Marathon Training: Hard As Diamond

Posted on October 6, 2011


Training for a marathon is hard!  I mean like really hard!  It sounds great to talk about doing it and you get all pumped up and you’re suddenly ready to conquer the world.  But, then you actually start doing it and suddenly you’re questioning what the hell you were thinking.  Let’s just say, training for a full marathon has been a lot harder than we expected.

We basically ran a half marathon on our own last Saturday.  There were no people cheering along the way, nor were there water stations or medals at the end of the race.  It was just me and Rachel running the long miles, trying our best to wear smiles and not think about the fact that a marathon is a lot further than a half marathon.  Without a cheering section it is extremely difficult to forge on when exhaustion begins to present itself.

I want to first say thank God for Cytomax and GU Gel Packs!  We supplanted Gatorade with Cytomax a while back after drinking it at the water stations during the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathons.  It works great and definitely helps us along the way.  The GU Gel Pack, although it tastes gross and you want nothing more than to spit it out, actually helps provide an energy boost.  My only complaint is that our hands get overwhelmingly sticky after eating it and we have to use our water bottles to wash our hands while attempting to keep running (definitely a sight).

I am really not sure I could make it through our runs without Body Glide.  I really believe it is a true gift from God for people like me.  I’m sorry to be gross, but I have the tendency to chafe.  I’m not talking about chafing on my feet, or arms, or even nipples.  I am talking chafing between my butt cheeks.  If you have ever experienced this it is horrible.  It’s especially bad during hot/humid runs.  It’s like you are trying to stoke a fire back there.  By the end you actually feel like you can roast marshmallows (mmm…smores!).  But really, it can be very difficult to continue any run with bad chafing.  But, Body Glide has been my saving grace.  We go together like ketchup on fries (okay, now I’m making myself hungry).  I have decided that I must bring Body Glide with me for my extra-long runs because it is likely I will need to reapply.  Let’s just say I didn’t put enough on last week and I wasn’t really able to walk much after our run.

I will admit that although the training has been crazy difficult as of late; it has also been very rewarding.  I never thought Rachel and I would be able to run a half marathon on our own without the motivation of others cheering us on, but we did and that’s something to be proud of.  Training for a marathon really makes me appreciate one of my favorite quotes from Jesse Owens, “Running is real.  It’s all joy and woe, hard as diamond.  It makes you weary beyond comprehension, but it also makes you free.”  I don’t think I could have put it any better.