Two things I’ve really noticed about myself from taking up this marathon:
1. I’m an emotional rollercoaster.
The very first half marathon I did I cried. And we’re not talking tear-streaked sniffling smile, we’re talking full on wailing and screaming and pumping of the fists into the air. I was so loud that my friends and family thought I was injured and asked me several times if I needed first aid. Since that day I have tried with great restraint not to bawl like a newborn the moment I pass a milestone, but boy howdy have I been pushing manic-depressive through this whole experience.
I think I’m getting runner’s highs on the longer runs. Think because mostly I find, after coming in from 15, 17, and 20 miles, I am HUNGRY. We’re not talking an “Oh, just a little bagel and some cream cheese” we’re talking “Please bring me a cow so I can naw on it.” I really don’t have any time to mentally settle until after I’ve downed 3 pints of chocolate milk and a bushel of bananas. But the day after a long run, I’m moody. It’s as if I should wear a sign, “Angry Cristin, DO NOT CROSS.” The littlest things set me off … and then the next day I’m all sunshine and lollipops. Apologies to everyone who has to work or deal with me. There is a reason why my main form of fundraising has been via baked goods. (I’m sorry I’m scary crazy, have a cookie!)
2. I’m a lot tougher than I thought.
Okay, so when I’m not trying to re-create Stephen King novels or bingeing, I find I can stand quite a bit more. Sure, having the hairline trip stomach and/or emotional cortex can be a hinderance, but once I get beyond the weird two to three days after a run, I’m solid. Surprisingly so. Last night, for instance, my dog decided out of nowhere he wished to run in a dead sprint instead of walk. Now, I’d just run home. We went, nearly full tilt, and I got back with zero problems. ZERO. It’s as if all this running and yoga and crunches actually MEAN something.
It’s lunacy, man.
So there we go: Two (technically three) things I’ve learned about while marathon training. In the end I think that when you go beyond a half marathon and get into long, long distances the worst thing you have to overcome is yourself. Really.