You know you’re training for a marathon when… (warning: bodily functions and various body parts will be discussed below)

You’ve been warned people.  So here goes.


thankfully the Wild have cooperated and made my fav running hat cool again

I am in week 11 of an 18 week training program for my first/second marathon.  10 years ago I tried to run the MedCity Marathon (Rochester, MN) but 3 miles got cut off for both Brian and me.  It was a black flag day and apparently the local medical profession (whom I’ve heard are pretty smart) got nervous when folks began dropping like flies.  I had felt great but what do I know…

So this Christmas I was feeling fierce and watching 39 approach (funny, I “accidentally” typed 29 just there… hahahaha) in a few short 6 months I said to Brian, what if I did the whole thing this year?

Approximately 4 weeks later I was nursing a sore IT band, unable to run more than .3 on the treadmill.  Awesome.  I bought me a foam roller, worked my hip muscles like an Olympian Hip … Olympian and poof!  Magical healing arrived!

Then came the long runs… all the way through 13.1 I felt pretty ok!  I did a week of training on the beach and suddenly the knee pain started back.  I guess I hadn’t cross trained enough and assumed the beach would make up for that:(

Since then it’s been one ache after another rash and I keep saying to Brian, “You know you’re training for a marathon when…” So here is my list.

1.  Numbers Games

I saw a gas station sign last Saturday on my 15 miles.  Upon seeing 3.23 I thought, oh, like almost 4 miles.

2.  Bloody Socks

I had a Curt Schilling moment last week.  (He was a Red Sox pitcher in the 2004 series…)  Bloody sock and everything.  Now it’s band aids even for a walk to the grocery store.

3.  Essential Hobbit Second Breakfasts

I ate second breakfasts most days this week.  Like at 10:00.  Eggs, PB and honey toast being my favorite choice.  Basically I eat PB like 100 times a day – energy bites, with Ritz, on toast or any bread I can find.  The thing about training is even while I’m eating I think about what to eat next, when I will eat and how much can I eat it.

4.  You get the runs in multiple ways

For a while now I have had to watch exactly what I eat the day before my longer runs.  If I am not careful I enjoy more than one kind of run…  OK not enjoy.  But I guess some of you out there enjoy that emptying out feeling after explosive diarrhea.  I don’t.  Particularly when it isn’t just once, or twice and you’re popping Immodium along with the ibuprofen and whatever else you might be popping.

5.  Jelly beans have new meaning.

One way to curb those kinds of run is to eat while running.  This is something I never did in the previous training and try not to do too much of while I’m working out.  I like a good 1-3 hours to pass after I have eaten breakfast to work really hard.  But these early morning training runs on Saturday don’t allow for that.  So, granola and yogurt, banana or PB toast goes in and out the door I go.  I pack some Jelly Belly beans made with a kind of Gaterade impact.  They are tasty unless it’s 30 degrees out and they get crunchy:(

6.  Chafing: it’s going to happen.  Glide, Vaseline, A&D ointment, I’ve done it all.  Sometimes I’m fine, other times not so lucky.  I never run in shorts because I have major flesh between my thighs, despite all this running!  But other times, it is BAD.  Last week I made the mistake of shaving on Thursday.  LIke a thorough job.  Very thorough…  Let’s just say I serioulsy considered going commando to the church Missions Conference which was being held at my home church, which supports my husband and me (we are missionaries technically).  I mean really, we could lose our support for going commando.  I think it’s a commandment: thou shalt not go commando while under a church roof.

This week I didn’t shave at all.  Clearly the right choice right?

7.  I see constellations on my rear.  *warning: some of you maybe should skip this part*

Seriously I am a sweater.  My forehead can flow like a fountain on any given day in Anna McGhee classes and I try to keep up and keep dry.  I even bought deoderant for “mean sweats” last week.  But I have never met a bottom deoderant.  Or a cleanser that quite does the job.

So after much discussion with a doctor and 3 friends who run, Walgreens set me up today.  I am lubed and powdered and defungitized with the best of them as of this evening.  Let’s hope it works!

However, I am learning how to powder down there.  I shook a bit into the underware upon finishing business in the loo and went about my day.  A few hours later, back in the loo I pulled the pants down in a puff of powder.  It spilled onto my legs, shoes, floor and toilet.  Awesome.  It’s like I’m doing a magic show every time I use the facitilites.  Or I could tell everyone I am in gymnastics.

Really, this training thing isn’t for sissies.  The amount I think about my clothes (is my underware right for 9 miles? will this bra chafe?) my food (let’s see 2 or 3 eggs?  How much ice cream can I eat and not get sick? Can I eat a donut right after a run and have it disappear with my metabolism or does it have to be within 60 minutes of my run…?) my sleep (no water before bed: I will not wake up to change your sheets tonight! – by the way this is about XS not me or Brian…) and finding routes around this hilly city less than 20 miles away that are flat make for a challenge.

But that is exactly why I’m doing it.  Because it is hard.  And I am fierce, even if the soles of my feet fall off completely and my face never looks less than sunburn.  Even if I gain more than 7 lbs (let’s call it muscle) and get addicted to Jelly Beans and PB and eating, for realz.

We never know what we can do until we try.  And I’m not getting any younger.

So tomorrow it’s 16 with a dear friend (thanks friend for running with me and introducing me to the beans) on the shores of Lake Superior in hopefully warmer than 30 degrees.  And I need to get some more PB toast so gotta go!

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