Hey y’all! Wow, where has the time gone? It seems like just yesterday that I was signing up for the Flying Pig Marathon and making it known to the world that I was going to begin my quest to finish 26.2 miles. Ideally I would have liked to have blogged the entire process. I know that personally I would have loved to be able to look back and see all of my thoughts on my training and just the process in general. But unfortunately life got in the way. I know that is no excuse but I began a new job teaching 11th grade and I just didn’t feel like sitting down to type out my thoughts. Not that anyone cares about my marathon training but I still wish I had actually blogged about it.
Regardless, here I am. Just three days away from a marathon. It is mind blowing to think that this day is finally here. I always said I would never do a marathon, but I’m glad that I will (hopefully) be able to say that I’ve completed one just once in my life. I know that it is impossible to sum up so many weeks of training in one blog post, but I’m going to share with you some of the highlights of training. Please excuse the random pictures I throw in here with captions explaining what aspect of training I was in. Consider it a photo journal.
Bryan was my “coach” so to speak and kept me up to date with what I should be doing and what kind of miles I should be logging. I was able to do most of my long runs on Saturday mornings with the Knoxville Track Club which was great because it kept me accountable and gave me some company. Most of my long runs were done at a run/walk interval where I would run for 5 minutes and walk for 1.5 minutes. This was so helpful to me in terms of getting it done both mentally and physically.
I was able to get most of my mid week runs on our school’s campus since it has a 1.5 mile loop around it. That was fun and there were even times when kids would take pictures of me out the window of the school and put it on social media with captions such as “Ms. Godfrey is escaping” which was always fun to come back to. Marathon training allowed me to be a healthy role model to my students. There was also a period of time where we had terrible snow storms (terrible for Tennessee, anyway) and our school was shut down for more than 2 weeks. That made it hard to run at all since there was about 10 inches of snow on the ground and no power. But hey, life happens.
My longest run was supposed to be 20 miles but I never made it there. I ended up doing four 16 milers. The first two 16 milers were amazing and I did them solo. The weather was perfect for them and I kept a good pace then entire time. Of course the last couple of miles really hurt and my run/walk intervals started spacing out as I added in even more walk breaks but I was still able to do them. I learned when to take gels and when not to take gels. I learned that you can never have too much Body Glide and that sometimes major debilitating chafing has to occur before you learn that lesson. I learned that I have an awesome support system. My sweet Momma got in her car and followed me at various points during one 16 milers. She took photos of me, brought me water, cheered for me, gave me new pieces of gum, and just kept an eye on me. My friend Lindsay sent me an awesome care package that had some cute socks and a new marathon shirt in it. I’ve just felt so much love during this long process of training.
I’ll be completely honest and say that I probably won’t ever do another marathon. The training has burned me out and I started feeling mentally defeated several weeks ago. I don’t look forward to my long runs because they are so long. Here’s something funny: I read in so many books and magazines that you gain weight while marathon training. I read it all as blah blah blah blah because I sincerely thought I was going to be *that* person who loses weight while training. Combine that with a brand new job and other life changes and I totally failed at that. I’ve gained several pounds during training and some of my clothes don’t even fit. I won’t blame marathon training and I’ll save my weight struggles for another post but let’s just say this cycle has slimmed me down any.
Something else I had to get used to was slowing down. It devastated me to do slow midweek runs and I was constantly complaining to Bryan about how slow I had gotten but he had to continually remind me that after the marathon was over that I could focus on speed and short distance again. I can’t wait for that to happen because I’m so sick of long and slow miles.
I would like to say that I’m confident going into marathon weekend. I’ve definitely skipped some runs and there were times that my runs were a failure and had to walk the majority of them. It happens. I’m comfortable saying that I completed about 85% of what Bryan asked me to do. If all else fails, then I can walk it. They are predicting hot weather and the Flying Pig directors have added water stops to where there will now be water available every single mile of the race. My biggest fear is severe cramping or muscle fatigue and getting sick. My belly doesn’t respond well to long distance especially when I”m fueling with gel so I often experience terrible stomach pain. There were some Saturdays where I spent the remainder of the day in bed thanks to stomach issues. Let’s be positive and pray that this is not an issue on race day. I’m thankful to have my mother going with me to cheer me on at the race. No one is more proud of me than she is.
You can sign up for text alerts from the Flying Pig website if you want. I would love to have some virtual cheers and good vibes my way. Realistically, I think I will finish in around 6 hours. It could be more and it could be less. My only goal is to finish the race and that’s what I intend on doing.