Preparing For Marathon Mania (When You’re Not a Marathon Runner)

I don’t know about you, but every fall, I find myself getting swept up in marathon madness. It seems like everyone and their mothers are training for and running marathons, while me and my bum knees are sitting over here like “I’m running 13 miles, wheeee!”

yyeah

I know, a half marathon is nothing to sneeze at. It’s a huge accomplishment, and I take it 100% seriously. Hell, it’s the longest distance I can [barely] manage, of course it’s awesome! But when you see those troopers out there clocking runs of 15, 18, 20+ miles, sometimes it’s hard not to feel all the (running-related) things.

Take me for example: having tried and failed training for a full marathon a few years back, I have a love/hate relationship with the marathon. As I scroll through my feeds and chat with full-running-friends, I flip flop almost hourly between runner envy (damn I wish my knees and my brain could let me run that far!) and runner schadenfreude (pfft, you won’t catch me running 20+ miles, that’s more than 5 hours!). But I know better than to say “never”, because I said that after my first 5K 4 years ago even though everyone told me I’d get hooked, and look at me now, with a blog about running and everything!

told-you-so-o

Anywho, suffice it to say that the fall racing season is always filled with lots of conflicting emotions for me. So this year, I’m doing a few things to curb the marathon mania before it hits me.

First, I’m loading up my calendar with lots of other races to get my fix while not putting my poor joints on overload. As of today, I’ve got shorter distance races on 9/6, 9/13, 9/19, 9/26, and 10/31, a triathlon on 9/20, and a half marathon 10/18, with more in the works in October. So believe me when I say it: I’ll be running plenty.

giphy

(you have NO IDEA how long I’ve been waiting to use this guy in a post. FINALLY!)

Secondly, I’m fully embracing the triathlon for the first time during marathon season. I’m competing in another triathlon on September 20th, which is taking up a lot of my training time but also gives me a new “mania” outlet. It’s a new (to me) sport and I’m fully in love with it! I’m not kidding. I still really love running and it’ll always be my favorite, but getting to switch it up with biking and swimming AND competing in those three things at the same time? It’s awesome.

love it

Lastly, I’ve set an unofficial goal for the last few months of 2015 to run 14 miles in one go. My motivation is simple: I need to prove to myself that I won’t turn into a pumpkin – or my knees won’t turn into jelly – once I break the magical 13.1 spell. So once I finish my goal race on 10/18 in Atlantic City, I aim to keep up with running long every other weekend just to see what I’m capable of. Who knows, with all the extra cross training thanks to my newfound love of the triathlon, I may surprise myself!

joey-shrug

How do you cope with marathon mania? Do you have envy like me or are you 100% sure you’re only half crazy? And those of you who ARE running those fall marathons: how is your training going? Sound off in the comments!

9 thoughts on “Preparing For Marathon Mania (When You’re Not a Marathon Runner)

  1. I’m going to sound like a hypocrite being on marathon training right now (potentially doing a full in October), and signed up for a 2015 spring one…and I do get envious, as well, when I’m not training for one. I get ultra envy, too, knowing I probably couldn’t complete a 50K, right now.
    But here’s the perspective: you can train for a half but just train for better times. And honestly, if you’re going to be doing 14, you’re going to end up breaking that barrier at some point, then you’ll break 15, then break 16..before you know it, you’ll learn that you are ready for marathon training.
    Keep it up, and take care of those knees.

    • Thanks Jayson! That’s the idea – it’s about 80% of a mental barrier for me I think, with 20% being physical. I psyche myself out knowing that as I run longer my pace slows, meaning a 20 mile run would put me around 5 hours of running (which makes me want to puke just thinking about it). I’m relying on my body’s cues this go-round, and once I break that unlucky 13.1 curse, I bet I’ll be destined for some great things 😉 Thanks for your comment!

  2. I do not have envy at all! Though I think it is amazing that people can run that far for that long, I have ZERO desire to do it. I am training for my first half in November, and the thought of running for just over 3 hours is daunting enough for me! Everyone says I will get the itch to run a full after my half, but I can’t see it. I am totally happy staying at 21k, as i feel it will be quite an accomplishment!

    • Amen, sister! That’s about where I’m at, too. I do feel the twinge of jealousy just because the title “marathoner” is so cool, but just training for a half has me burned out on running, I can’t imagine doubling those distances – not YET, at least! 😉 Keep up the great work in your training, you’re going to crush that Half!!

    • Hi Erica, this comment is not meant to convince you otherwise, but I too said those very same things. But, I completed a half in ’09, got the itch and ended up doing a marathon in ’10 (two of them). Our minds are scared of things we haven’t been to yet, but amazingly, once you get there, it’s a decision point. Do I stay here, do I go back, or do I keep going. When you get 13.1, you’ll know you’ve been there, and you’ll know what effort it took, and if you’re honest with yourself and you know had more in you, then 14 won’t seem as impossible as you originally thought, and once again, that decision point comes into play.

  3. Great post! I have been in this position before! It’s so hard not to feel envy when everyone is constantly talking about their marathons. But, you have to do what is best for you and what you like! Half-marathons and shorter distance races are challenging in different ways than a full marathon. I love marathons which is why they are what I usually run, but I’m also terrified of running shorter because running fast is hard! Embrace what you love and try not to worry about what everyone else is doing! That’s awesome you’re doing triathlons – another type of race I’m scared of!

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