Marathons: not just for fit people anymore

I've tried to keep marathon training updates to a minimum on Going40, but I know that you secretly wonder how plans for my martyrdom are coming. As of this Saturday, I will have completed one-third of my 18-week marathon training program. Do I feel one-third prepared to run a marathon? No. No, I do not. Here are some fun facts and figures for you:
  1. I am famished. All. The. Time.
  2. After my Saturday long runs, I want to sleep for the next three days straight. This is not hyperbole.
  3. When I reach the end of week six this Saturday, I will have run 122 miles. I will run that same distance in the next four weeks. This is not getting easier.
  4. When I run, I do not pass other runners.
  5. When I run, other runners pass me. I am basically grandma in the right lane of the freeway going 40.
  6. I simply could not have completed my two longest runs so far, 12 miles each, without my sherpa. Scott H has rollerskied alongside me, giving me water, potassium-laced sugar water, and energy bars as needed. Also, he manages to say really inspirational and motivational things that somehow don't sound corny, in part because I'm near death when he says them.
  7. My six-mile run today was gruesome and pathetic. I don't know why.
  8. My first 12-mile run was fun. Really. The last three miles felt like I could run forever. The next week, my 12-miler felt like I was being dragged behind a pickup truck over hot oil while watching a movie about the miracle of birth.
  9. On one of my non-running days each week, I'm supposed to do "cross." I haven't done so much of that, because I'm still asleep from the long run. Also, why should I have to do cross when I am cross?
  10. If October 5 dawns hot and humid, do I have the mental fortitude to tough it out and run 26.2 miles? Hell, no.
  11. Six weeks into it: guess the weight loss. If you guessed 10 pounds, I will hunt you down and hurt you. If you guessed zero to two pounds, depending on the day, you are also 40 years old and understand.
  12. How many times in the last six weeks have I wanted to quit? Surprisingly, only three times, and all three times were shortlived.
  13. Is it inspiring to watch my partner also train for the marathon, while simultaneously competing in triathlons, meaning that he often works out three or four times a day? No, it is exhausting, and more than a little annoying. But I love him, and he is cute.
  14. You know what is inspiring? Eric M is competing in his first triathlon this weekend! Go, Eric M. I would drown. You will not.
  15. I have seen a lot of inappropriate running outfits, but none so inappropriate as the woman I saw today who decided her sports bra was just too much so she rolled it up a bit. Uh huh. Constricted half moons. I nearly passed out.
  16. Best accessory: a HeadSweats hat. I don't have to wear sunglasses, and sweat doesn't pour down my face while running.
  17. Second best accessory: BodyGlide. You'd be surprised the places that benefit from an application.
  18. Best use of time during long runs: arguing in my head with Prof K. Of course, all my brilliant assertions desert me when I'm actually in the room with her during our weekly meetings.
  19. Second best use of time during long runs: Brad Pitt or Jake Gyllenhaal. So far it's a tie.
  20. Most disgusting but secretly enjoyable experience after a long run: Viggo licking my entire head until I'm done sweating. There are benefits to being bald. Now go enjoy your dinner.


Eric said...

And not a day goes by when I don't tell him how proud I am.

Eric M said...

Scott, thank you for the nice thoughts and also for the hearty laugh I had while reading this.

You are also an inspiration--keep it up. We're all proud of you.

P.S. When does your first book of humorous essays come out? We, your fans, are waiting.

Cate said...

I love it! MD and I laughed through that. Being a former runner - I remember those training days when you feel so good that you feel like you could run forever. Unfortunately they don't happen enough - huh?! Keep it up ~ we are rooting for you!

deb said...

This is fascinating. To the casual observer, I bet it looks like you and I are both native speakers of the same language. We have some overlapping interests, as well. I like piano, you like piano. I like men, you like men. I like to eat, you like to cook.

And then we get to: I used to do pelvic exams for a living, and you're training for a freakin' marathon. Suddenly the Ven diagram is just two big circles separated by bafflement.

I do enjoy learning about different cultures, and it's pretty interesting that the sportals need to lube their body parts just to do their regular daily tasks. In the pelvic exam world we like a little lube too, you know.

I've read that there can be vomiting during the marathon. Could we get photo documentation of viggo licking your head?

Sean said...

Have you ever read the book No Need for Speed: A Beginner's Guide to the Joy of Running by John Bingham? It's a little trite at points, but he started running at age 40 as well, and I found his outlook very encouraging back before, um, I stopped running.

As for Viggo, Hudson licks my legs when I come home from the gym. Dogs are such pervs.

Tom said...

Awesome, Scott! I think I went through nearly all the same except for the rollerskiing sherpa and the Pitt/Gyllenhaal debate. Isn't it interesting how hungry you get which, therefore, inhibits the weight loss? Keep kicking butt and when you want to quit again, call me and we'll go for a run. :)

Anonymous said...

Scott, my family and I (hubby and 2 dogs) will be rooting for you and Eric from the sidelines on race day when you go by Lake Nokomis. In fact wear a tshirt that says "My name is Scott. This is my first marathon" and you will have a cheering section of thousands.
Keep on keepin' on.
Karen B.

Tom said...

^^^ Oh, that's GOOD advice. Put your name on the front of your shirt in BIG letters. I wish I'd done that. Instead, for the last 4 painful miles, I had to hear "Go Lance" or "looking good Lance". Frickin Lance. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't drop him. So wear your big SCOTT sign and maybe you can annoy the crap out of some other runner who's suffering like a dog.

Erin said...

I am in awe that you are doing this. Having never ran more than 5 miles, I'm so impressed and proud of you!

I will be cheering for you on the sidelines.