Sunday, August 29, 2010

Marathon School

I've been learning heaps in the last couple of weeks. Training for a marathon has given me a new insight into life and people. Just yesterday, when I was running my new longest run of 32k, I realized that people don't run marathons for fun. Running for hours at a time is not comfortable or enlightening. It can be exhausting and painful. But having finished my weekly masochistic ritual I get a smug feeling of self-satisfaction. I'm finding that I'm actively looking for opportunities in conversation to insert my new longest distance.

Another thing that I've discovered is that people's reactions to my new achievements vary according to their fitness level. The couch potatoes out there look at you with disbelief and caution. In their eyes there is a hint of insanity attached to anyone prepared to venture out at ridiculously early hours to willingly subject themselves to
prolonged torture. The exception to this group is couch potatoes who are related to you. They were always aware of your mental instability but love you regardless. Then their are the exclusive world of the fit. They are supportive and encouraging and happy to give advice when necessary.

Another fact I've discovered is that no matter how much you lubricate up, there will always be another place, a new place, that chaffs. And you won't discover this spot until you hit shower. Sometimes there are screams from my bathroom. ( my apologies to the neighbors)

And, finally, I've discovered that you CAN teach old dogs new tricks. It doesn't matter that I can see the big five-oh approaching at the rate of knots, my body can still adapt to new stresses placed on it. That's strangely satisfying in a glad-I'm-not-dead way.

So I'm three weeks down and six weeks to go. So far I haven't broken any bits of me yet and I haven't chickened out (although I've given it serious thought) Roll on week 4!


  1. A little imsanity is mandatory for runners! Enjoy week 4 :)

  2. My related to me couch potatoes may love me but think I am overdoing it, I am borderline mad, I will injure myself, I am gambling with my health - shall I continue? Interesting, this is exactly what I think of them.

  3. This is a fantastic post! Cheers to Week 4!!

  4. Yay to still being able to adapt to stressors!

    I learned to try to watch how I talk about running amongst people. Too many people have made weird expressions or remarks when I talk about distances or race schedules. But you're welcome to talk all you want about it here!

    You're doing great!!!

  5. Do not fear the big 5-0, take it from one who knows :)

    Great post! You're so right about the different reactions we get.

    Great job on 32K...woohoo! That's my plan for five weeks from now...sounds so long!

  6. I gave you an award. Stop by and check it out!

    Oh, and sorry for the typo on my earlier comment :(

  7. Love this post! I feel I learn something on every run. Once you complete that marathon 32k will suddenly become easy. So much of this is in our heads. Screams from the bathroom...I do too. Good luck with week 4!

  8. sooo true!! I think running for hours at a time is clearly a sign of our insanity, but for me it is also a time to think..maybe too much.

    people's reactions are so varied, especially if they can't really gauge just how far 18 miles or 20 miles is

  9. Congrats on the big run! Casually mentioning your 32K run in the morning can be one of my favourite parts of training! ;)


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