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I’m spent. The Vermont City Marathon crew wanted to have rookies blog about their training experience, so here is my current reality... My previous three blogs have been light-hearted with humor peppered into the dialogue. But now that I’m entering into the weeks of training with higher mileage, I’m beginning to feel overwhelmed. I’m exhausted.  And the worst part is that I haven’t yet hit the really long weekly mileages. A three-mile run used to feel fun and leisurely. I ran when I wanted to, and I ran the distance I felt like running. If I wanted a day off, I took a day off. When I trained for my ½ marathon, it was much easier, with much lower mileages, and less time commitment. I’ll admit that after training for the ½ marathon, I really enjoyed getting to the point of running 10 miles every Sunday. I was doing this regularly before beginning my full-marathon training plan. My thought was that if I continued to run 10 miles each Sunday, I could run a ½ marathon whenever I wanted to, without the need to rebuild up to that level of performance. Despite this level of pre-conditioning, I’m just now admitting to myself, and anyone else that will listen, that 26 miles is REALLY FAR! I knew I’d need to train a lot to build up to the proper level of endurance, but I guess I didn’t really comprehend the task at hand. I’m starting to feel as though my real marathon isn’t the one taking place on Memorial Day weekend, rather it is all the time that I am putting into the training. Running is starting to completely consume my life!  I did some basic math calculations this morning and figured out that my training plan has me running a total of 562.1 miles over 18 weeks. Five hundred sixty two point one miles of training for a 26.2 mile race. That’s 21.45 miles of training for each mile run during the marathon. Another calculation shows that, in total, my training plan has me running 5152 minutes or 85.88 hours (assuming my race speed of 9:10 min/mile). Let that sink in… roughly 86 hours of training for 4 hours of race time! Wow, that’s quite a ratio!

I vented about my exhaustion to a veteran marathon runner. She told me that I’m looking at it in the wrong light. She explained that the marathon isn’t about the 4 hours on course, rather it is about learning that if you can pass mile 20, you can do anything that you put your mind to. She went on to say that the 5152 minutes of training doesn’t just get you 4 hours of marathon running, but a lifetime of pride.

With all of the above ranting and raving, there is good news and, perhaps, light at the end (or is it the middle) of the tunnel: I ran 14 today. It felt good, and I had enough energy left over to go skiing afterward! And now, on to another week of training.


Do you have any advice or suggestions about marathon training or about my blogs? I’d love to hear them. Find me at 802running.blogspot.com

Yours in exhaustion,