I went to the gym this morning with the Peanut and the Monkey. I have a limited amount of time at the gym in the mornings because the Monkey needs to nap. This morning when dropping him off in the babysitting room he was already acting tired. Couple that with the fact that I was already 15 minutes later than usual, and I knew my gym time was extra-limited today. I wasn’t really feeling like running, but I have been wanting to do some strength training, so I decided to hit the weights for a while.
About 20 minutes into my workout I saw that an experienced marathon runner who is also a trainer at the gym was not busy. I have been meaning to ask her whether the local running club is still getting together for early morning weekday runs. So I walked over and started up a conversation.
10 minutes later, we were chatting about race fuel, the horrible awfulness of lemon-lime flavored sports drink, and long runs. Oh, and race strategy, the appeal of running long runs with a group versus alone…well, you get the idea. Before I knew it, the clock read 8:55 and I had to leave.
So, it was a short workout.
But during this conversation, she said something that stuck with me. Actually, it terrified me.
She said, “Training for a marathon is like a part time job.”
This single statement scares me more than anything else that I have heard about the marathon. Perhaps this is a sign of how naive I really am.
I know the marathon will hurt. I don’t know how much, but I know it will hurt.
I know that the marathon will be long. I don’t think I’ve mentally grasped how long, but at least I know.
I know that I will be running longer than I have ever run before. I know that I’ll be heading out for 3-4 hour training runs on weekends.
There is so much that I have heard and read about training for and running a marathon that I guess I thought I was prepared for it. Or at least prepared for the preparation. Something like that.
But when she said that training was going to be like a part time job, something shook deep down in my soul.
But I’m already a mother. A wife. An engineer. A runner. I already have a “day job.” I volunteer for way too much (ask my husband). Any given evening, you’ll find me stressed about how to split my time between the things I already have committed to and the things I want to do. If you had asked me to take on a part time job, I would have laughed in your face and then shown you out.
But, according to her that’s exactly what I just did. Took on another job. And the more I thought about this the more it scared me.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m committed, and I will do what it takes for the training. But today, I had the first of what will probably be many “freak out moments.” One down, many to go.