Whether you just signed up for your first marathon or your 50th one, you know running is not easy. Training comes with a boat load of accountability, motivation, and sacrifices. You know what you're getting yourself into.
You know that your body is going to hurt in places it never hurt before. You're going to snap on people you care about because you're cranky on your rest day. Of course, the dreaded chafing. But we wouldn't want it any other way.
Running becomes your medicine, and your day isn't complete without your daily dose.
1. Run-ger is a real thing.
When your miles increase faster than your body can recover, you are hungry literally 24/7. You may think that's an exaggeration, but until you find yourself waking up at 3 A.M. to sneak into the kitchen for a snack, you won't fully understand.
You just ate breakfast? Oh, that's cool. It's time for a mid-morning snack? Hm, you already finished your snack? Well, I guess it is lunch time at 10:30! So on and so forth.
Your idea of what a typical day of eating looks like goes completely out the window while in training. Your body has no concept of time. It just knows that it is hungry and needs food... NOW.
2. You wake up feeling like your legs are bricks.
You thought the beginning of your training was hard? Well, wait until you wake up feeling 80 years old and your legs are super stiff. It only gets worse as the weeks go on. The thought of running seems impossible, and then you lace up to find out that running, actually, is impossible.
But you keep trucking along, mile by mile, until you hit your distance for the day. No one said marathon training would be easy, and no one ever said your legs would feel fresh!
3. Waking up at 6 A.M. for your weekend long run...torture.
It's finally the weekend, and yay! You think you can finally sleep in, and then you remember you have a 20-mile long run and have to wake up at the crack of dawn! Totally not fun. But you can get donuts after...so, so worth it!
4. Your running buddies become your best friends during training.
The secret for motivating yourself through long runs? Surround yourself with people who make running fun and the miles fly by. No one wants to run alone for three hours. Your running buddies become your favorite parts of training.
5. When it's finally your rest day....
The day you've been waiting for all week is finally here. As your legs are thanking you for giving them a break, your hunger is still ravenous. You feel like a big fluffy marshmallow and you just want to eat all the food...and so you do!
That's part of training! Rest days are an important part of being a good runner.
The marathon is a monster of a distance. You swear you will only ever run one, but after that first race, you become addicted. You're already signing up for your second or third marathon, and before you know it, you qualified for Boston. The funny part is, you know just how hard 26.2 miles is physically, mentally, and emotionally, but you love to push yourself past your limits.
Marathoners are a special breed. Welcome to the beast side.