Here I sit again. On the edge looking over into several hard months of marathon training. It is not easy. It is not always fun. It is NOT for the faint of heart. I guess that leaves me out huh?
Back in January I started the journey to my first full with the same attitude as I did half training, “I’ll just do the miles and that will be fine”. Well, it worked for the half….but it sure didn’t work on the full. I struggled and sweated through tons of miles. 302.4 in 4 months to be exact, before my knee decided I was being far too cruel and wasn’t going to take it anymore. It left me with a shattered marathon dream and some hard muscle therapy. But honestly, the saddest part about my marathon training as a whole….was not that I didn’t finish it. It was that the thing I looked forward to the most was not the training runs….. It was the donuts.
All the training runs start and end at Fleet Feet Sports. Convienantly across the parking lot is a lovely, wonderful, warm, inviting Tim Hortons. In the cold months of January, February, and even March it was the best looking thing at the end of the run. If you are not from the north and don’t know of it, don’t ever go. Their coffee is like crack (I’ve witnessed grown men trudge many miles in the snow, due to a driving ban, for a cup during one of the worst storms my area has ever seen). And their donuts? Forget about it. Perfect blend of sweet and cake. Not overly glazed like Krispy Creme, nor dry and hard and cakey like Dunkin Donuts. They are perfect. Not to mention the fall/winter apple cider ones….simply heaven. I honestly ran so I could eat them in bulk. Every run ended with coffee and donuts. Like a horrible addiction I ran so I could eat. Run/eat became the norm. And that run to eat attitude lapped over into other areas. Saturdays after the long run became pizza feasts, donut indulgences, and Oreo orgies. I justified that burning 1,500 to 2,000+ calories per workout gave me food forgiveness. I could eat whatever! And boy did I…..
Imagine my shock when I didn’t lose weight. 25-35 miles per week for 4 months and I didn’t loose a pound. Well. Then I was in denial mode. Then I was in blame mode. Bouncing back in forth between my scale being wrong and “at least I look smaller” was how I spent the months mourning the loss of my good knee and my first marathon. Several hard looks in the mirror later I sit here again. I’m starting training again today (officially). This time I’ll be doing the marathon in full because I am going to train better.
Training isn’t just about “putting in the miles”. It is about training your body for an endurance event. Your whole body. That means running to learn the motions. Cross-training to target the muscles that help you run (running is a FULL BODY activity after all). And eating to fuel your workouts and recovery no matter how busy you are. I’m not saying I won’t fall off the wagon and eat a donut. I’m not saying a stray piece of pizza won’t graze my lips. What I’m saying is that if I want the results I desire from my body, I have to give it what it needs – not just what I want.