When it comes to training for a marathon, you've got to appreciate along with the highs, there will be lows. Lows like missing nights out with friends because of training, hobbling instead of walking properly, and in some cases relieving yourself in the woods (promise this wasn't me). Here are the things that people don't tell you about marathon training (or maybe I was just thinking of the medal and didn't listen...)
1. The Hunger
I am hungry ALL THE TIME. I try to stick to healthy foods most of the time so that I don't actually put on weight whilst running for hours at a time, but after a 20 mile run, anything goes.
2. The Feet
Blisters, callouses, black toenails, lost toenails, dead skin... the less said about marathon feet, the better.
3. The Cost
Running is supposed to be a cheap sport, sadly my bank statement suggests otherwise. Race entries seem to increase every year, trainers need to be replaced regularly, and gels are £1.50 a pop. The more you get into running, the more stash you want!
4. The Kit
I have a drawer dedicated to running/gym kit that is literally overflowing, I can't help buying pretty new kit when I see it. I swear I spend far more money and time shopping for running kit than I do on regular clothes. Although I spend a lot of time in workout gear which is how I justify it!
5. The Relationships
Sometimes there are three people in my relationship; me, my boyfriend and running. Marathon training takes up a lot of time, and involves quite a few sacrifices-some people don't get that. The boyfriend has finally started to accept that running is a huge part of my life- he's even completed a few races with me. Here's a great post on marathon training and relationships.
With that said I've made some awesome friendships through running, running gives you a lot of time to chat, plus normal social boundaries don't apply with us!
6. The Toilet Talk
It suddenly becomes acceptable to talk about porta loos, bowel movements, the runners trotts, and weeing, a lot. It is my number one goal in all races not to poop my pants. Try not to talk to non-runners about this sort of thing, they probably won't appreciate it.
7. The Amnesia
Running is not always pain free, however as soon as I cross the finish line I forget about the pain. Same thing with signing up for races. If you're pushing for a PB it can hurt like hell, but the pain is worth it for the high at the end!
8. The Chafing
Another potential side effect of running, and it hurts a lot. Anything that irritates your skin slightly in the beginning will rub you raw when you've been running for a few hours. Scars and sores across your boobs, armpits and nether regions are pretty unsightly, as well as being painful.
9. The Obsession
When training for a marathon, when you're not running, you're thinking about running, or recovering from running, or cross training, or reading about running. It is all consuming. I'll admit it, I have become obsessed with running- in a good way.
10. The Marathon Crazy
'I'm never going to run another marathon.' 'I am never running again.' 'I am never going to run another marathon.'
'I bet I could run the next one faster...'