26.2 lessons that I have learned while training for and running 4 marathons. Three of these marathons, I trained for by myself which led to a lot of thinking time. These are my lessons learned and may not be applicable to everyone.
1. Training for a marathon is time consuming.
2. Training for a marathon tests your mettle so that you can fully earn that medal.
3. No two marathons are alike.
4. Marathon training is character building and rebuilding – an endless cycle of tearing down and building up again.
5. Marathon training and running is great for jaw-dropping, eyebrow-raising conversation with those who never believed you could do it.
6. Every mile you run is different.
7. Head-games are part of the training.
8. No, you can not eat all you want just because you are training.
9. Everything in moderation, including moderation – that cupcake does have simple carbs – one won’t hurt.
10. Listen to your body when it is tired.
11. Don’t ignore the little aches and pains. They could be signals of bigger things to come.
12. NEVER, EVER take Aleve, Motrin or Advil before a race.
13. Thirteen miles may feel like half way, but the race hasn’t even started yet.
14. Volunteers are angels in time of extreme need.
15. Spilled Gatorade in the aid stations provides extra traction on running shoes for about a half mile.
16. High Fives from random strangers are very helpful.
17. Always run in a straight line. Save your knees and keep from tripping other people behind you.
18. Weather, other runners, and the course are out of your control. Train for the worst.
19. Set attainable goals.
20. Lower that expectation.
21. Realize that the real marathon has begun and throw everything aside. Rely on your training.
22. Mantras ARE helpful.
23. Always practice hydration and nutrition. You will feel it if you don’t.
24. Learn how to run without music. You need to be in tune with yourself, able to hear the course directors and other runners.
25. Accept that not all training runs will be exceptional.
26. Be easy on yourself.
.1 Realize that you are capable of anything you set out to do.
.2 Cross every finish line like you won the whole damn thing. It makes for better photos!
I RUN California