Similarities between starting out, and running a marathon

While I was reading my Runner’s World, I came across an article that really struck a chord. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about why I decided to run a Marathon recently, especially while I struggle to stand up three days post long run.


Like any journalist, the writer of the column, Kathryn Arnold, reached out to do research by asking runners what they wished they had known when they first started out. The responses and her reactions were much like mine when I realized things about Marathon Training – when it was already too late – and I was more than halfway through.

Her quick observations on the responses she received were as follows:

  • No half-assery allowed
  • You will be a black hole for food following a long run
  • This is gonna suck
  • Repeat – this is really gonna suck

When I look back on what I’ve already learned about Marathon Training, every single one of the above is true.

You cannot half-ass your training if you want to survive. Maybe at the beginning you can get by not doing the full workout, or skipping a day, but later on, once the really long runs start, if you don’t give it your best effort, you won’t survive.

Her second bullet is something so unbelievably true it’s scary. You assume that after running a large distance you will be hungry. But no one prepares you for the runger. It’s like being hangry, but worse. Following a long run I transform into a ravenous beast for as long as four days after a long run. No matter how much I eat, I’m still hungry. And the hangry is real.

Something people don’t tell you about running when you first start is how much it sucks. It sucks when you’re 1 minute in, it sucks when you’re an hour in, and it sucks when you’re 3 hours in. There are times when it gets easier. But there are no guarantees that you’ll have a good run. All you can do is prepare and get ready for it, but you don’t get to choose if it’ll be easy or hard.

Just like many things in life, there are similarities between being completely new at something and setting off on a new adventure in something you’ve been doing for a long time. There are always new steps in any journey, and I feel blessed to be able to open this door and see what waits on the other side.

To read the original article:  The newbie Chronicles – March Kathryn Arnold 


About AlyL

A wandering spirit drawn to running, music, theater, and those that give life to others. Functioning in a life that's next to normal.
This entry was posted in Marathon For Music, Running Has Taught Me and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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