Call a spade a spade. You're afraid. Afraid of the distance? Of failure? Of pain? Afraid of what damage will be done to you body? Of how hard it will be? Afraid of commitment (hey, I don't judge....I've got my own commitment problems, and committing to a marathon is NOT one of them).
If you missed my Myths of Marathon Part 1 you can find it HERE. Now, let me tell you a few more myths of the marathon.....
Myth #9: If I try and quit then I'm a failure.
False. Making the commitment alone takes guts. Stepping out of your comfort zone and daring to say maybe I can is a win! Many people try and do not cross the finish line. That is not a failure. I have completed three marathons (not a lot, many people have done WAY more than me!) and DNF'd one....and I am here to tell you that DNF (Did Not Finish) hurt in more ways that I can explain. It was one of the THE toughest courses in the U.S., Big Sur California. It is coined THE destination race of the United States. And yes, it was gorgeous. The view was breath taking. The course was killer. And it killed me. I had to quit at mile 20 after beginning a run/walk at mile 11 and finally coming to a complete walk at mile 18. I knew I would not be able to finish and found myself in the shag wagon. It hurt my pride but my knee hurt worse. Quitting was the best option and one that I knew would ensure I could recover and return to the road after I fully healed. So quitting is not a failure. Not starting because you are afraid? Well you be the judge.....
Myth #10: I'll have to put an annoying 26.2 sticker on my car.
Nah! You don't have to. But I bet you'll want to!
Myth #11: I'll have to buy lots of expensive gear.
Again, nahhh.....you might end up wanting to get all the new techie gear, the latest New Balance, and the all-important compression tights. You can train and run in a simple cotton t-shirt (HIGHLY RECOMMEND NOT DOING THAT) but you may pay for it with chaffing and skin rubbed off....but you can get by with simple moisture wicking fabrics that don't cost an arm and a leg. You will find that quality gear just feels better and makes you run faster.....er.......
Myth #12: I'm going to have to run like 127 miles a week.
Nope. Not at all. It is best if you have a good running base of at least 15-20 miles per week and depending on the coach some say you should have been consistently running for at least a year. I agree that that would be optimal HOWEVER....with the proper plan and smart training you can train for and finish a marathon as a complete Novice, a noob if you will. And you can do that with minimal weekly mileage. Throughout my training for my first marathon my highest mileage week was 40 miles. Everything else was between 10 and 30 miles. The key is to train smart and be realistic about your training and your goal. Training to finish is WAY different than training to qualify for Boston.
Myth #13: I might poop my pants.....
Well....I cannot lie....poop happens. And it's gross. And it's embarrassing. Personally I have never pooped my pants while running but I certainly have had some close calls and thank my lucky stars there was a Honey Bucket close by (and for all y'all from the south, a Honey Bucket is a Porta Potty). Part of the training is figuring out your nutrition, what you can eat and cannot eat. What happens during a run after you eat XYZ? And adjusting accordingly. Running also gets your intestine all worked up and things just happen....and sometimes you poop. Hopefully not in your pants and not on the road. I've seen so many people pooping in bushes along the road or trail....it's just part of it and not for the faint of heart. If you absolutely cannot imagine yourself doing that then just know going in that there is a strong possibility that if you can't find a bathroom or a honey bucket, you might just have an accident if you absolutely refuse to use a bush.
Myth #15: I travel for work (or insert any reason for missing chunks of time in your training plan) and will miss workouts...there is no way I can swing it.
Nope. Not completely true. My go-to marathon and running guru Hal-Higdon writes that you can stop running for up to 5 days without losing significant conditioning! So that business trip to Vegas that will have you
Ok folks....If you have any marathon myths you'd like debunked let me know! I have five more to go.