First-time marathon training changes a lot in a girl.
The ol’ body starts responding in new ways (I’m happy to report that even though I’m not weighing myself any longer, I have noticed dramatic changes in how fit my bottom looks), you pretty much plan your Saturdays for only running and eating, and you start obsessing over the weather (read: 3 hours on the treadmill or outdoors—I’ll take outside any day). You also start to say—and BELIEVE—crazy things like, “Oh, I can have a glass of wine. I only have to run 7 miles tomorrow morning.”)
See, marathon training teaches you the power of relativity. Sure, my definition isn’t nearly as complicated or life-changing as Einstein’s, but it’s totally true. What used to be a long run for me before I started training now seems like a measly jog around the block. I only have to run 4 miles? My goodness! That’s like a blink of the eye these days. And, somehow, running 15 miles now seems like a perfectly sane way to spend a Saturday. When before, I’d think someone was crazy for ruining a perfectly good weekend morning that should be used for sleeping in, eating pancakes and drinking espresso. Thank goodness I have friends and family in my life who remind me darn near every day that what I’m doing really isn’t sane at all.
But, like I said, it’s relative.
While the thought of running 26.2 miles in just five weeks still simultaneously terrifies and excites me, it doesn’t seem that far off anymore. By gradually running more and more over the past 10 weeks, I’ve retrained my body—and mind—as to what’s “normal.” And, to be honest, I kinda like this jacked up sense of normalcy because I’m enjoying it. I’m seeing my endurance progress, and I’m watching myself change from an exerciser to a runner, complete with the right gear and the right mindset. I can do darn near anything if I really work at it.
When you change your thinking and your behaviors, you change your reality. And when you get right down to it, the sky—or the finish line—really is the limit. I like to think that Einstein would agree. —Jenn