing up just yet, but I'm sure marathon week I'll have butterflies stirring. 

So back to that first paragraph.  Utter exhaustion.  

I had my first and ONLY 20 miler last weekend.  Because it was Memorial Day Weekend, as a group my girls and I decided that it would be best to knock out the 20 miler before leaving for the weekend, so we decided on 3:45AM on Friday morning head out.  

Yes, yes... I know what you're thinking.... a FASTED 20 miler.  May not have been my best decision, but I really wanted the company for 20 miles.  I knew that for most of the run I would be running solo. The other girls hadn't skipped a beat in training so they would definately be faster. It was important for me to keep them in sight, but I also knew that I needed to run for me and at my own pace. 

I will spare you all the details for the run because that's not really the point of this blog post.   Other than it felt like I was running up and down Mt. Everest.  My small town is extremely hilly and somehow we seemed to find the worst of the hills the entire time! 

Clearly, I need to work on my mental training.  By mile 15 I had completely lost my girls.  I mean, I knew where they were, but couldn't see them anymore.  I of course knew how to get home and also how far it was to home.  By mile 16,  I was literally willing my legs to move.  I wanted to quit.  I wanted to cry.  Make it stop.  Don't run anymore.  Who's going to know if you stop?  

At mile 18.75 I was close to home.  I knew I only had just a little over one mile.  But, I couldn't do it. I turned the corner to my street, dragged my legs the last 1/4 mile, stopped my Garmin and sobbed uncontrollably. The tears came from out of nowhere!  I had just run 19 miles!  19 MILES! I should be happy.  I was. I was sad.  I was disappointed.  I didn't know WHAT I was.  

Within about a minute of finishing, my girls rounded the corner - they had completed 20 miles.  Remember, I had lost them at mile 15.  They were screaming at me to keep going. "You can do this!"  "Get out of your head!" " Don't be so hard on yourself."  It was a strange feeling.  I'm normally in control.   

This past week I have thought about those 19 miles so many times I can barely count.  What I will take away from that run is the mental toughness it takes to finish a run like that.  I grew stronger during those 3 hours, even though it didn't feel like it.   It's hard to run.  In this picture I was faking a smile, but if you look close my eyes are watery and bloodshot.  I will treasure this picture.   

I posted on Facebook later that morning about my 19 miles.  Cue crying on and off ALL DAMN DAY!  I want to thank ALL of you that commented and gave me words of encouragement.  You have NO idea what that did for me.  Every single comment made me cry.  The support from all of the virtual running friends has been amazing.  I feel like I'm running this race with you, so THANK YOU! 

26.2 is no joke.  In less than 2 weeks I'll be a marathoner!  Little old me!  A marathoner?  Who would have thought?!?!


  1. Sorry to hear about your injury, but it's good you're back to training and still able to run your first marathon! I've never had a run over 13 miles and change, so I can only imagine the mental toughness needed to complete that run. It sounds like great training for race day!

  2. I absolutely love this read and your honesty. I hit a wall at my half this weekend and doubted my ability to finish the Chicago Marathon this fall. I know I'll train and push myself as you did and know it'll be a challenge. I can't wait to hear how you do and succeed!!

  3. I read this last night and loved it!! and it made me sad for a few minutes because i have had that moment where you just feel so can't under estimate how running can take you to great highs and some lows..
    You are going to rock this marathon!! I have no doubts!!

  4. According to our previous USAFit coach, if you can run 16 miles, you can run a marathon. Just don't forget the first time isn't about time. I'm sure you have a finish time in mind, but it's all about finishing.

    Preferably uninjured!

  5. Way to go on the 19 miles! So glad that you will be able to run your marathon. Sounds like you are doing great after coming back from your injury! You will do awesome for your marathon! Looking forward to reading about your experience!

  6. Great job on your long run! You're definitely ready to go the full distance! Enjoy your taper!

  7. I get the turning your brain off at night. I try and do most of my blog reading during the day because after work and everything else, I'm not very productive later at night.
    What a true assessment of what goes on while training for a marathon. Lady, you may not have done the 20 miles but you pushed through and you did grow stronger in those last miles!!! Can you just imagine what it will feel like in 2 weeks when you cross that finish line to know your a Marathoner!!? :)

  8. I'm the queen of emotional running. I get it. You'll be so freaking emotional at that marathon and it will feel so good!!! You did it. Even after dealing with an injury, you will line up at the race and put that yummy icing on that cake! Enjoy. Thanks for linking Gina!

  9. You know that for my last 3 marathons, there was no 20 miler. In fact, for Big Sur, my longest run was 13.1 miles. 8 weeks before Big Sur. Hey, you do what you can right? You got this. Just keep thinking about that finish line because crossing it will be THE MOST AMAZING FEELING in the world. Trust me on this one.