Anatomy of a training cycle


You’ve probably seen the facebook memes using emojis for running a half marathon or a marathon. No? Well, you can see one on a blog here. Today I’m going to write about the training cycle, not the actual race itself.

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Yippee! I’m signed up for a race!
I am so excited (how many times have I written that? That would probably be 14 times — for the 14 half marathons I’ve run. No wait, that would be 17 times, because I’m already signed up for 3 this year (with a possible fourth on the horizon).

Oh crap! I’ve got to train!
You sign up, you’re so excited and suddenly you realize . . . you actually have to train for this race. Or maybe you decide you don’t really need to train, but that’s not me, so we’ll stick to how I feel (since that’s really all that matters, right? A little sarcasm there folks; I am not President Trump).

You begin to wonder just what were you thinking.

Hey, I got this sh*&!
So you find yourself a coach or training plan, or you dust off an old training plan. Maybe you visit a running store and invest in some new shoes (hopefully in a wild and wacky color, although mine, unfortunately, don’t come in wild and wacky colors — ya hear me Brooks? Newton?).

And you start working your plan. And you feel pretty bada$$.

Make God laugh by making plans
Things are going along pretty good, and then suddenly you get sick. Or injured. Or your kids get sick or injured. Or your parents get sick or injured. Or your furkids. Or you have to travel for work. Or snowmaggedon happens. Or a monsoon. Your dishwasher springs a leak. Your stove explodes.

You get my drift — life happens.

Again, you find yourself thinking what was I thinking?

Just make it end already . . . 

Will it ever end?
You are so tired. You are eating — but maybe not burning off You are tired of hot runs. Of cold runs. Of rainy runs. Of runs on the treadmill.

OMG, am I ready?
Then the big day comes. You suddenly get amnesia (even if you’ve done this multiple times). Did I train enough? Too much? Will I meet my goals? How will I feel if I don’t meet my goals? Will I be DFL? Wait — how do I dress for cold (heat, rain, snow)? What should I eat? What shouldn’t I eat? Should I carry water? Should I walk?

The questions go on and on.

I’m so excited and I can’t hide it
Now, not everyone feels this way, I get this — many people are nervous when they toe the line. See above. But I’m usually excited (unless training didn’t go well and I’m injured and worried about being in pain); I am chatty and probably bothering total strangers with my chattiness (the complete opposite of me in real life).

I wouldn’t say there are no nerves at all, but the excitement usually trumps the nerves. This probably lasts almost the first half of the race.

Will it ever end?
This probably begins to kick in for me around mile 8, but it really depends on the race. But sometime, somewhere, this thought will definitely take hold in my mind.

Especially in that last mile.

Glad that’s over . . . when is the next one?

It’s time to eat!
I cross the finish line and yippee! I don’t have to run another step. I can eat something, although the irony is that I usually am not super hungry. Unless I am.

Usually I am already signed up for the next half, but if I’m not, you can bet I’ll be on that ipad when we get back to the hotel, because, you know, race amnesia.

This weeks topic: scenes from my winter runs

I’m linking up with with MCM Mama Runs, Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and My No Guilt Life for the Tuesdays on the Run linkup.

Tuesdays on the Run

21 thoughts on “Anatomy of a training cycle

  1. I agree with it all.

    But I do like having to train esp in the winter. Without a race on the horizon, I would not be motivated to do all the long runs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think taking a break from long runs is a good thing. And I really don’t like training in the winter — it’s just hard to juggle, even in a mild winter like this one.

      Of course LAST winter would have been ideal, but oh well.


  2. I agree with everything! I”ve done 31 half marathons…and a lot of times, I take it for granted because it gets to be “routine.” But at other ti mes, I’ll be questioning my food, fuel, shoe choice, clothing, sunglasses (?), hat/visor/headband, etc. There are so many variables, we never ever run the same race twice, even if it’s on the same course. That’s part of the excitement 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really never take it for granted, and I’m always telling friends not to take it for granted either.

      I guess a lot of marathoners do . . . but to me, 13.1 will always be a lot of miles and I respect the distance.


  3. That is so true! For me, you have to throw in the overwhelming sense of dread and “why did I sign up for this?!” the night before. I swear I actually cry. My husband just looks at me and says, “what’s wrong with you? you’ve only done this xx times before!” haha. But then, morning of, I’m excited and ready to go (potty multiple times)! I’m not necessarily chatty but I enjoy listening to the chatty folks – puts me at ease. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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