Sunday, August 2, 2015

Marathon commitment.

Saturday night I was super annoyed that I was training for a marathon.  I was sitting at home, bummed and being a total grump about the fact that I had to get up in the morning to do a long run.  It isn't that I didn't want to do the run.  I didn't mind doing it and actually like the long runs usually.  I just wanted to go out with my friends on Saturday night.

I planned my weekend to do dinner and birthday drinks with some friends on Friday, volunteer at a 5K Saturday morning and then bike, and stay in on Saturday night to get up early and do my long run on Sunday morning.  The long run was supposed to be a Half Marathon race, but I couldn't find anything local so I was just going to do 13.1 miles (side note: remember Jess's Birthday Blizzard Half Marathon?? We are at this point in training.)  That was my plan and I thought it would be fine as I didn't have any known things going on Saturday night.

But at about 9:00 p.m. I got a couple texts inviting me to go meet up with friends, one of whom was just totally randomly coming into town so I don't get to see them too often!  The problem was that they wouldn't be arriving until 10:30 p.m. and my other friend's plans didn't begin until 11:00 p.m.  Yes, both of those are actual start times of evening activities - it's been an adjustment for me to have plans start so late at night!

Anyways, I had a group scheduled to meet for a run at 6:30 a.m.  Which, those times just all don't align.

I knew in my mind that I was not going to go out and that I was going to stay in and then do the run in the morning.  My friends also know me and respect my goals enough that none of them even tried to convince me otherwise.  They get it.  So, it really wasn't a decision that needed to be made.  However, I just felt annoyed.  So annoyed that I had to miss out on fun plans.  So annoyed that I was going to bed to get up and run.  I was annoyed that I had this "thing" that I had to do in the morning that was limiting what I wanted to do in the evening.

The dictionary that comes up when you Google, "What's the definition of _____?" defines commitment as "the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause" or "an engagement or obligation that restricts freedom of action."

I think it's interesting because those two definitions read as being positive and negative to me.  Dedication = good.  Restriction = bad.  Last night I was feeling much more "restricted" than "dedicated" by/to the Chicago Marathon.

Luckily, I have some amazing people in my life and I shot out some text messages to friends for support.  Some of whom were the friends who invited me out.  Honestly, it seems silly but I love that my friends respect my goals enough and sometimes know what I need more than I do.  After I kept texting my friend who had invited me out she finally was like, "Katelyn, go to bed." Which was what I needed to hear.

Another message of advice came in that really resonated with me and actually was something that I thought about all throughout my run today.  I sent the following text message to one of the most dedicated athletes I know saying, "I'm really annoyed at the fact that I have a marathon I'm training for right now because I keep getting invited to do things tonight and I need to go to bed early."

The message that I got back said: 

"The hard part isn't the race.  It's the discipline and commitment to the training. Otherwise, anyone could do it.  The race is the reward."

and then,

"It's not just a BS poster saying either. It's real. You'll remember how you feel by competing in this race A LOT longer than you'll remember anything that you could be doing tonight."

These two text messages were exactly what I needed to hear (in addition to being told outright just to go to bed.)  I've been thinking about them not just last night but throughout today too.

This is the hard part.

I'm not training for the hard part.  This is it.  I'm working towards something that is going to be AWESOME and this is the part that isn't always fun, but is going to get me there.

I remember when I had crazy nerves right before the Paris Marathon.  So much so that I was feeling anxious and scared and quiet and cranky and needed alone time.  Someone posted on my blog/wall/somewhere on social media that the race was the reward and the celebration of the hard work of training.  Reading that had totally changed my mindset going into the race, even just moments before.  I'd forgotten about that until now.

This morning I got up and I ran 13.1 miles and I finished it in 2:07:13.  It's one of my fastest half marathon times.  I mean, it is 10 minutes slower than what I ran during the race of my life in March. But it is also 7 minutes faster than the half marathon RACE I ran during my marathon training last year.  I felt good and I tried out a new nutrition system, adding Gatorade Endurance to my mid-run refueling.  That is what they will be giving out at the Chicago Marathon so I was recommended to try running with it during training.

I've generally just refueled with water but am trying to keep an open mind that there are other options that could be better.  I don't know that drinking the Gatorade Endurance while I ran really made a difference or not.  But my body didn't reject it.  I didn't feel like I overheated or anything either.  I definitely was craving more regular water, so next time I will try and change the ratio.

It was a good run though.  And I was happy I stayed in last night to ensure that it was.  And I was also happy because I was able to see some of those friends who I passed on going out with last night, for brunch today.  Friends plus bacon (that was somehow magically made even more delicious with honey) is always a win.


  1. You will love Chicago. Everyone runs in a huge crowd the whole time. I was at the top of the Willis Tower (Sears Tower) watching last year and could not get over how many people there were.

    1. Thanks!! I need the adrenaline of big races - I am so excited!