All the Things I’d Given Up to Finish a Marathon

With single-digit days to go until race day I will admit I am starting to get nervous. I don’t feel like I’ve trained enough and at this point it is too late to fix that. I’m also thinking back on all the things I’ve given up or really tweaked to be able to do the training and reach my goal. I thought I would share them in case there are other people out there thinking they want to run a marathon.

  1. Cute shoes. Due to the issues I’ve had with my feet, legs, hips and body in general I’ve had to cut out cute shoes. I’ve worn my dress sandals one time. I can’t wear flip flops for extended periods of time either as they do not have enough support for my body. I can wear them for a few hours after a long run to let my feet relax but that is it. I wear tennis shoes 90% of the time and I’ve gotten used to it. BUT I can’t wait to be able to wear something else.
  2. Booze. Gone are the days when I could have a drink or two on a Friday night after work. Long runs restrict me from drinking any alcohol on Fridays. For the most part I don’t really drink anything anymore because I am running 3-4 days a week. If you follow my Facebook or Instagram accounts you will see the occasional picture with a beer in the background. Yes. I would have a beer after my long runs, but my body can really only handle one.
  3. Late nights. 9:00 PM has become my witching hour. Some days, I’m in bed by 8. If I want to be productive at all I need to be in bed early every day I run (and every night before a long run). Does that mean that I’m in bed, asleep at that time every night? Hell no. I have 3 kids and a husband – life happens. My 6 year old now knows that if he wants a “happy mommy” he needs to be in bed by 7:30/7:45 so mommy can go to bed.  I know what I need for sleep to get my best performance.
  4. Lunch out. Can’t do it – I have to run. Stop at the bank, the grocery store and Target over lunch break – nope- won’t happen either. All errand running has become an after-work routine. I’m into my burn down mileage things are getting easier. I’m also looking forward to not having to run 4 days a week and being able to dial back to 2-3.
  5. Spontaneity. Not that the hubby and I were hugely spontaneous before I started training or getting into high mile runs, but if we wanted to go do anything or take an overnight trip somewhere the first thought in my head was not “hmm…I wonder how i will get my run done that day.”  Or if we do plan something we would have to wait until after my run (or I would have to try and schedule it on a different day.)
  6. “FREE” time. As a parent you do not have a lot of free time to being with. Add in 3-4 runs a week that can take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours this training has become a part time job. I see my family less and it sucks. But I also know that this is a goal I want to meet and I figure the sacrifice is worth it to set the example for my kids; set a goal, work hard, meet the goal.

It may seem like a short-ish list. But when I look back on it it feels like a lot. I wouldn’t change a thing. I’ve lost 20 lbs. My cholesterol went down 50 points. I feel great. People tell me I look great (but I always look great.) Bahhh!!!!  The biggest thing I’ve gained is an appreciation for exercise. I still look forward to each and every run. I know I will continue to run long after this race. The mileage will be more manageable and the scheduling will be more flexible. I have talked to my family about my next running goal; running a “cycle” this year. That means running a marathon, half marathon, 10K and 5K. After running a full marathon, the rest should be easy, right? Only time will tell how far this running adventure will take me. I can say that I’ve loved every mile of this journey and look forward to the next big thing.

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