On the Marathon

Slight left turn here, my weekly recap will be up next post.

I said I would never run a marathon.  Never had any desire to.    Vehemently shot it down every time someone asked me.    Thing is, it’s not even the marathon itself that deterred me.    I mean I am the queen of stupid stubbornness, I figured I could drag myself through one if I had to.  It wouldn’t be fun, wouldn’t be pretty, would take 10 hours, likely break me and turn me off from running forever.  Like I said, queen of stupid, I totally realize I was underestimating the thing.

What scared me was the training.    Who in their right mind signs up for marathon training?   The mere idea of a 4 hour long run at the ass crack of dawn on a weekend morning almost gave me hives. I mean have you looked at some of those training plans?  Who has time for all that?  Don’t they realize I have Netflix to watch?!    Doubt’s a nasty companion no matter hard you deny hearing it.

I am a self proclaimed slacker, laziness is my strong suit.  Just ask my mother.   I’d never stuck to a training plan for a half, how the hell would I stick one for a full marathon?   Throw in long work days and a commute and it seemed even more unlikely and I was fine that.  Until I wasn’t.

The hunt for a training plan began.  It’s easy to get lost in the sheer number of them available.   Some looked scary, some looked doable.  How do you know what to choose?  How do you know which one works for you?  For me, a person who loves sleeping in on the weekends.  For me, someone can find the simplest excuse to skip a run?  For me- who still feels like a poser sometimes?  There was one that kept jumping out at me…but it was for serious runners, not slackers like me.   That would be crazy.   But then I read the book and it didn’t help prevent the crazy.  I’ve never shared what training plan I am using because I know all you real runners would think I lost my damn mind.

So yeah, Hansons.   You know the one all about cumulative fatigue and hitting paces and no super crazy long runs?   I can hear the “WTH’s” now.   I blame Colby.  And then Allison.  ☺  Anyways, I read it cover to cover and then parts again. I stuck stickie tabs all over it.   Suddenly the crazy seemed doable.   The beginner plan looked like a chance I could take.   So I took pen to paper and mapped everything out on calendar pages.  April to race day.  Then I only looked at each month at a time.  April- nailed that.  May- I knew this was where things got intense so I made an adjustment- I dropped Friday’s run.   So, I guess this is technically no longer Hanson’s.  I Slacker-ized it.  But 5 days a week with 2 planned speed/ strength workouts was still such a huge step for me, I figured I would be sufficiently fatigued.  😛 My hope for June was to add in that 6th day.

Then I got hurt.  And it wasn’t the mileage that did it.   I only missed 4 runs in May and 3 didn’t happen until after I jacked up my shins.   I think I figured out what did me in- I ended an easy Monday 5 miler with some butt kicks and high knees.  Why? No real reason other than I watched a video on running form over the weekend.  People- if it’s not breaking you- don’t mess with your form during training!  After Tuesday’s 800 repeats, I did some more high knees and butt kicks.  By Wednesday I could barely walk.  That Thursday’s attempt at a tempo was laughable.  Everything since then has been some odd combination of the Just Finish version of Hanson’s and rest.   And I am pissed.

I was actually doing it- I was following a training plan.  Yes, it was kicking my ass but in a good way.  Tempo’s were growing on me and I was so stinkin’ proud that I was following through.  That is what this marathon training has taught me.    Doubt can shut it’s ugly trap.

There’s this tv show that I watch and there’s a character on it who says something like this-

” the souffle is not the souffle- the souffle is the recipe”

Which is finally making sense to me.   The marathon is not the prize- training for it is.  If I can train for a marathon and actually follow through with something, well, then I can do anything.  At least that’s what it feels like.

Who knows what the next 48 days will bring?  Not me, but until then I am going to #justkeeprunning.


15 thoughts on “On the Marathon

  1. Fallon!!!!! I had a feeling this would happen. It all just clicked didn’t it? I can’t tell you how much I love hearing this. As I said in the beginning, a marathon will change your life… In the sense that, once you do it, you will realize that anything is possible. You can totally do this girl, and I am so proud of you.


  2. Marathon running is definitely a mental sport and you have to be in the right mindset with the right attitude to follow through with it. You can do this, Fallon!! And Hanson’s is a great choice so I’ve heard. Sounds like you’re on the right track and I’m looking forward to you nailing the 26.2!!


  3. This is well said and bang on with my own experiences training for my first marathon. I suffered an ankle injury just 2 weeks before my scheduled race and was forced to withdraw. At first I was so angry that my training efforts were “wasted”, but then like yourself, I came to see that the training was the marathon. Thanks for this post.


    1. Thank you! I am sorry to hear you had to withdraw, that’s rough! I get the anger, if my shins get worse I know I will be feeling that too. But the fact that I’ve made it this far has been such a learning experience and confidence boost. Now I just need to make it to race day feeling this way. :


  4. You can do it, Fallon! People in the blogging world tend to be overachievers, and I think it creates the false perception that you need to do a ton of work and have a perfect training cycle in order to run a marathon. The reality is that you actually have to do a lot less than you think you do to complete the distance. I know runners who have successfully completed marathons on only 1-3 runs per week, many of whom even finished in pretty decent times too. Hansons is a great plan, but it’s kind of a lot, especially for a first timer. Not everyone will thrive on it. The most important thing for a first timer is getting those long runs in (I know someone who only ran the weekend long runs for a marathon and managed to finish). As for the rest, just do what works for you. Like you said the most important thing: just keep running!


    1. I loved the plan but I have definitely gone into survival mode. Long runs have become the most important part and that so far means resting more than I would like. I was hoping to do more than just finish this marathon but finishing is just fine too. Now I just need my shins to get in line. 🙂


  5. High fives and hugs and hell yeahs! Hanson’s Method sounds so intense, but so effective (based on Colby’s experiences that I read about, anyway! 😉 ) You’re doing awesome, lady, and you can totally do this!


  6. Go Fallon! Don’t panic – you have of time to get those shins to behave. I always thought that the actual race is just a victory lap to celebrate all of those miles, hours long runs, early mornings and other sacrifices that you make during training.


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