Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Plugging Away

Nothing much new and exciting from the Running Fat Guy's camp. At this point I'm just plugging away at the hours and miles prepping for the L.A. Marathon. Yesterday was a seven mile easy run around the Upper Back Bay. Whipped it out in just over an hour (9:30 pace) at an easy effort. And so marathon training goes and will proceed for the next 12 and a half weeks.

Are you thinking about running your first marathon? I always hear a lot of indecision and fear from first timers. Fear of the distance. Fear of failing. Fear of disappointment. Here's my take: Everyone should experience a marathon. But, be ready.

You need to be ready for the pain that come with pushing your body farther than it's been pushed before (and I'm not even talking about the race). You need to be ready for the ups and the downs that Mr. Marathon can so evilly dole out (check out chicrunner's blog posts here and here to see what Mr. Marathon can do). You need to be ready for the disappointment when you realize at mile 14 that your goal time is a thing of the past and you're only a little more than half way into the beast (my story here). You need to be ready for the emotion as you cross the finish line:

You also need to be ready to shuffle around and climb stairs backwards for a couple of days:

So, if you think you're ready, don't tell me about how you can't. I have seen people of every size and shape at the finish line. Let me tell you about the tears in my eyes at mile 18 in Long Beach when I passed the guy pushing his wife in her wheelchair. I don't think "can't" is in her vocabulary.

Don't tell me about failing. You win by getting to the starting line.

Don't tell me about the disappointment that you might feel when you hit the tape at 5:59:59. First off, anyone who has run a marathon completely understands. Second off, if someone gives you crap about it, remind them you didn't see their feet cross the finish line.

Just be ready for the ultimate test of patience. Be ready for the weeks and months as hours and miles melt into hours and miles melt into hours and miles. Believe me -it's easy to talk yourself out of a few miles here and an hour or so there. Do that and I can guarantee you it will also be the most miserable 5 to 6 hours of your life. Be ready to trust in your coaches and training plan. Don't add a few miles here and a half an hour there because someone else is doing it. Do that and the injury bug will rear it's ugly head and you may never make it to the start line.

Yes - the marathon is a strange lure. Blow it and you'll be back to get even. Do a great job and you'll be back to recapture that feeling of accomplishment. If you *are* ready, take the plunge. The one thing I can guarantee is at the end of your training program you will be as fit as you've ever been in your life. The accomplishment of running hundreds of miles during training will leave you proud. And that pride will show as you take your 26.2 mile victory lap on race day.

P.S. - I think I am motivated again.


  1. love this. My time was 5:58:16, and I was THRILLED.

    You are always an inspiration Glenn!!

  2. Great post Glenn...
    As a "marathon virgin" as Linda put it, I am a bit scared but I know I am not a quitter and my RP and I have a motto..."We Dont Fail Together" and I know she will be with me in spirit and for the last 6 miles she will run with me.

    I am looking forward to this experience...just wish training was going a bit better.

  3. Very well said Glen! When are you changing the name of your blog to "not fat anymore running guy?"

  4. I've seen that commercial many times and always chuckle at it. It's so true.

  5. I don't think our motivation really ever leaves us, it just kind of goes into hibernation. ;)

    Keep it up Glenn!!!

  6. Thanks for the links and yes, I totally agree with you on all levels. It's a crazy, crazy beast but it can be so worth it! I still cry when I think about Long Beach. That was the best day of my life. <3

  7. Found your blog, thanks for sharing! I enjoyed reading your journey and look forward to many more miles with you! Have a great holiday and Happy New Year!!

  8. Congrats on being motivated again. I think I'm more intimidated by my second marathon than I was by my first. The first time, I had no idea what I was about to put myself through. Now, I'm keenly aware of the potential pain that lies ahead - hopefully I'm more prepared this time because of it.

  9. Remembering that first marathon is always a way to get remotivated, even during the holidays! Keep it up Glenn!

  10. yeah!! I'm getting motivated again too! it is a bug-and it's such an emotional one! I have 3 marathons under my i have room for one more???

  11. Great post! All of what you wrote is SO true. While I don't want to do another marathon (at this point), I am so glad I can say I trained for finished one! It is life changing... I find myself thinking, "Gosh, if I can do a marathon, I can _____."

    Keep up the awesome work!

  12. great post Glenn. :) You've definitely inspired me to keep working towards training for a marathon. And what am I doing next? A MARATHON! Whoo, your insight will definitely be needed once I get going. Merry Xmas EVE!