Training Talk: Things I’ve Learned About Myself by Training For A Marathon

Well, the hay is in the barn guys. That’s exactly what my dad would say at the end of the summer when the work was done and all he had left was to make money.

Applying this to my marathon next weekend (!!!) the training is done and all I can do it watch it unfold. Whatever happens, I will be happy with it. This past 6 months have revealed many new things about myself that had I not gone through this training, I might not find out.

1.) I Am Tough

Cough, cough, Syracuse anyone? Running a half marathon in a blizzard was probably the cumulative effect of the training I did this winter and I was ready. No, it wasn’t pleasant, but I could run in those conditions. Actually, I don’t think that race was the worst weather I experienced in terms of how I handled it. I remember my first 17 miler of the training cycle where it went from bad to worse. The rain poured, I cried and finally realized that nothing was going to get better. I had to endure the suck and finish the miles because no one was going to save me. I will remember that in the final miles next Sunday. Those crappy runs made me strong and resilient.

2.) I am not ready for a coach

I had a coach for three months and it didn’t work out. There were many factors, but I am glad I stopped that even if I wasn’t happy at the time. I am not ready to be coached. I need someone who is right for me and with my limited resources, I don’t have the time or funds to get that. I am serious about my training, so I cannot settle for a coach who, although brilliant, might not be right for me. That’s just how it is.

3.) People want to see you succeed

I remember in college when every girl competed with every other one in the gym. How fast they were going, how much they could lift. I always felt like I had to be better and everyone else was trying to sabotage me. As I’ve grown up and matured, I realized that people want you to do well. One of my training partners basically gave me a training plan, advice and encouragement it was like a coach you didn’t have to be accountable to. She offered advice, but if I didn’t take it, she didn’t care. She knew we were different and all she wanted was for me to do well. I realized I felt the same way about her and everyone else I run and compete with. Sure, I train to race hard and want to do well, but wanting myself to do well does not mean I want others to fail. I want everyone to do well.

4.) Being Vulnerable Doesn’t Make You Weak

It must be remembered that this is with the right people. I could never share my worries with people like my family, but my friends at work and other running friends were really supportive when I shared my fears. They gave me such encouragement and positivity and I was able to release pent up emotions and talk it out. Sometimes they didn’t have anything relevant to add, but would remind me how long I’ve trained and how prepared I am. It was a cool head and perspective that I needed in the moment and it was given to me.

These things have been made obvious through this training cycle and now I move forward in life holding onto them. I have grown so much during this experience. I am able to trust more, talk it out and see myself as a strong, motivated person giving it her all.

One week till my first #marathon! What I've learned from 6 months of training #runnerbliss #veganrunner #tough Click To Tweet

I can’t wait until next week!

What has been revealed to you at some point in your life?

What hard things have made you stronger?

24 thoughts on “Training Talk: Things I’ve Learned About Myself by Training For A Marathon”

  1. Great post! You are very wise to have already learned and recognized that people want you to succeed. You are spot-on – just because you want to do well doesn’t mean you want others to fail. And I’ve made it a point to surround myself with people who have that mindset. There are plenty of people who feel they can only do well if someone else doesn’t (not in running but in work or some other aspect of life). I don’t get it! I think true, pure runners in general aren’t that way. Which makes the running community the best 🙂
    You are going to rock your race, Ellie! No matter the end time.

    (for me definitely the long, cold runs that I’ve endured have made me stronger. Like if I got through THAT, I can get through anything).

  2. Yeahhh good luck!!! i think training for a marathon is such an amazing, hard, wonderful. awful experience 🙂 it does teach us so much… I just kept learning that I could do more and that I was a real runner!

  3. I can’t begin to imagine the training and dedication that goes into prepping for a marathon. Good luck to you, Ellie!
    I love this post – such great lessons and #3 and #4 I’ve found to be true in my life, too.

  4. I think that struggling with an ED made me realize how vulnerable and weak I was by myself. I think I, sadly, thought of the gospel as an accessory to my life instead of something that was the very reason I lived. Wow, I’m still thinking about and still really humbled. And it caused me to rely and remember that God is my refuge.

  5. Great post and so excited for your marathon! You have overcome a lot of tough conditions training and learned a lot pushing the limits. Agreed on coaching, I’m training for my first marathon solo because meeting with and sticking to a strict training schedule just won’t work with my job. Training for half marathons in the past, I’ve had to get creative motivating myself for long training runs and will be taking that to a new level for whole training!

    1. Good luck with your training! I’m glad to hear you agree with me about coaching. It’s a great thing, but it wasn’t right for me right now.

  6. That half marathon. OMG. Talk about mental training. This was such an insightful and motivating post; your strength and self-awareness are so evident. Having started marathon training this week, this is hugely inspirational. Good luck!!

  7. Loved reading this, Ellie. It seems like you have learn a lot while training for the marathon. I know exactly what you mean about girls being competitive in college vs wanting to see you succeed when you’re a bit older and in a lovely community. It’s amazing!

  8. It seems like you would have a lot of time by yourself to think about these things with all those long runs! Something I am happy to have discovered about running is how much time I have to peacefully mull things over in my head.

  9. Did you have a training group you ran with? Otherwise, I would think the long 20 milers by yourself could be lonely, but at the same time, I like my alone time and I run by myself most of the time. You’re going to do great! That picture of you in the blizzard is awesome. Have a great weekend!

    1. Thank you Sarah! I do run with people a few times a week, but oddly only did one 18 miler with a few friends. I like to listen to podcasts on runs. I am somewhat of a podcast junkie.

  10. The runs and races in horrible conditions are the ones I remember most…they do make us mentally so tough!

    I am so excited for you! Most of all have fun and enjoy the experience! I remember my first marathon and was actually sad as to see the finish line because then I knew it would be over…you never forget your first one! 🙂

  11. This is so inspiring, it feels like you can measure your growth as a person in miles. The group of people you have around you seem absolutely great and positive influences in your life and you seem so genuinely happy right now. I am over the moon for you and will be cheering you on as you make your way through that first half marathon. You are such a strong person and I believe you could achieve anything you set your mind to. Good luck!

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