Last night (when I started this post) my point in all this seemed really clear and I was all, ‘yeah man! I got my writing mojo back! blog posts for dayyyyyssss!’
And now it seems kind of pointless and really scatterbrained. Apparently my brain works better on Budweiser rather than Coffee.
Here it goes, anyways…
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I’ve been talking marathon’ing a lot with people lately.
With three marathons under my belt and a fourth on the way, on paper it seems I’m at least somewhat qualified to talk about it.
Ha. But really?
Let’s remember Mary #1 – where I did nothing but run – 5x/week, at the same pace, no cross training, no weights, no stretching… and (surprise, surprise) wound up injured two weeks before race day.
Minus 10 points Sarah
And then there was Mary #2, my “Redemption Race” – where I followed the rules and still wound up injured near the end of the Runner’s World Break 4 or Bust 16-week plan.
Minus 10 more points.
I told the marathon I “needed some space – it’s not you, it’s me!” and spent the winter focusing on shorter distances, lifting, and falling in love with yoga.
And then, a dare – Is 5 weeks long enough to get ready for a marathon? For a free entry to the LA Marathon, could I go from 5 mile shape to 26.2 in just over a month?
I did, but it obviously wasn’t ideal.
…According to the experts. The “rule followers”.
To me though, it worked. It was tough, but the shorter training plan worked for me. And that’s the most important part about distance running – learning what works for YOU.
So why do we spend so much time seeking advice? Reading from the experts? Talking game plans with fellow runners? Making training plans just to throw them down the shitter 3 days later?
What, just me?
There ARE things we can learn from each other – I had a good chat with a reader who was struggling mentally to get through her first marathon training cycle. I shared my tips to make long runs suck less, training not seem never-ending, and raceday be a little less anxiety-ridden.
On the other hand, I sent a 1,441 word email to an old friend that’s flirting with the idea of getting into marathon’ing – and almost every other sentence was,
‘But that’s what works for me – you’ll need to figure out what works for you’
I LOVE the running community – who’s willing to talk distance endlessly, compare fueling options, and nit-pick race logistics till they’re blue in the face. The support and infinite pool of opinions and experience is awesome. But I also think that comparisons are very easy to fall victim to.
So-and-so does this. Yasso says I need to run this. Clif tells me their glorified fruit snacks will help me from dying while running. Doctors tell me to stop running. Teammates tell me to run more, run faster.
While a lot of it is sound advice (fueling before you feel you need it, protein afterwards, bodyglide everywhere…) so much of it is about our own personal needs as a runner.
- Cely & I are Team Pre-Run Snickers, but obvs your peanut allergy isn’t going to let that work for you
- Paula can’t have sugar during runs, which is sad because margarita shot bloks turn long runs into party time
- SkinnyRunner can race in skirts because her thighs don’t violently rub together, while us chubrub’ers are sworn to capris to avoid death-by-chafe
- Janae can wear racing flats because she’s speedy and weighs 10 lbs, while your max support Aasics might be the only thing keeping your feet from crumbling to dust underneath you
But to the rest of us – while we’re all hitting peak weeks, tapering, or gearing up for fall race season – all I’m saying is to make sure you keep your running about you, and only you. Remember why YOU love it. Remember what works for YOU. Remember what YOUR goals are.
And then damnit, go kill it.
(I don’t know where my preacher side came from) Sarah OUaL