Gearing up for Marathon #2

Hey, guys! Thanks for all your comments on my Princess Half Marathon recap! Even if my race experience didn’t exactly go as well as I had hoped, you KNOW I had an awesome time and I appreciate the support, as always. :)


So, this weekend is also going to be a pretty big deal, because I’ll be taking on my second full marathon. Todd and I are off to Washington, DC to run the Rock N’ Roll USA Marathon.

Photo credit:

Photo credit:

It seemed more than appropriate because a Rock N’ Roll race (Philly) was Todd’s first half marathon, and our first long-distance race together back in September.


As I’ve discussed here many times in the last several weeks, I’ve been having a tough time since I got back from running the Dopey Challenge. I basically signed on to run the marathon in DC with Todd many, many months ago, long before I crossed the finish line of my first marathon and before I realized just how much of a toll those 26.2 miles can really take on you.

I completed the Dopey Challenge injury-free and ecstatic and so incredibly proud of the accomplishment, but I do feel as though I made a pretty big mistake in agreeing to sign on for another marathon so soon after my first. I underestimated just how much time I would need to recover…not so much physically, but mentally.


The soreness in my legs and feet after Dopey went away within a matter of days, but I think the months and months of marathon training really did have a big effect on my psyche. Over the last few weeks I have struggled. Big time. I am so thankful that I’m not suffering from any injuries and that I physically CAN run…it’s just that I don’t WANT to run. I’m burnt out. Running feels like a chore, and where I used to come home from a run feeling like I was on cloud nine, now I feel defeated and frustrated and just plain exhausted.

Basically, I’ve had no motivation whatsoever, but running a marathon is not something I take lightly, so I have been getting in all of my long runs on the weekend and trying to squeeze in at least two shorter runs during the week. But, as discussed here, I have NOT been following a training plan for my weekday runs, and I’ve been going out sans Garmin quite frequently. I only shortened one long run in my first week back from Dopey, and I skipped the final 20-miler on Todd’s training plan in favor of running the Glass Slipper Challenge.


Trouble is, the runs I HAVE been getting in haven’t exactly been going as well as one might hope. Our most recent 12-miler went okay, but then last weekend’s long run of 8 miles rendered me a big sobbing mess on the floor. The week before the Princess Half, I pretty much had a panic attack during our long run of 19 miles — the miles ahead of me felt endless, and I couldn’t breathe, and then I felt like my body started to fall apart…my legs and then my feet and then my back until I was forced to walk the majority of the final 2 miles.

But no matter what, I haven’t quit. I could have downgraded to run the half this weekend, but I had already put in so much work and there was no way I was going to give up. I may not always make the smartest decisions in the world, but I am NOT a quitter.

At the end of the day, I WANT to run this marathon. Not only to support Todd, but I want to prove to myself that I can run a marathon “for real.” In Disney, I stopped for tons of photo opps and ran through castles and stood in line for pictures and even ran backwards to pick up a piece of my costume that fell off, for crying out loud…and now I face the prospect of a “real” race course without all of the distractions and the excitement of Disney and posing with characters along the way, and I want to see what I can really do.


Granted, I wish my training in these last few weeks had gone a whole lot better. I know I may have to adjust my race-day expectations quite a bit, and I’m okay with that. The most important thing is that no matter what happens to me out there on the race course this Saturday…and no matter what my finish time… I know that I’ve done the best I can. I know I CAN do this, and I know I am READY to do this. Not only that, but I know it’s going to be a blast seeing the sights, whether we end up running together on the race course (he has full permission to ditch me if I have another one of my patented meltdowns, haha) or in exploring the city together afterwards. :)

Photo credit:

Photo credit:

I learned something from this experience, and now I know not to bite off more than I can chew and not to let my enthusiasm for running cloud my better judgement ever again. We have spent the majority of our weekends for the past several months knocking out long run after long run after long run, and now we are both long overdue for a BREAK. And that is something I’m very much looking forward to!


Most importantly, I am so, SO incredibly proud of Todd and everything he had accomplished. We are both basically nutcases and we definitely got a little overzealous and ran tons of races together last year. A little over six months after running his first half marathon, he’ll be tackling his first FULL marathon. He has trained so incredibly HARD…he followed his training plan and put in all of the hard work and basically has made me look like a slacker.

2014-02-08 17.23.17

There are no words to describe how proud and thrilled I am for him…and I am so excited to see him with his first marathon medal around his neck this weekend!

Photo credit:

Photo credit:

Have you ever had to adjust your race-day expectations due to training issues?


  1. The course there is SO beautiful, and the support is amazing, you can totally do this! I have been struggling as well, with post Dopey blues, but once the season starts back up and the weather improves, the mojo will come flooding back!
    can’t wait to see the pics!

  2. Good luck, girl! I know you will do great and can’t wait to read all about it!

  3. Those medals are gorgeous, good luck!

  4. Love that medal!! So excited for you and Todd! Best of luck to both of you this weekend – I’ll be cheering for y’all in spirit here in Texas! :0)

  5. Best of luck! You are truly an inspiration!! I’m planning on doing Dopey based on your feedback and other blogs and I’m pretty sure that’ll be my first and last marathon (it takes a huge commitment!). I’ll be thinking about you on Saturday from the Windy City! :)

  6. I’m so excited for the two of you. You guys are going to to do great! ( I do share some of your same concerns on running though, so I can relate)

  7. I am so right there with you! My running has been so (pardon my language) half assed since Dopey. I just have that same burnt out feeling which is frustrating since I had really hoped to train for a half or full PR, but it’s not looking like that’s going to happen.

    I hope DC went well for you guys, can’t wait to hear about it! And hopefully you can take a much deserved running break now!

  8. I’m gonna go ahead and play Devil’s Advocate for a second here. I know people have been recommending you take a break (which is by no means a bad idea) and all but lets do the flip side just for arguments sake.

    Maybe it is important that you do run a marathon (and specifically Rn’R DC) to get out of your mental and physical “funk”. It’s not that you ran a marathon and are running another one so soon. I think it’s the fact you ran DOPEY as part of your first marathon. Running a marathon is difficult enough but you threw in all these other variables to the equation and succeeded.(congratulations again btw) The problem now is (maybe) that when your mind and body think “marathon”, they subconciously think “Dopey” and all the extras that come with it. Putting it that way, it may be important to actually do a normal marathon as soon as you can so your mind can adjust accordingly. Of course, I could just be full of hot air but I thought I’d throw in another angle to think about.

  9. christi in ma says:

    Frank brings up a great point. You rocked that Dopey training for sure. What an amazing challenge. But it was a lot of work. Add in the miserable winter and of course running seems like punishment. Maybe you’ll find some running joy doing some local 5Ks and 10Ks this spring in the nice weather? Instead of dreading a long run, you can look forward to a short run just for fun. Either way you should be super proud of your accomplishments!

Leave a Comment