Marathon Freak Out

Every runner has a period during their training where suddenly it seems like the marathon is simply too much and can’t be done. This weekend was mine. I made it through that 14 mile progression run, but right now can’t imagine taking one more step after that.

Having run 4 marathons, I know that mentally and physically my body can handle 26.2 miles…but still the doubt is there right now.

The biggest issue has been my health. I’m consistently running a low grade fever, which means I’m tired. My stomach hurts so bad that my nutrition has dropped off, which further effects my energy.  At least mentally and emotionally I am starting to make a turn around, so I will continue to work to figure out what else is happening in my body.  In the mean time, I am nervous about the lack of miles.

In previous marathons high mileage weeks were what got me through. Now I am able to do my tough intervals, tempos and most long runs…but not much in between. Since the speed workouts are at least 8 miles normally I feel like this is still good enough, I hope.  It sounds similar to the FIRST program, so that’s what I’m telling myself! Have any of you followed FIRST and felt good with your race?

Because the marathon is so mental, I took a deep breath after my freak out and reminded myself of the following:

I still have 11 weeks
The weather should in theory cool down…which means I run better
I am finally committed to consistent speed workouts and they are long tough workouts
I am following a plan that is proven to work
I am able
I am finally getting my health under control
I am supported
I want this
I am going to be running with some amazing women that I truly adore!
I get to meet tons of bloggies!!

I also recognize that my major goal is to have a BLAST in Philly. So if that means over the next 11 weeks it just doesn’t appear that I should do the full, I will downgrade to the half and make sure that I fully enjoy every moment.
Gratitude Journal
Sept 6
I am grateful for my fun new logoSignature
I am grateful for good insoles
I am grateful for concise directions
I am grateful for good designs
I am grateful for true friends

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  1. says

    I'm 10 weeks out from my next full, and I had a similar freak out recently…in fact I toyed with the idea of dropping to a half. I just told myself no matter what I would keep training for the full and make the decision later on down the road. Two weeks later and suddenly I'm feeling MUCH more confident and ready to take on the full.

  2. says

    Marathoning/training for marathon IS taxing on the body. Each time I do it, no matter how gradually or how careful I am, my body rebels by injuring itself. While many people are fine, some people need to step back, even for a little while. I think it's unrealistic, short of being a pro athlete, to be fit enough to run a marathon all the time. Rest up and hope these 11 weeks are ones of healing.

  3. says

    That Miami heat you have run through will pay off HUGE in Philly in November. But I hear you on the doubts. I always start to second guess myself around that time.Just keep doing what you can, and try to get healthy!

  4. says

    No need to freak–time is on your side. I never have my head around a marathon at the point you are at. IT WILL COME!I'm a FIRST vet and yes, I've always felt prepared. No worries!

  5. says

    Thank you so much for having doubts too! My first marathon is in 2 weeks and I am at the point where my training is what it is and there is nothing I can do about it. I am questioning if I did enough or did I give in to family needs too much. Am I ready to go? My latest freak is that I had to recalibrate my sensor this weekend with the half I ran to get it back on track so I am questioning if I did put in enough miles to be properly prepared. Although, I did know my sensor had a tendency to start overestimating miles over time so I always tried to run a little extra on all my runs to compensate for this technological hiccup. Oh boy…it is what it is and I have to have the mental faith all will be well. I am so ready to just get out there and prove it to myself and then get ready for marathon number 2!You are doing awesome!

  6. says

    I have followed the FIRST program for both of my marathons. And living in Greenville, SC (where Furman is located and the FIRST program originated) a TON of my fellow running buddies use it too…with great results. I had a great race on my second marathon and I fully believe in the program. And while they recommend cross training on the off running days, sometimes I was just too tired to do that and all I would do were the 3 runs/week, totaling max 36-38 miles. And I ran a 3:46 at Kiawah!!! I will be training for Houston starting in 3 weeks and I will definitely be using the FIRST plan again to try to drop another 6 minutes! So feel confident about those 3 runs/week and get all the rest you need in between!

  7. says

    That is a great mind set to get through this marathon! You will succeed and you will have fun! Like you said, your body and mind know what 26.2 is and what you need to do to get through those 26.2! 11 weeks is plenty of time…I tried a 15 week program and got hurt with only 7 to go…so I am freaking a little (since now I am down to 5 weeks away!)

  8. says

    omg! Thank you for posting this! This weekend was my marathon freakout too! I had a 20k race this weekend and it was horrendous. Afterwards, all I could think is "how am I ever going to run 26.2 miles???

  9. says

    I hope your health continues to improve and I hope all doctor's visits turn out to be ok! Race that race that you've been working towards! It will be worth it!

  10. says

    Freaking out is a part of every marathon training program. Remember to believe in yourself, and in your training and experiences. Give yourself the time to get better, and whatever you can try to get inside of you for nutrition!

  11. says

    I felt overwhelmed at times last year during marathon training. Like you I told myself I could downgrade and that gave me the confidence to continue training. And I got through it all and you will too.

  12. says

    I know you're going to do great in Philly – and I also totally feel you on the freakout. I hope the health problems start to get sorted out and that you can get to the start feeling good. But even if it continues to be a shaky training cycle, I know we'll have a blast during the race!

  13. Anonymous says

    I hope your tummy feels better! I'm a beginner so I'm still sore sore sore if I run more than 2 days in a row. I've done 7 miles. Every Saturday when we add a mile to the long run, I ask myself 'how in HELL am I going to run ING?' Ugh.Stephanie

  14. says

    i am running my first half in vermont on saturday and have just started to freak out…. with all the crazy weather we have been having in the "hurricane northeast" i have not been able to get the last long run in that i wanted to….. but i just keep telling myself that i can DO IT! i am also planning on running the half in philly in november, so i look forward to meeting you then…

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